The 2018 high school softball season begins on March 24 but North senior Mikaela Fording already created some excitement when she committed to continue her education and playing career at Notre Dame College in South Euclid.
Fording will join former teammate Kristen Peace, who signed with the Falcons last year.
“I’m very excited to be able to continue my softball career in college,” Fording said. “I really don’t know what I’d do without it so I am very excited to continue.”
NDC began recruiting Fording during her junior season and she developed a strong relationship with the Falcons’ coaching staff and spent time with the current players.
She immediately knew she wanted to become part of the program.
“Notre Dame College was one of the first colleges I visited and I knew right away that I liked it,” Fording said. “It’s a small school with stuff to do around it and I kind of know my way around it since it’s not far from home. Doing an overnight really helped me see what it was all about and I really enjoyed staying with the team.”
Fording was recruited as a catcher and will be expected to continue to drive in runs at the plate.
Last spring, she knocked in 32 runs to set North’s single-season RBI record.
“Mik has been a huge asset to this program over the last three years,” said North first-year coach Taylor Braddock, who previously served as an assistant coach for the Rangers. “She is a great leader and a great kid on and off the field.”
One of Braddock’s first orders of business was naming the team captains who would provide leadership for the Rangers during the preseason.
“It was no question making her a captain,” Braddock said. “Mik is always in the gym putting in extra work and it really shows. She is one of the most coachable kids I’ve come across and we are very lucky to have someone like Mik in our program. I am really looking forward to big things from her this season. She deserves it. NDC is lucky to have her. She is the kind of kid every coach wishes to have. I can’t wait to see where this journey takes her.”
Fording, who plans to major in finance or business, is happy to have her college decision behind her so she can focus on her senior season at North.
“My goals for my senior season are just to have fun and take my team as far as I can,” she said. “With the group of girls we have this year, I truly believe we can make it far if we work hard enough.”