Bearette pitcher Allison Conley celebrated her 18th birthday on Monday by becoming the third Bradley Central softball player to sign with Cleveland State Community College.
“I’m really excited about it, I’ve played softball since I was 5. I was planning on going to Cleveland State for nursing, so when Coach K called and offered me the position on the team I was excited,” Conley stated. “I’m very confident that I’ll bring my pitching ability and support to the team.”
Bradley Central head coach Christie McElhaney is proud of her three athletes who will be continuing their education and softball careers at the collegiate level.
“I’m proud of them, they deserve the chance to go on. A lot of them, for the fields they want to go in to, Cleveland State will be a perfect fit for them for the next two years.”
Conley, who can also play outfield, became interested in pitching at a young age.
“When I started playing, I kind of just played everywhere. I saw someone pitching and then I was like ‘Oh I want to pitch.’ I started pitching the first year that it wasn’t coach pitch anymore,” Conley explained. “I’ve had a lot of people who have contributed to my softball career, all my pitching coaches.”
McElhaney describes her senior pitcher as a versatile, hardworking girl.
“She can pretty much play anywhere you put her. We normally used her as a pitcher and then in the outfield when she wasn’t pitching,” McElhaney said. “She’s a hard worker, and definitely doesn’t like to lose. She doesn’t like to give up a hit, so that makes her more determined to work harder the next time she’s out on the mound.”
Cleveland State coach Katie Willingham was once again able to sign a local player, something she enjoys doing.
“She’s a great kid, from a great family. You can’t complain about the local girls, they bring a great fan base and have a great foundation. She’s very coachable, so that will make my job easier.”
With three of her current freshmen pitchers slated to return next season, Willingham feels that Conley will make for an interesting addition to her pitching staff.
“I think she’ll add a little diversity to our pitching. I have three girls who are [currently] freshman who should be returning next year, so I think Allison will be a nice little mix to what we have. I’m really looking forward to what she’s going to be able bring to the college games.”