Keller will continue softball career at GraceApril 30, 2020
BY COREY STOLZENBACH
The Herald left a voicemail for Heritage Hills senior Miranda Keller on Tuesday. She apologized for not answering the call. That’s because she was busy doing work with the bat to get ready for softball.
Not with Heritage Hills, but with Grace College. The Patriots senior signed her letter of intent on March 30 to continue her softball career with the Lancers, fulfilling a dream of hers to attend the school she wanted to attend.
“When I started looking for colleges, I knew that I wanted to go to a small, Christian college,” Keller said. “I wanted faith to be something that was adamant on a campus, and as soon I stepped foot on campus for my visit this past fall, I knew that was where I wanted to end up.”
Keller has been playing softball since her T-ball days, when she was about 3 or 4 years old. She loves that softball is a team sport and not an individual one. Keller can depend on eight other people on the field if she is down, and her teammates help her get back up.
Heritage Hills softball coach Joe Asbury praised Keller, in turn, for being someone for her teammates to lean on.
“Miranda’s a really great kid — a fantastic teammate, wonderful student, very active at our school, so she’s just been a very big part of us having really good team chemistry and a very positive part of our program,” Asbury said.
Asbury described Keller as having a quiet nature about her, but she’s still very approachable. He noted how supportive she is. Asbury added that Keller supported the older players when she was younger, and that she served as a leader to the younger players when she became an upperclassman herself.
He intended on making her the starting left fielder for the Pats this year before the cancellation of spring sports. Asbury lauded how cognitive Keller is, and he thinks she would’ve anticipated what might’ve happened before the play unfolded. He added she would have done a great job communicating, and her defensive skills would’ve been an asset as well.
Keller added that every senior on the team planned on getting back to semistate, if not further, after winning their first regional championship in school history a year ago.
She intends to major in health science with a concentration in pre-occupational therapy. Keller is focused on keeping her speed and strength up before she joins the team.
The softball program at Grace College has been down record-wise in recent years. The Lancers last had a winning record in 2016, and were 4-11 before the outbreak of COVID-19 forced the games to be canceled.
Keller is hoping the intangibles she possesses will help foster a turnaround.
“I would consider myself to be a good teammate, if anything, because I try my best to encourage everybody, no matter if we have a down day, where we’re down by I don’t know how much, but I try to keep everybody’s spirits up,” she said.
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