Graduating senior looks to continue softball career

Weidinger demonstrates the form and skill of pitch as she practices for upcoming games.

Photo by Andrew Boyazis.

Weidinger demonstrates the form and skill of pitch as she practices for upcoming games.

Andrew Boyazis, Staff Reporter

The game took place against league rival Highland and a win meant a chance to advance a place in the Suburban League. The game began with a defensive battle between then-junior pitcher Dana Weidinger and the opposing pitcher. After the first few innings, Revere was down by a score of 1-0. Weidinger then got the bats going with a solo, over-the-fence home run. The game ended up going into four extra innings and Revere came out with the win. Weidinger pitched all eleven innings and did not surrender a single earned run.

Weidinger began playing softball at the age of five, and she has devoted much of her life to the game. Weidinger explained that she does not give herself an off season and that she trains year round with her trainer Matt Miller.
After years of wanting to play softball in college, she recently committed to Hillsdale College in Michigan. Weidinger explained that she has prepared to play at the collegiate level for most of her life and is extremely enthusiastic about the opportunity at Hillsdale.

“Matt pushes me day in and day out, and I know that the hard work put in translates to results on the field . . . . My pitching speed and endurance on the mound have improved,” Weidinger said.

Weidinger also works with instructors on hitting and pitching and explained that all of these coaches have helped her bring her game to the next level. Sophomore second baseman Allie Staats talked about what makes Weidinger special as an athlete.

“[Weidinger] is very determined to become a better player and make the team better,” Staats said.

Weidinger comes from a family of softball players, and her sister, Lauren also played for Revere. Lauren graduated in 2014, and she played pitcher and first base. Weidinger talked about what it was like playing with her sister on the Varsity softball team.

“[Playing with Lauren] gave me an extra spark while I was pitching when I could look over and see Lauren playing first base,” Weidinger said.

Weidinger feels that all the help that her sister has given her over the years has ultimately prepared her for the intense college recruiting process. Weidinger received offers ranging from schools in Michigan to schools as far away as North Carolina. Weidinger explained that getting recruited by so many schools does not come without effort.

“The college recruiting process takes a lot of time, perseverance, and courage to reach out to the top college coaches and ask for their attention and to give your player profile and videos a look,” Weidinger said.

In the end, Weidinger decided on Hillsdale College in Michigan. Hillsdale is a NCAA Division II college. Hillsdale competes in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) for their sports teams and will move to the GMAC league in 2017. Weidinger’s softball coach at Revere, Gina Hartranft expressed why she thinks Hillsdale is a good fit for Weidinger.

“I know academically it was a great fit, and from what I know the opportunity for her to pitch in college is great,” Hartranft said.

Weidinger explained that after going on many college visits, when she first stepped foot on the Hillsdale campus, she knew it was the right choice for her.

“The coaching staff and admissions made it clear that they wanted me to attend Hillsdale and I was sure that it was the place where I was going to start the next chapter in my student and athletic journey,” Weidinger said.

Weidinger explained that she is very excited about college softball, but she still has the rest of her high school softball career to enjoy. She explained that her goal is to help Revere’s Varsity team to a Suburban League title and to make a strong showing in the state playoffs.