Akron shortstop Erin Pond, whose .510 batting average led Keystone to the Division II state championship in 2012, is transferring to Penn State.
Pond, a sophomore, started all 43 games as the Zips went 27-16 this season, 12-6 in the Mid-American Conference. She batted .278 with four doubles, 10 RBIs and 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts.
As the school year progressed, she decided it was time for a change.
“I left Akron in good standing academically and athletically, and I adore the people and the university,” Pond said. “But you’re dealt certain cards and sometimes you have to make certain decisions.”
She said she started to make inquiries about other schools and their softball programs.
“I got a call from a Penn State assistant,” Pond said. “So I visited the campus, spent the night and decided it was the right fit.”
She said Zips coach Julie Jones did not stand in her way.
“Julie is a good person and a very understanding person,” she said. “You can give her credit for the success of their program. I had a good relationship with Julie and my teammates. She and a lot of hard work helped get my batting average up.”
Pond’s decision to transfer to a larger school is not without precedent in the area. Tess Sito, who led Elyria to the 2009 Division I state title, played two years at Cleveland State before transferring to Georgia for her junior and senior seasons.
In 2012, Pond led the Wildcats to a 32-0 record. She hit 11 doubles, a team-best five triples and nine home runs. She drove in 47 runs, stole 13 bases and finished the year with an on-base percentage of .598. She was also chosen Player of the Year by the Lorain County Softball Coaches Association.
At Penn State, she will play for second-year coach Amanda Lehotak. The Nittany Lions were 14-35 (5-18 Big Ten) this year.
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.