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Softball Sisters Honored

Former NHS players gain accolades at Central College

Published: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 10:22 a.m. CST • Updated: Friday, Aug. 2, 2013 11:47 a.m. CST
Left: Central College freshman Courtney Meyer glares out to the circle in anticipation of a pitch. The Newton Senior High graduate received her first varsity letter as a memeber of the Dutch softball team this past spring. Right: Central College senior Caitlyn Meyer swings away at a pitch against Dubuque this past season. She was named the MVP and Most Inspirational Player in her final season with the Dutch.

It’s been more than a year since a Meyer has dawned the red and black of the Newton Cardinals, and although Newton may have missed that presence on the softball diamond, it hasn’t taken long for Courtney to adjust.

Courtney Meyer recently received her first varsity letter as a member of the Central College Dutch softball team following an outstanding freshman season in which she batted .325 in 30 games with three runs, a homer and 14 RBI.

“Softball was the easy part,” Meyer said. “Playing softball is just fun. It’s what I love to do, and going to Central was easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.”

Adjusting to college life on the diamond came easy for Courtney, and she had a good example to follow. Her sister Caitlyn won the LeRoy Timmer award this past season, given out to the most valuable player on the team. Caitlyn also took home honors as the most inspirational player and co-captain of the Dutch. She made the NFCA All-Midwest Region first team and was the Iowa Conference female athlete of the week in April.

Having an older sister with so much cache on the softball diamond might overwhelm some people. However, Courtney saw it as an opportunity to spend one last year playing ball with her big sister.

“Of course Caitlyn being there was a factor in me choosing to go to Central,” Meyer said. “I loved playing with her my whole life, and it was great to get to share this season with her. She’s really a great player too.”

Great is right. Getting away from the accolades and breaking it down into bare bones statistics, Caitlyn had a phenomenal season. She hit .381 in 40 games played, totaling 40 hits, 14 runs, 29 RBI, eight homers and three stolen bases.

The Dutch made an NCAA record 25th Division III tournament appearance this past season, adding to the already impressive legacy of legendary coach George Wares. Wares’ season was his 29th as the Central College head softball coach, and over those 29 years, he has compiled an astounding 977-323-3 career record.

His impressive record and legacy imply that Wares continues to get the best out of his players year after year, an implication that Courtney certainly seemed to back up after playing her freshman season.

“I love coach Wares,” she said. “The transition from high school softball into college is something that is completely different from going from grade school to high school, and he just made it so much easier. I have a lot of respect for the way he coaches. He pushes you to be the best that you can be.”

Courtney didn’t seem to have much trouble adjusting to life on the field, but she did note that being away from Newton and on her own for the first time was something that was a difficult transition, and it took some getting used to.

“Outside of softball was really the toughest thing for me. Softball is the easy part. It’s what I love to do, but not having my parents there, being on my own with a different coach and different teammates took some getting used to,” she said. “I needed to learn how to be on my own, and that was really the toughest part.”

Now that Courtney has a year under her belt, she knows what to expect and how to handle things better. Although she admits that things on the diamond might not get  any easier, she feels better prepared for any challenges she might face.

“I feel as though it’s not going to get any easier, but I know more what to expect from next season,” she said. “It’s not going to be as rough of a transition for me as it was this season, and I already have an idea of what to do in certain situations, but as far as softball goes, I’m going to keep working my hardest to get better.”

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