JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Spunky Windsor softball star Danielle Bell made her decision and signed last Thursday to play softball for Kaskaskia College next fall.
Bell has played center field as a freshman, catcher as a sophomore and short-stop as a junior for the Windsor Blue Devils.
“She’s athletic enough to play any position,” said Windsor softball coach Brian Lee.
“Its’ big when you can swing the bat and hit like she can. As a freshman, I had her bat 9th to give us an extra lead-off man. Her sophomore and junior year I had her bat #2 to get her on base for Hannah Cole. That limited her stolen bases, but she is quick on the base paths and she is a heads up base runner. She hits for average and is a good defender, n matter where you put her.”
Bell has been playing since T-ball and moved up early to coach pitch. She has played for the Mattoon Cobras traveling team since 12U and this summer will be her 6th year with them.
“I saw Danielle play in the summer for the Cobras and they came to play at our place at a tournament,” said Kaskaskia Coach Torey Crowell. “Then I saw her play at an exposure event in St. Louis. She has a good arm and speed. But more importantly, she has the want to, the drive and softball is her love.”
Coach Crowell said that they are looking at Danielle for catcher because she has the arm. But, there are two or three places she can play for Kaskaskia.
“I also look at who the players are as a person off the field, how they will represent the college,” said Coach Crowell.
Bell received one of 10 full scholarships, covering books, tuition, and housing. Another benefit for Bell is that three other Cobra teammates are headed to Kaskaskia, as well.
Bell is excited to go to the next level, especially at Kaskaskia.
“I am definitely proud of my accomplishment and I’m ready to accept the challenge,” Danielle Bell said. “I’ve always wanted to play college ball. I’ve had this dream a long time. Coach Crowell was one of the first to show interest and I like her. Kaskaskia also has my major, veterinary technician.”
Bell looked at John Wood College, but was more comfortable at Kaskaskia.
Bell doesn’t think the next level will be a problem. She has a slight build, but it has never hindered her ability.
“My second year of 16’s in travel ball we started facing fast pitching,” Bell said. “Travel ball is about the same speed as JUCO. I’ve never noticed my size mattering. It’s all about working on the details and having good mechanics.”
Cobra coach Drew Danalewich is high on Bell.
‘She works hard and is extremely talented,” Coach Danalewich said. “ She is and extreme competitor. She manages pitchers well. She calls her own games. She has an extremely high softball I.Q.”