By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
Two seniors from McNary High School’s varsity softball team signed letters of intent to play for college teams on Tuesday, Nov. 27.
Paige Bouska is headed to Seattle to play for the Seattle University Redhawks while Jordyn Hanson will play for the St. Andrews University in Laurinburg, N.C.
“The coaches were all really nice during the visit and so were the girls,” said Bouska of her new home.
Redhawk skipper Dan Powers said he’s had his eye on Bouska since she came to his attention as part of the Oregon Blaze Gold team. Her poise at the plate and mental toughness registered high on his list of wants in a new middle infielder.
“When she visited our campus last year everything came together and I knew Paige would be a good fit for our program. I have no doubt Paige will compete right away at either second base or shortstop,” Powers said.
The Redhawks are a Division I NCAA team in the Western Athletic Conference. The team went 15-30 in the 2012 season.
In 2012, Bouska batted .659, including a 13 at-bat hitting streak, and recorded a .535 on-base percentage for the Celtics.
“Paige has a great glove and an arm to match. At the plate, she can do it all. She can hit for power, she can slap, she can bunt and has great base-running instincts,” said Jeff Auvinen, McNary head softball coach.
Bouska plans to study biology as an undergraduate and continue her education to become an orthodontist.
“It’s going to be a big change, the intensity of the practices is really going to be a step up from high school,” she said.
Bouska is the third Lady Celt to sign on with a Division I school in two years.
Recruiters at St. Andrews found one of Hanson’s videos online and started a conversation that ended with a trip to the East Coast school earlier in November.
“I got out there and I loved it. I liked the way the coaches ran the practices with intensity. It’s a 63-acre campus and 1,000 kids on the campus,” she said. She plans on studying pre-law.
Knight Head Coach Elizabeth Burris said it was Hanson’s solid fundamentals that first caught her attention.
“We are always looking to bring in impact players from around the country, and Jordyn fit the bill. Her strength and athletic ability are both beyond many high school athletes and we are excited that she will be a St. Andrews Knight next year,” Burris said.
She expects Hanson to be a utility player with a spot in the line-up as either a pitcher or outfielder. The Knights compete in the NAIA.
“Jordyn does a great job with her various pitches and moving the ball around and keeping people off-balance. She has a very good swing,” Auvinen said of her time with the Celts. “Paige and Jordyn are outstanding people and both became good softball players because of tons and tons and tons of work.”