Sullivan signs with Ancilla
PLYMOUTH — It’s taken a lot of time and hard work for Marissa Sullivan to reach the next level.
The four-year Plymouth pitcher made it official last Thursday when she signed with Ancilla College to play softball beginning in 2012-13.
“I liked the environment, the people were really nice, and I wanted to play softball somewhere,” said Sullivan of her choice.
“I’m really excited. I’ve worked forever to get to this point, and I’m glad I made it here finally.”
A four-year starter for the Lady Pilgrims, Sullivan was an All-Northern Lakes Conference first team pick the past two seasons and an All-NLC Honorable Mention selection as a freshman. In more than 132 innings pitched last season, she posted an impressive 2.12 Earned Run Average following a sophomore season in which she put up a 4.73 ERA in 71 innings inside the circle.
“Any time she’s on the mound, we have a chance to win any game she’s pitching,” said Plymouth head softball coach Ed Kelso. “She’s going to keep us in the game as long as we can score a few runs and play some defense behind her. It’s nice having that confidence. When you send her out there, you know you’re going to get a good performance.”
Ancilla will not only gain a power pitcher with an eye-popping 224 strikeouts to her credit over the past two years, the two-year Plymouth MVP and 2011 East-West All Star pick also owns her team’s best batting average the past two seasons with a .291 batting average and .593 on-base percentage last year following a .352 sophomore season in which she reached base with .477 efficiency.
But Ancilla coach Scott Reese said it’s also the quality of her character that makes her a good fit for the Lady Chargers.
“She’s a top-notch pitcher, top-notch individual and just a top-notch softball player overall,” he said. “I think the qualities we’re looking for are not only on the softball diamond, which she excels in, but åalso away from the diamond as well in their character. We’re looking for people that are going to make an impact not only on the softball diamond and in the classroom, but in the community too. It’s nice to have somebody that’s local as well that’s able to do that.”
Ancilla softball has been increasingly competitive the past several years, earning national recognition in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II polls in 2011 and in the early polls this year. Sullivan’s two-way abilities should help give the Lady Chargers a boost as they strive to reach even greater heights.
“I’ve known her clear back since she was in fifth grade and I started seeing her play. No surprise we’re here today. We expected this and hoped for this to happen for her,” said Kelso. “Ancilla’s got it going pretty good this year with their team, and she’s going to be a great fit out there and help them hopefully move to the next level.”
It’s been a long road for Sullivan to get to the collegiate level. A lifelong player in Plymouth’s youth leagues prior to her high school career, the Lady Pilgrims ace has also put in the time in the offseason, playing with the Indiana Intensity, the Annihilators, the Rockets and the Red Wave, and she credits her father Todd with helping keep her motivated throughout it all.
“I’m really excited. I’ve worked forever to get to this point, and I’m glad I made it here finally,” she said.
“My dad was the one pushing me to work that hard. If it wasn’t for him I probably wouldn’t have made it this far.”