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Claise signs to pitch for Lincoln Trail College

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By LARRY GOFFINET
Sports Editor

LEOPOLD—Perry Central senior Miranda Claise liked everything about Lincoln Trail College when she visited the Robinson, Ill., campus and worked out with the women’s softball team.

So she has decided to continue her softball career there.
Claise said she liked the campus, the students and the team, so she signed a national letter of intent with the two-year school Monday.
“As soon as she visited the campus, she said that was it,” said Perry Central Coach Mark Rothgerber. “She was comfortable there and the coaches worked with her a lot.
“She’s worked really hard to get there.”
Claise set school records for wins and strikeouts as she pitched the Commodores to their first Patoka Lake Athletic Conference title last spring.
She went 14-5 with a 2.56 ERA, 70 strikeouts and 39 walks in 117 innings.
She went 6-0 with a 1.00 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 10 walks in PLAC games as she made all-conference.
Lincoln Trail Coach Ashley Gordon said she saw Claise pitch “a couple of games” last year, including the sectional game against Southridge.
Gordon said she usually keeps four or five pitchers on her roster but she expects Claise to pitch a lot as a freshman.
The Statesmen play about 60 games in the spring and 20 in the fall, nearly all as parts of doubleheaders, so they can use several pitchers.
They will have two pitchers returning next fall.
Gordon said that what she liked best about Claise’s game is “her attitude. She seems to be a go-getter.
“She came and worked out with us and never hesitated to try things that Gary (Rodgers, Lincoln Trail’s pitching coach) suggested.”
Gordon said Claise needs to work on her hitting because “we try to have as many pitchers hit as possible.”
Pitching-wise, Gordon wants Claise to work on “adding a little bit of speed and a little more movement, but I like her style.”
Claise plans to major in nursing.