Middleton's Everson inks softball scholarship

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MTT News's picture
By: 
Rob Reischel
Middleton's Rachel Everson recently accepted a softball scholarship from IPFW./File photo

The process started more than a year ago.

Videos sent to schools throughout the country. Talks with coaches from all corners. Making campus visits whenever possible.

Last week, Middleton softball standout Rachel Everson finally saw all of her hard work — both on the field and on the recruiting trail — pay off.

Everson accepted a full scholarship to Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. Everson, a junior at MHS, will be a freshman at IPFW in the fall of 2017.

“The recruitment process didn’t come easy,” Everson said. “I started a year ago having my hitting coach email my skills video to schools throughout the country. We got a fair amount of interest, and from that some coaches came to watch me play on my travel team and/or I attended their camp.

“The IPFW coach (Germaine Fairchild) came to a couple of my games this past fall and showed interest, and then I went to their camp so they could see more of me. It was a long process, but it all worked out in the end.”

Everson, a center fielder, is coming off a sensational season in which she was named first team all-Big Eight Conference and was in the discussion for league Player of the Year honors.

Everson batted .495, which was the highest among the Cardinals’ regulars. Everson had a team-high 47 hits, led Middleton with 12 walks, tied for first with 27 runs scored, and was second on the team with 28 RBI. Defensively, Everson didn’t commit an error all season, had 50 putouts and two assists.

Former Middleton coach Cherie Hellenbrand, who coached Everson in both the 2014 and ’15 seasons, had nothing but glowing praise for the Cardinals standout.

“Rachel lives and breaths softball,” Hellenbrand said last summer. “Her high level of commitment and work ethic have taken her to the elite level. What makes Rachel so special is she is willing to do anything for the team. She is always encouraging her teammates and building team morale. 

“She is mentally disciplined, she can wait for the outside pitch to travel into the zone and then takes it to opposite field. For inside pitches she has quick hands to get through the zone and hits for power. The Middleton program will be fortunate to have her back for two more years.”

Perry Hibner, Middleton’s new coach, was thrilled to learn of Everson’s latest achievement — and giddy to have her in the program the next two years.

“Rachel is a joy to coach,” said Hibner, an MHS assistant in 2015 before landing the head job this fall. “She always wants to get better. Obviously, she is a great hitter, but she has worked very hard to become an outstanding center fielder, too.

“Rachel leads by example, but she is also vocal when she needs to be, too. She is a great teammate. It's pretty cool watching her pump up her teammates in the dugout.”

Everson said she was drawing interest from both Purdue and San Jose State. In the end, though, IPFW simply felt right.

“I've been to many camps at many different schools and something about IPFW just stood out to me,” Everson said. “I liked the size of the campus because it’s not too big and not too small. I also liked how things were run there. Coach Fairchild allows you to have your own swing, but helps you with the details.”

IPFW is coming off a 3-45 season. But Fairchild, a veteran coach who’s in just her second year at IPFW, hopes to turn the program around.

And Everson is optimistic she can be a big part of an eventual reversal of fortune.”

“I've always hit for a high average, even this past summer where I've faced college level pitching on my travel team,” Everson said. “Coach Fairchild said she sees me being able to hit for a high average and being able to stretch the defense.”

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