Harsh signs

Caston senior Ady Harsh signs to play softball at Huntington University earlier this month.

Caston standout pitcher Ady Harsh signed to play softball at Huntington University earlier this month.

“Ultimately the reason I chose to go there was academics,” Harsh said. “Academics are really important to me and they have a newly established ag program there, so for me that was where I needed to go in order to get the education I needed and on top of that continue growing in my faith and my athletics.

“I also wanted to choose somewhere that is close to home. That is a huge thing for me as my family and I are super close. I also really like coach Gower and his philosophy. He has expectations for his players and I am ready to meet those. I also love campus and the atmosphere.”

Harsh signed before sports were postponed or canceled due to the global coronavirus pandemic.

The IHSAA has postponed its spring sports season. Area schools are closed until May 1.

There is still hope that the IHSAA will hold its spring sports postseason tournaments.

Harsh transferred from Rochester to Caston her junior year of high school. She made an immediate impact for the Comets softball team last spring, helping them post a 10-8 record, 4-3 in the HNAC.

She posted a 2.08 ERA on the mound and fanned 160 in 111 innings. She also gave the Comets a boost on offense, as she hit .510 with two home runs and 22 RBIs.

The Comets made a big improvement last year and they were hoping to make similar strides this season as they have everybody back.

It helps that Pioneer has moved up to Class 2A due to the IHSAA’s success factor, meaning the Comets would be one of the sectional favorites this year.

The Comets were just a bloop infield single with two outs in the top of the sixth inning away from possibly pulling off an upset of No. 10 North Miami in sectional play last year. That was the same North Miami team that played Pioneer to within a 3-2 game the next day. Pioneer went on to advance to the State Finals for a second straight year.

“There’s a good chance, if we can all come together as a team, there’s a good chance we can win our sectional,” Harsh said. “I was super excited at the beginning of the season knowing that, and then all of this came about, and it just kind of sucks.”

Harsh can be harsh for opponents to face in the pitcher’s circle. The senior right-hander throws her fastball in the low 60s, which is the equivalent up the upper 80s in baseball for reaction time for hitters. She throws a fastball, changeup, riseball, dropball, screwball and curveball and is working on a drop curve and a drop curve change. She said her screwball and riseball are her main out pitches.

She is believed to be the first softball player from the area who will play at Huntington since former Logansport standout Molly Long, a 2008 Logan grad who was an Indiana North All-Star.

The Foresters compete in the Crossroads League in the NAIA. Pioneer softball coach Gabby Thomas pitched at Indiana Wesleyan in the Crossroads League.

Harsh plans to study biology pre-med with a minor in agrabusiness. She hopes to someday be a large animal veterinarian.

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