Softball Factory player and 2019 shortstop/outfielder Molly McChesney has signed her National Letter of Intent to play for the University of Akron, after committing to join the Zips roster back in September of her junior year.
For McChesney, choosing the University of Akron was something that just felt natural to her.
“When I first met head coach Julie Jones and associate head coach Julie Pratt with the University of Akron, I had a good feeling about them,” she recalls. “They were so easy to talk to and they made me feel very comfortable. They invited me to a camp and that was the start of our communication. My first time on campus was in the winter of my Sophomore year. It felt like home the second I arrived. There wasn’t a part of campus that I didn’t like. All the athletic facilities and athlete dorms are very close. Everything felt right.”
While making the choice to commit to the joining the Zips was easy for her, the recruiting process as a whole was a little more difficult at times for the Verona Area High School senior and she credits Softball Factory as something that helped her with this important chapter of her softball career.
“The recruiting process for me consisted of many emails, phone calls and camps.” McChesney remembers.
One of those emails came from Softball Factory Executive Player Development Coordinator, Steve Nagler.
“Steve Nagler sent a very nice email to Coach Jones, as well as a few other schools I was looking into,” McChesney, who attended both a Softball Factory National Tryout in Madison, Wis. in July of 2016 and the Softball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament in Vero Beach, Fla. in December of the same year, explains. “That email included my Softball Factory profile which had all my results from testing in Florida. I believe that email to have been very beneficial as it came from a well-known organization and had reliable stats, information and notes from reputable coaches and former collegiate players.”
The 2016 Softball Factory Christmas Camp and Tournament helped the student-athlete in other ways as well.
“I enjoyed how from sunrise to sunset, the intensity remained high and I felt I was always being pushed to get better,” she says. “All of the coaches were extremely helpful, and each had a strong background of the game. I felt all the skills being taught were applicable not only to my game, but the game of softball as a whole.”
McChesney still applies what she learned with Softball Factory to her game today.
“I utilize running on the balls of my feet rather than flat footed, so I can run faster,” the future Biomedical Science major reveals. “Also, I attack the ball when I’m fielding and try to avoid letting the ball play me. I continue to scoop my glove at the last second before the ball gets to me and work to meet the ball rather than fielding it into my stomach.”
Committing to the University of Akron came with a sense of relief for the Verona, Wis. native.
“When I committed, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulders,” McChesney admits. “I felt I could start playing softball again for me, not for anyone else and not having to be perfect all the time in fear of making a mistake and getting crossed off a coach’s list. “
Being able to play the sport for herself again it is something that McChesney holds close to her heart.
“There are so many aspects of the game that I love,” she gushes. “The family atmosphere that my teams possess, the relationships that are formed with teammates and coaches, the travel and the opportunity to see different parts of the country, and the game itself. The game brings me so much happiness and when I play, I feel I can be 100% true to who I am. Softball allows me to push myself to be a better teammate, player and person. I’ve learned so many life skills such as perseverance, determination, patience, understanding, trust and acceptance in my years of playing and I will forever be grateful that I get to continue to play the game I love so much.”
When looking at her high school stats, it is not difficult to see why the University of Akron had their eyes on McChesney. At the end of her junior season, the slugger finished with a career-best .563 batting average and had raked in 45 hits, two doubles and 13 RBI along the way.
Now, McChesney will be able to continue her success and play the sport she loves at the next level.
“Despite being stressful at times, and a lot of emails and one-sided communication, in the end, I wouldn’t trade my recruiting process for the world and I am so thankful for Coach Jones and Coach Pratt for giving me the opportunity to live out my dream of playing Division I softball.”