After attending a summer softball camp at the University of Tampa, Lindsay Dring made up her mind. She wanted to attend college and play softball there.
The 2011 Lakeland High School graduate achieved her goal. Dring, a four-year varsity starter at Lakeland, was recruited by Tampa and is now a first baseman/outfielder for the Spartans (26-4), currently ranked 17th in the Division II Softball Poll. She is one of two New York players on the team.
"Tampa was always my No. 1 school," said Dring, who is majoring in sports management. "I contacted the coach by email and then went to their softball camp. After that, she said if I wanted to come and play at Tampa she would be happy to have me."
High school softball players from the Northeast are at a disadvantage compared with their peers in the South, especially those in Florida. The season in the Northeast is short, just about two months. But Dring proved she belonged during the fall season.
"In the beginning I was a little nervous because they play softball all year," said Dring. "I knew I would have to work a lot harder to keep up with them."
Dring, who played travel ball for the Empire State Huskies, returned to school in January and began her first collegiate season.
"The fall season went very well, and I got my first hit," Dring said. "When practice began, I was excited to get back on the field and ready for the season to start." Even though Dring is currently one-for-six this season, she strives every day to raise her level of play.
"I would love to play more, but the players who start deserve that and I have to work hard to earn my spot," she said. "I go for hitting after every practice. I go to the weight room and lift. I want to do whatever I can to get better.
"This has been one of the most exciting seasons I have ever had, just being a part of the team and experiencing how we have come together."
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