ALGONQUIN – Jacobs softball coach Jeremy Bauer did not hesitate when asked what Alyssa Lach does best.
“She can hit,” Bauer said. “We’ve known that since Day 1. She does not strike out, and she puts the ball in play hard.”
That attribute caught the attention of NCAA Division I schools – particularly Butler coach Scott Hall and his staff. Hall saw the Golden Eagles junior third baseman playing with her travel team, the Bartlett Silver Hawks, in October.
Lach visited the Indianapolis school in November and committed to the Bulldogs on Tuesday. She hit .417 with four home runs and 28 RBIs, while striking out only three times last season. Jacobs advanced to the IHSA Class 4A Elgin Supersectional, and Lach was named to the Northwest Herald All-Area second team.
Lach also was considering Michigan State, Purdue, D-II Indianapolis and D-III Illinois Wesleyan. She will not sign her NCAA national letter of intent until November 2013.
“I loved the campus when I visited – it’s beautiful and small,” Lach said. “When I met the coaches and the team, I knew it was where I wanted to be. It’s definitely been hard work getting this far. It’s a great opportunity to play Division I.”
Lach began playing softball around the time she was in fourth grade and joined the Wasco Diamonds travel program when she was in seventh grade. Two years ago, she joined the Silver Hawks. She still works weekly with hitting coach Matt Schacht, a coach in Wasco’s program.
Bauer knew he had a special player when Lach came to Jacobs.
“She has proven she’s a D-I caliber player in her short time playing high school softball,” he said. “The way she hits should translate to the next level, too. I think she struck out once as a freshman.”
Lach was thrilled to have her decision made.
“After playing travel for a while, this was a dream to shoot high and try to get that opportunity [at D-I],” Lach said.