GOSHEN — Rensselaer Central’s Sydney Potts is prepared to add some pop to Goshen College’s softball lineup.
Potts, the daughter of Kent and Chrystal Potts of Rensselaer, recently announced she will attend the NAIA school after setting slugging marks at RCHS over the past four seasons.
Potts finishes as the school’s all-time home run leader with 14 career bombs, including a school-record seven during her sophomore season. She is the only player in program history to hit over 10 home runs.
A consistent .300-plus hitter — Potts hit .419 as a junior and .415 as a sophomore — she is among the school’s all-time leaders in extra-base hits and RBIs (65 for her career).
The 6-foot Potts has played for a number of all-star teams in her youth in hopes of contributing at the high school level.
“I started hitting home runs in seventh grade,” she said. “I hit my first home run that year. I knew then that I was going to be able to contribute to our offense.”
Potts played first and third base in her first three years for coach Don Doyle and served as a designated player as a senior.
She went homer-less as a senior, hitting just .222 with 12 hits, including three doubles, and eight RBIs. Potts said she felt the coaching staff lose confidence in her abilities by the end of the season.
“It was tough,” she said.
Despite the struggles, Potts drew the attention of Huntington College and Goshen College, who were impressed with the former Bombers’ ability to square up a softball. Her exit velocity when ball hit bat was one of the area’s highest.
Potts is one of a handful of Indiana recruits for Goshen College coach Juliaclare Piezbert, who begins her first season as head coach this fall. Prior to returning to Indiana — Piezbert played at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne from 2012-15 — she was an assistant at Oklahoma Wesleyan University the past three seasons.
“She is a young coach and she’s different than high school coaches because she believes in people she puts on her team,” Potts said. “She’s really trying to improve the program.”
The Maple Leafs are coming off a 20-33-1 finish this spring, including 13-22-1 in the Crossroads League. The roster is filled with six California recruits and just two Indiana players and Piezbert will look to add more Indiana recruits, Potts said.
“She talked about putting me in the infield; maybe third base or even catcher,” Potts said of her new coach. “She said if I come in ready to hit I will for sure have a spot on the team.”
Potts plans to major in graphic design while a student at Goshen.