Other college softball programs showed interest in Stefanie McCoy, but Chestnut Ridge High School's all-star shortstop/pitcher kept putting them off.
"It took me a long time to decide,'' McCoy said, because I always had IUP in the back of my mind.''
McCoy made it official and signed with the Division II power Crimson Hawks for a partial scholarship in late April. At IUP, McCoy will join friends and summer softball teammates Marissa Leslie, Monica Iachini and Christi Mauk.
"Of course, I went to their games to watch them. I think that's how I grew to love the campus. Ever since then, I knew I wanted to go there. I went to a camp there the summer of last year, and the coach got to see me then, which really helped me get recruited,'' said McCoy, who's thinking of majoring in physical therapy. "I liked the campus, in general, and I liked the distance from home. The fact that my friends are there is another perk. They'll help me around.''
An Altoona Mirror first-team all-star in 2010, McCoy was a four-year starter for the Lady Lions, winning District 5 Class AA titles as a sophomore, junior and senior.
As a senior, McCoy batted .535 with three home runs, 39 runs scored and 36 RBIs to go along with a 10-2 pitching record and 2.15 ERA. Although she broke her leg in July of 2009, she amassed 144 hits, 139 runs, 102 RBIs, 22 doubles and 10 triples in her career.
Although McCoy alternated between pitching and the infield, it looks like her career at Indiana will be as a position player. The Hawks graduated two outfielders, and McCoy is willing to give a new position a try to get into the lineup. Her high school coach, Chuck Corle, thinks she's capable of pulling it off.
"She's definitely one of the best all-around athletes that we've seen at Ridge,'' Corle said. "She was a good team player.''
One of McCoy's two older sisters, Janelle, made the transition from infield at Ridge to outfield at St. Francis University. Her other sister, Brooke, was also a Ridge standout on the diamond.
"I grew up watching them play, and that sparked my interest play. Just by watching them, I learned a lot,'' said Stefanie McCoy, who began playing softball when she was 8 and also has a younger brother, Justin, who is into athletics.
McCoy also excelled in basketball and volleyball at Ridge and was the female recipient of the Ron Rickens Sportsmanship Award this year.