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Ahee

Richardson set for Adrian College



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Grosse Pointe North graduate Sarah Richardson was a rock behind the plate for the Norsemen and one of its best hitters during her career.
July 11, 2013
Grosse Pointe North 2013 graduate Sarah Richardson is following in the footsteps paved by her older siblings, playing collegiate sports.

Her older sister, Jessica Richardson, played softball for Adrian College, and her older brother, Josh Richardson, is currently on Adrian College's men's baseball team.

Sarah is heading to Adrian College in August to make it 3-for-3 for parents John and Wendy Richardson. They can watch Josh and Sarah play half of their college games.

"I love the campus and the school, and Adrian has what I'm looking to major in, athletic training," Richardson said. "I'm excited for this opportunity."

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Several other colleges expressed interest in Richardson, Grand Valley State University and Alma, plus universities down south, but she chose to stay close to home.

"We're a very close family and it's nice for my parents to get a chance to watch me play in college," Richardson said. "I feel I'm ready for this level and I can contribute. I need to work hard this summer so I'm mentally and physically ready for the fall season at Adrian."

She currently plays travel softball for the 18U Michigan Ice and recently completed her final year of high school softball playing for her third head coach in three years at Grosse Pointe North, Claire Cannon.

"Coach (Bill) Taylor and coach (Ron) Smith were very different and coach (Claire) Cannon brought in a different approach, too," Richardson said. "I learned a lot from Claire since she was a catcher on Albion College's softball team.

"She played at this level and she really taught us a lot about the game. We didn't have the best record, but we bonded and improved a lot during the season. I enjoyed playing for Claire."

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Richardson put together a very solid senior year, hitting .465 (47-for-101), with 27 RBIs, three sacrifices, 16 runs, two stolen bases and only nine strikeouts. She had 32 singles, 13 doubles, one triple, one home run and five walks.

Defensively, she threw out 13-of-17 runners trying to steal, which is 76 percent, and picked off seven runners, including Macomb Dakota freshman Kelcie LaTour.

"Coach Claire made some slight adjustments to my catching technique and it helped," Richardson said. "I had my best year behind the plate."

Catchers are always regarded as the infield captain and Richardson was no different. She commanded respect and received it from her coaches, teammates and opposition.

Richardson, 18, played ice hockey during her senior year after sitting out her sophomore and junior seasons.

"I decided to play my final year of high school and I enjoyed it," she said. "There is a lot of pressure playing goalie, but I had a lot of fun and played with a great group of teammates."

She played in 14 games, finishing 9-4-1, with one shutout. She gave up only 32 goals and had a 2.59 goals against average.

Richardson put the skates and pads aside and is now focusing on her college softball career.

She is rooming with Fraser High School graduate Kayla Belfiori. The two played against each other when North faced Fraser this spring.

"It's going to be fun playing softball at Adrian and I can't wait to get going," Richardson said. "I'm a little nervous about balancing my school schedule with softball, but I'm confident I can manage it."

"Sarah was rock-solid behind the plate and she was a true captain of our team," Cannon said earlier this spring. "She works hard to be a better softball player."

Adrian's head coach is Kristina Schweikert, who guided the Bulldogs to a 19-17 record this season, 11-5 in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

Richardson's working on her conditioning and playing a lot of summer softball behind the plate for the Ice.

She leaves for college Aug. 17 and prepares for the fall season. After that, it's business as usual for the Harper Woods resident.

Her athletic training program is five years and includes undergraduate and master degrees. After that, she plans on attending physical therapy school.

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