Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

July 19, 2013

FRIDAY FOCUS: The drive to excel

Ex-Goshen hurler making the most of college career at Bethel

GOSHEN — When Natalie Newell was a youngster her dream was to play college basketball.

“I love basketball and thought that would be the sport I would be playing in college,” she said.

Newell’s future plans changed when her mom received a telephone call.

“Someone from the Goshen Little League called mom saying they were having trouble finding girls to play softball,” she explained. “They asked if my sister and I would be interested in playing.”

At the time no one could have expected that one simple phone call would lead to a record-setting pitching career at Goshen High School and an equally impressive career in her first two years at Bethel College in Mishawaka.

“I’ve learned a lot in two years at Bethel,” she said. “But it’s crazy how fast the two years have gone by.”

Newell didn’t totally forget about basketball. She played at GHS and is fourth on the school’s all-time scoring list with 805 points, first in 3-pointers made for a season with 55 and a career with 101.

Newell was a dominant pitcher at GHS, leading the Redskins to the program’s first-ever Class 4A sectional championship in 2011.

“We faced some awesome teams at Goshen so I pitched against a number of girls that went on to play at the NCAA Division I level,” Newell said. “College is a step up. The hitters are better and the speed of the game is much faster. You can’t take a break. There are no easy hitters.”

Bethel finished with a 27-13 record (13-5 Crossroads League) and qualified for the NAIA National Tournament last spring.

Newell compiled some noteworthy numbers in the pitcher’s circle. She pitched in 30 games (20 starts with 18 complete games), posting a 15-7 record and two saves. She hurled 153 innings, giving up just 80 hits and a mere 24 earned runs for a sparkling 1.10 earned run average.

Her 1.10 ERA is the fourth best in school history and her nine shutouts is third.

Newell set a Bethel single-season record with 277 strikeouts.

Concord High School graduate Brittney (Hire) Lightfoot held the previous record with 244 in 2007. Lightfoot is now an assistant coach in the Bethel program.

“It’s was a little weird breaking a record held by one of my coaches,” Newell said. “But she (Lightfoot) was happy for me. She was a great pitcher and has been a big help to me.”

Her success is also being recognized at the national level as Newell was named to the National Christian College Athletic Association First Team All-American squad for the 2013 season. Her freshmen season, she was both an NAIA and NCCAA Second Team All-American.

After just two seasons, Newell’s name is already prominent in the Bethel career record book with a number of Top Ten efforts.

Her 1.46 ERA is seventh, her 502 strikeouts second (Lightfoot holds the career mark at 644), her 35 complete games seventh, her 56 games 10th, her 311 innings 10th and her 12 shutouts ninth.

“My goal is to leave my mark with some big numbers,” she said.

Her gaudy career numbers could be a reason for some players to have a chip on their shoulder, but that is the furthest thing from Newell’s mind.

“The numbers are not me,” she said. “I would like to be known as an awesome person than just as an athlete.”

It is important to Newell that she be a role model for the next generation of softball players. A part of that is giving pitching lessons.

“I have about 10 girls taking lessons,” she said. “It’s fun teaching them what I have learned.”

Newell recalled a softball player who was an influence on her.

“Jenny Finch was one of my role models,” she said. “I was obsessed with her and what she has done for the sport.

“She is a lot taller than I am. She uses her legs more and gets her whole body into her pitches and that is something I’m working on.”

Finch, now returned, is one of the premier pitchers to ever come along in women’s softball. She led the United States to a gold medal in the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games and a silver medal in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Pitching for the U.S. National Team, Finch posted an incredible record of 36-2 with a 0.42 ERA in 239 1/3 innings. She struck out 397 batters and walked a miniscule 36.

At the University of Arizona, Finch was 119-16 in four years, including a 32-0 mark in 2001. She fanned 1,028 batters in a career 876 2/3 innings.

According to Newell, Finch is a good role model for another reason besides her softball career.

“She shares her faith,” Newell said. “My faith is a huge part of me. I have been going to church every Sunday since I was little. I love being at a Christian school like Bethel. We are known as a team that prays at games. We also do a lot of community service projects.”

Newell is studying education at Bethel.

“I want to be a teacher and to coach softball some day,” she said.

Newell’s success is not limited to the softball diamond. She was named to the Capital One Academic All-American Third Team this past season.

“Time management is a big thing,” she said. “There are a lot of times when I’m doing homework on the bus rides to and from games.”

Newell has her priorities in the right order at Bethel.

“The first thing is getting my degree; playing softball is the cherry on top,” she said.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • PREP TRACK AND FIELD: Penn the big winner at Cripe Relays MIDDLEBURY -- It was a clean sweep for Penn High School in the "Carmon Cripe" Northridge Relays for boys and girls track on Saturday. Penn took the girls title with 85 1/2 points, followed by Fairfield 51, East Noble 48 1/2, Elkhart Central 41, Conco

    April 19, 2014

  • GN140419 louie stout column mug OUTDOOR COLUMN: A steelhead run bonanza in Michiana Looking for a bright side to this ridiculous winter and spring weather? Look no farther than the St. Joseph River steelhead run. Apparently, this crazy spring weather has been just what the doctor ordered for steelhead anglers. It extended the run an

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUTDOOR COLUMN: Grackles: Like'em or leave 'em Seeing a grackle, I read in "Birds of America," is "one of the surer signs that spring is at hand. Surer, that is, than seeing a robin, a red-winged blackbird or a song sparrow. But I saw grackles last month, not long after I saw robins, redwings and

    April 20, 2014

  • GN140420 david vantress column mug THE SKINNY: Spring's arrival welcomed gratefuly GOSHEN Well, hello there, Indiana spring! Better late than never, I suppose. After probably the most brutal winter I have endured since first moving to the Midwest in 1998, spring has finally sprung across the area. Over the course of many years as a

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Broncos Manning Football [Duplicate] NFL: Manning meeting with Saban questioned ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Peyton Manning's never-ending quest to hone his game and Nick Saban's desire to decipher fast-paced offenses led to a recent meeting that the Crimson Tide coach called mutually beneficial. It also might have violated NFL rules be

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wizards Celtics Basketball-3 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] NBA: Resilient Bulls brace for next obstacle: Wizards DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Never mind all they overcame. The only obstacle that matters now for the Chicago Bulls is the one in front of them. The Bulls head into Sunday's playoff opener against the Washington Wizards as one of the hottest teams in the NBA.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140420 bgolf nw glaser IT'S TEE TIME GOSHEN -- Scores at Saturday's Goshen Invitational at Maplecrest Country Club were a bit higher than area prep boys golf coaches like to see them at this early stage of the season. But with the later start to the season due to a long winter, conditi

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Blackhawks Blues Hockey-6 [Duplicate] Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in OT, take 2-0 lead ST. LOUIS — Vladimir Tarasenko and St. Louis were in trouble Saturday before a vicious hit by Chicago defenseman Brent Seabrook provided an opening for the Blues. That little crack was all St. Louis needed to put another dent in the Blackhawks' bid

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140418 bulls-gibson Improved Gibson proves key for Bulls' success DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Taj Gibson flashed back to the grueling workouts in the searing Southern California heat last summer. There he was with Derrick Rose, running and jumping and trying to take his game to another level for the Chicago Bulls while thei

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140418 base nr-wv kennedy PREP BASEBALL: A pitcher's duel EMMA -- The pitchers were dominant early on until the offenses could getting things going in a high school baseball game between the Northridge Raiders and the Westview Warriors Friday night at Westview. Both starting pitchers hurled four innings of

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results