Softball, like many sports in these data driven days, is all about the intersection math and physics.
Jessica Young's search for a college program to further her playing career had a similar bent. The center fielder was looking for a school with an aerospace study program, which Western Michigan just happened to offer.
Young's travel team coach Lorenzo Walker reached out to an assistant coach with the Broncos, who invited her to a camp. They liked what they saw, offering Young a chance to launch her college career in Kalamazoo.
She accepted in October and signed in November with WMU, the same school where former South tennis standout Denise Azcui played and currently coaches.
"I went up there and really liked the coaches and players," Young said. "They have a nice campus. I liked their program and they also had my intended major."
Which is the heady waters of aerospace engineering.
"I'm really interested in math and physics," Young said. "And at some point, I'll narrow it down to a specific major in the future."
Young was a second-team all-stater last year and earned a spot on the All-Conference Indiana team after posting a .478 average with 23 runs scored and 33 RBIs. She had eight home runs, three doubles and three triples to go with nine stolen bases.
"I assumed they liked me for my hitting," said Young, who also had an offer from Saginaw Valley and had been in contact with other schools.
"I've been playing softball for a while, so I'm looking forward to playing Division I softball. And considering the school has a great aerospace program, I felt like that was the best fit."
McGlothlin to IU Southeast
After a thorough search, South's first baseman found everything she was looking for in a school and softball program at IU Southeast in New Albany.
"The process was pretty mentally challenging," McGlothlin said. "Going in, I thought the schools would flock to you, but you have to put the work in to reach out to them first.
"From the beginning, I wanted small class sizes and a smaller school. I talked to some junior colleges and IU Southeast reached out to me and let me know their interest. I talked to the coach and went on a visit."
An offer soon followed that she accepted.
"The team as a whole, I could definitely see how they were a family," said McGlothlin, who plans to major in elementary education. "All the girls got along and they were open to the people who visit.
"And it's only two hours away form home, but I've got someone I can turn to as family, so that aspect was important. Coach (Tiffany Buckmaster) is a down to earth person. She means what she says. She wants to get business done, but still has a fun side and an understanding side to her."
McGlothlin was also an All-CI selection who batted .318 with 16 runs, 17 RBIs and six home runs.
"I started travel ball when I was 8 and my dream was always to get to the next level," McGlothlin said. "When I got that, it was definitely very exciting for me. The little girl inside of me had a happy moment."
So did South coach Meg Montgomery, who will have both as four-year starters for one more spring.
"Both Jessica and Lexi have worked extremely hard in the offseason to get to this point," she said, "with their softball skills and academically as well. It's huge for both of them. What you don't see happening is what got them to where they are today.
"They are phenomenal athletics and they just keep getting better."
Contact Jim Gordillo at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Twitter @JimGordillo.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Times: South softballers Young, McGlothlin lock in college plans