Northwest Whitfield junior catcher Bayli Cruse committed to Tennessee Tech University last week, and her her summer coach says the Golden Eagles are in for a treat.
Tennessee Fury '95 coach Tad Andrus has helped send dozens of players into the college ranks, but none, he says, approach the game quite like the energetic Cruse.
"She's such a great kid, and her work ethic is as good as any player I've been around," he said. "The big thing about Bayli is, though, that I've never coached a kid that loves the game as much as she does. Until this past year I didn't carry a second catcher because she caught every game, but I finally had to convince her that it was the best thing for her to get some rest.
"It actually upsets her when she doesn't get to play."
After hitting better than .400 for the Fury this summer, Cruse is batting .443 with six homers and 29 RBIs for the top-ranked and 24-3 Lady Bruins. Northwest coach Jason Brooker points to another stat that stands out for the three-year starter.
"She has 35 hits and only three strikeouts all season, and we've faced some very good pitchers," the first-year coach said. "She's just a very solid player and she's only going to get better. I'm just glad I've got her for another year."
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6296.