Playing softball at Valparaiso has always been in the back of Mollie Lindeman’s mind.
Due to a recent change of plans, playing for the Crusaders is now a reality for the former Hebron standout.
Lindeman decided to transfer from Purdue North Central in order to play for the two-time defending Horizon League tournament champions and will have three years of immediate eligibility.
The 2012 Hebron graduate originally was going to transfer to another NAIA school, but then Valparaiso coach Jordan Stevens reached out to Lindeman.
“This opportunity came to me, I didn’t go looking for it,” Lindeman said. “It’s always been one of my goals to play for VU since I was 14. I always wanted to go to Valparaiso.”
Lindeman led the Panthers with 24 RBIs and 11 walks while batting .306 as a freshman. The 5-foot-7 pitcher posted a 3.55 ERA with six victories and 125 strikeouts in 88 2/3 innings.
“Where she’ll play is something that will play its way out,” Stevens said. “She would come into a good pitching staff. There is a chance we could play her on the right side of the infield or maybe the outfield.
"We know she’s versatile and we have to see where she fits best.”
The Crusaders made their second straight trip to the NCAA tournament last year largely on the arms of freshmen pitchers Taylor Weissenhofer and Sierra Pico.
Both return this season, but the Crusaders will have several holes in the lineup Lindeman could easily fill.
“I’m ready to pitch if (Stevens) needs me,” Lindeman said. “I’m ready to bat. I played a lot of outfield at PNC. I’ll play really anywhere that Coach needs me if I can help the team.”
Lindeman was a Third Team All-State selection as a Hebron senior (9-4, 0.79 ERA).
The pitcher led the Hawks to their first regional championship as a junior (15-5, 1.88 ERA) and was named First Team All-Area by the Northwest Indiana Times.