CROWN POINT | Six area softball players will partake in today's ICGSA North-South All-Star game for softball. Over 40 of Indiana's top players will be there.
Some are elite standouts heading to major colleges in the next couple of months.
Some are very good high school players who got there through guts and hard work.
Crown Point's Mandey Shrader is in the second group.
Mandey gives credit to her father, Jim Shrader, for getting her involved in softball. Her dad played and umpired slow pitch softball games for years.
"If I got an A in a class I was allowed to go to the fields and stay there late to watch my dad ump games," Mandey said. "My mom used to play, too. I was always at the field when I was young."
The doubleheader will be played today at Carmel's Cherry Tree Hill Softball Complex. The first pitch is scheduled for 10 a.m. local time.
Beyond Shrader, Chesterton's Megan Matheny, Munster's Emma Hodges, Lake Central's Kayla Bishton, Kankakee Valley's Alyssa Matson and Taurie Piatt will wear the coveted jersey.
Crown Point coach Ginger Britton will coach for the North team.
Shrader started at shortstop when Britton took over the Bulldogs two years ago.
"Mandey was so aggressive," Britton said. "She went after everything hard. She would lay out for balls on the field. But her biggest progression was at the plate.
"She is a humble player. It was an honor when I was named a coach. I know you don't get this type of recognition unless your girls play well. It's great that Mandey is on this team, too."
Shrader batted .360 for C.P., which was ranked in the Top 10 for most of this past season. She had 25 RBIs and 22 runs scored. She will play next season at Aurora College.
Shrader plans on studying special education where she can assist young kids as they work to have a better life.
"I was surprised when I learned I made the team, but very happy," Shrader said. "I always wanted to be a math teacher. But I've worked with special needs kids before and that is what I want to do."
Britton is excited to work with all of the area players today.
"It's nice to see all the hard work pay off," she said. "I am sure this is going to be a fun weekend."