CROWN POINT | Miranda Elish has yet to throw her first pitch as a high school softball player, but the Crown Point freshman already has her college plans laid out.
Perhaps the Region's next Mel Dumezich has arrived?
Elish recently verbally committed to play for coach Mike White at the University of Oregon. She made her choice on Sept. 22 on a visit with her parents, Casey and Dawn.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet," Elish said. "I've already committed to a college. It's unreal."
Elish dominated travel softball in Northwest Indiana for years as a youngster. The power pitcher who throws in the mid 60s now pitches for the Beverly Bandits, an elite travel team in Chicago.
That's where her connection to White began, she said.
In January, Elish attended the DeMarini Top 100 camp in Chicago, where White was teaching. He liked what he saw when she threw and hit.
She was invited to a camp at Oregon a month later. The conversation continued.
"We talked about once a week," Elish said.
On Sept. 21 they visited the Ducks' campus. It was a thrill, she said.
"We tailgated at the football game and I got to stand on the sidelines during the game," Elish said. "The environment was awesome. They have a really good support system there."
Elish, a member of Crown Point's girls basketball team, has played eight consecutive weekends of softball. She will be in another tournament this weekend in Florida.
After that it will be all basketball while the season unfolds.
White pitched for the New Zealand and American national teams. Last year the Ducks made it to No. 5 in the national polls and advanced to the school's second College World Series.
"I'm excited," she said. "I can't wait to get there."
But being a ninth grader, of course, she will.