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Diamonds in the Dirt: Valpo's Maya Seifert excited about playing at Yale

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While Valparaiso isn't a metropolis, it isn't a cow town, either, with one stop light and two barns with one silo.

Maya Seifert is a senior on the Vikings softball team, a tremendously athletic center fielder. During the rain delay in Wednesday's game against Chesterton, she summarized why she chose to play her college ball at Yale.

"I've always considered myself a city girl," Seifert said.

The prestigious Ivy League school is located in New Haven, Connecticut.

Which is a perfect spot for this true student-athlete.

"It's an hour and a half from New York and two hours from Boston," Seifert said. "And it's three hours from my grandparents. My family is from the East Coast so I always wanted to play out there."

Seifert is hitting .583 for the Vikings with 20 runs scored. And on three different occasions, Chesterton coach LouAnn Hopson stopped a runner at third, not wanting to test Seifert's arm.

She plans on majoring in bio medical mathematics.

"I always wanted to go to a high academic school so Yale is the perfect choice for me," she said. "It's very exciting."

The 'Big Guy' to be enshrined

Hopson confirmed on Wednesday that former Hanover Central coach Larry McMillen will be inducted into the Indiana Softball Hall of Fame this June. The man who started the Wildcats softball program and led them for several decades retired from coach at Hanover three years ago, after leading the program to three straight semistates.

Hanover Central won the 2004 Class 2A state championship with McMillen leading the way.

Congratulations "Big Guy," as the folks in Cedar Lake called him. This is a well-deserved honor.

"We can't have a Hall of Fame if he isn't in it," Hopson said.

"Madi" Square Garden

After Monday's win at Munster, Crown Point coach Pete Iussig was asked by a reporter if he could speak with Madi about the 9-2 victory.

He replied, "Which one? We have four of them."

Yes, the Bulldogs have senior Madison Pizer, freshman Madi Elish, freshman Maddie Adams and freshman Madi Young. Throw in junior Maggie Ballentine, and you could see how there could be some dugout confusion with all the sound a likes.

Coach, with three freshmen with the same first name, now would be a good time to get some nicknames.

Game of the Week

Chesterton senior Hayley Edmonds in last Saturday's 14-4 win at Mishawaka. She swung the bat like a cavewoman, hitting a grand slam and then hitting a solo shot in a walk off.

On a team this deep and this good getting, at-bats are sometimes difficult to obtain, but Edmonds took advantage of her opportunities in a big way.

Congrats young lady.

Polling the state

With the state tournament draw coming out last Sunday, the need for state polls is soon coming to an end. In a few weeks, the teams and players will get to prove to the voters who is the best of the best.

But in this week's state polls, the Region was well represented once again.

In Class A, Morgan Twp. is tied at No. 4. South Central is ranked No. 7. And that is it among Region programs.

In Class 2A, Boone Grove sits at No. 6. And put your hands in the air like you just don't care for the Wheeler Bearcats, who made their first appearance at No. 15. Nicely done, ladies. And North Newton received some votes in the 2A tally.

In Class 3A, crickets. Nothing. Notta. Not one 3A school in our area received one stinking vote. Really? Who is going to step up and say, "Not in my house?"

And in Class 4A, Crown Point was No. 2 and Lake Central was No. 4. But those digits will be dialed back after the Indians pounded the Bulldogs earlier this week. And Chesterton came in at No. 11.

Kankakee Valley and Munster also received some votes in the 4A foray.

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Sports reporter

Steve has won awards during two different stints at The Times. In addition to being the Prep Beat columnist, he covers football, boys basketball and boys track. He is a long-suffering Cubs fan.