Senior Tayler Arndt’s reputation as a softball player with elite potential preceded her at Clyde High School.
A little more than three years later, Arndt signed her national letter of intent Monday with Division II University of Rio Grande to continue her career.
“The coaches were so friendly, joking and having a good time,” Arndt said of her visit in October. “It felt like home away from home already. I loved how everything was within walking distance.”
Arndt was 5-for-5 and drove in 10 runs in a victory over Tiffin Columbian as a sophomore. The mark, which includes a grand slam, is third best in the state all time.
“She’s very competitive,” Fliers coach Marc Marshall said. “She is self motivated. She likes to compete. Offensively, her willingness to hit the ball to all fields … a lot of young girls just want to pull the ball, but she’ll hit it where it’s pitched.”
Arndt also is an asset defensively.
“She’s always done a good job blocking balls and handling pitches in the dirt,” Marshall said. “That allows pitchers to throw more pitches with confidence she’ll block it.
“It’s always nice to see kids who have put in as much effort as she has into softball get rewarded with a scholarship to continue to play.”
Arndt has dealt with injury adversity as a Flier, but maintained a positive outlook about her future. She broke her ankle as a freshman and screws weren’t removed until she was a junior.
“I knew coming back I’d be the same as I was before,” she said. “The goal was to be stronger. I knew I just needed to push to get back.”
Qualifying to the district finals was noteworthy last season because it was a family affair. Individual goals for the spring season include first-team all-district “or better” status while Arndt wants to advance even further as a team.
“It was the first year that my sister and I got to play together,” Arndt said of Kennedy Arndt. “That’s always been a dream.”
Earning the opportunity to play softball in college is pretty special, too.