Nov. 18 – Tuscola senior Taryn Estes signed her letter of intent to pursue her college and softball career after graduating from Caldwell Community College in Hudson in front of a packed gymnasium on Nov. 16.
“It’s just overwhelming, to be honest,” Estes said. “It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m going to college for softball because at first I said, ‘I don’t want to do this. Then my family, my friends and my coaches told me “You are good” and [Caldwell CC] was interested in me, and everything started to change. I’m excited.”
Estes hit .279 last season and led the team with two homers with 15 RBIs (third on the team).
Her head coach, Lindsay Markos, said Caldwell has a girl who can hit the ball.
“If I pitched to her, I’d be worried. She’s got a big bat and is a threat at home plate,” Markos said.
Markos described Estes as “stubborn” in a good way.
“That’s what makes her great. She will set goals and get there,” Markos said. “The first year I coached her, she was in junior college. She led by example. She would come up to us and say, ‘We should do this drill. Or we should work on that, “which would help the team. She’s always setting goals and achieving them.”
“She’s done well all her life,” said Hank Estes, her father. [School and sports] became easy for her.”
Her mother, Linda Estes, said she was very proud of her daughter and it would be “surreal” to see her play college ball.
“We’re thrilled she’s decided to take it to the next level,” she said.
Caldwell is a public community college with just under 4,000 students enrolled. The Cobras compete in the National Junior College Athletic Association.
Linda Estes said the small campus was a perfect match for her daughter’s vision of the college experience.
“It was small, it was what she was looking for, and it had a great program,” Linda Estes said.
Estes said she fell in love with Caldwell the first time she visited campus.
“It was smaller, but that was what I wanted. I loved the vibe and not having 15,000 kids on campus,” she said.
Estes said she can’t wait to interact with her new team.
“I look forward to the family atmosphere that comes with a college team…and the bond with a coach,” she said.
Estes, who has a 4.39 GPA, plans to become an X-ray technician.