Local softball player earns scholarship to U.S. university



By Ron Giofu


Alyssa Marshall’s softball talents have earned her a scholarship to a U.S. university.

Marshall, a Grade 12 student at General Amherst High School, signed a letter of intent to play softball at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Siena Heights University competes in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference in the NAIA.

Marshall received an athletic and academic scholarship and plans on majoring in nursing.

“I was offered a scholarship about a month ago,” she said. “It was exciting.”

Marshall had toured several other schools but Siena Heights was the school for her.

“I loved how small the campus was,” she said. “I got a real homey feeling there. The coaches look out for their athletes there, too. This one seems like the better fit for me.”

Alyssa Marshall (left) signs with Siena Heights University. She is seated with head coach Laura Klutsarits. (Submitted photo)

Going to Siena Heights University didn’t always look to be the case for Marshall, who e-mailed the school last year and didn’t get a reply. However, she did finally get an e-mail a couple of months ago and that led her to being interviewed and eventually signing the letter of intent.

Marshall is a catcher and second baseman, though she said she is willing to play any position in order to be on the field. The Amherstburg native currently plays travel softball for the Michigan Generals organization. Marshall said she went to the U.S. so that she would be exposed to more coaches from universities.

“You play more tournaments where you are exposed to coaches,” she said.

Marshall said she has been playing softball for about ten years. She got her start with the McGregor house league program then moved on to play travel softball with the Windsor Lady Expos, Windsor Wildcats and the Amherstburg Cardinals Fastpitch Club.

“My dream is to play in the Olympics but that is quite a big shot,” she said.

Back row (from left): Rob Marshall (father), Mindy Marshall (mother), Gord Marshall (grandfather), coach Laura Klutsarits, Front row: Alyssa Marshall, Emma Marshall (sister). (Submitted photo)

Marshall said she enjoys softball and playing with others that have the same desire and passion she does. She enjoys the “good feeling you get when you win” a game.

Marshall thanked her family for their support over the years, as well as her coaches and teammates “for giving me the experience to be able to play.”

Villanova student earns softball scholarship to American university



By Ron Giofu


The softball talents of Chloe Gignac have earned her a scholarship to an American university.

Gignac, a Grade 12 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, has earned an academic and athletic scholarship to Spring Arbor University, located in Spring Arbor, Michigan. While she verbally committed about six months ago, the 17-year-old officially signed with Spring Arbor University last Wednesday afternoon in Villanova’s auditorium surrounded by friends and family.

“I’m pretty excited,” she said. “I’ve been working towards this goal for a while. It’s nice to finally get it accomplished.”

Chloe Gignac, a Grade 12 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, officially signs with Spring Arbor University at a ceremony last Wednesday afternoon. At left is Spring Arbor head coach Deb Thompson with pitching coach Joe Robertson being at right.

Gignac said she started playing T-ball when she was five-years-old and transitioned into softball. She started playing in the United States when she was 12-years-old for the increased competition and has been playing there ever since.

Her choice of post-secondary institutions is something she is happy with.

“It’s obviously close to home. The coaches are great. It’s like a big softball family,” said Gignac.

Gignac pointed out it was “a choice between a couple of schools” but landed on Spring Arbor, adding the university has a beautiful campus. She also said she met the Spring Arbor team and that helped her with her decision as well.

The shortstop/outfielder said she enjoys everything about the sport.

Chloe Gignac (seated, at left) is joined by her family at the signing ceremony in the St. Thomas of Villanova auditorium last Wednesday. Also pictured are her
mother Deb, father, Perry and sister Avery.

“It’s a whole other world to escape to,” said Gignac. “I like the team atmosphere. I have such a good time.”

Gignac’s goals softball-wise is to help the Spring Arbor team be the best it can be over the four years she is there. Career-wise, she is undecided as to what her major will be.

Spring Arbor head coach Deb Thompson said they first noticed Gignac while she was playing for her U.S. team and it seemed like she would be a good fit for their program.

“She’s a great person. It seems she works very hard,” said Thompson. “We’re always looking for athletes who want to give it their all.”

Thompson said Gignac has good speed, a good arm as well as a good bat. Spring Arbor spent about one year scouting Gignac.

“She’s got a lot of tools she can use,” Thompson stated, who plans on using Gignac as a middle infielder and an outfielder.

General Amherst women’s softball player heading to Madonna University



By Jolene Perron


When she started playing softball at the age of five, Brooklyn Prescott never dreamed she’d get this far.

“I’m so proud of myself for everything I’ve gone through and all of the hard work,” said Prescott. “It feels great, it’s a huge relief to finally get what I’ve been working hard for. This was the goal, but I never thought I would get here, so I’m excited.”

Brooklyn Prescott, currently a Grade 12 General Amherst student, signs her agreement to go to Madonna University to play softball after acquiring a scholarship package from both the athletic department and her for her merit.

After attending a camp at Madonna University in Grade 11, she started attending their games, went on to attend winter camps and through conversations with Jerry Abraham, women’s softball coach at Madonna University, she formed a rapport.

“I’ve watched her play a lot and travel, and she just fit in with our players,” said Abraham. “She’s a quality young lady and a quality player. She’s just a gem of a person. She’s a multiple asset for us. She’s a pitcher, she hits the ball well, she plays a variety of defensive positions, we’re very excited about it.”

Jerry Abraham, women’s softball coach at Madonna University, signs General Amherst Grade 12 student Brooklyn Prescott to play for him next year.

Abraham said their softball team at Madonna University is very successful, and they have been to a national tournament two of the last four years. He said he plans on also recruiting her sister down the road.

Prescott will be receiving a $10,000 scholarship through softball for the first year, on top of a merit, or academic scholarship, which has yet to be determined exactly.

Brooklyn Prescott (sitting, center) signs her agreement to go to Madonna University to play softball after acquiring a scholarship package from both the athletic department and her for her merit. Her mom Nicole Prescott (left), sister Savannah Prescott (center) and father Mike Prescott were present with flowers and gifts to congratulate and support her October 31.

Abraham explained, Madonna University, much like other Universities in the United States, puts together packages for their players which include merit scholarships, athletic money and other miscellaneous monies they can earn through other scholarships.

“I’m very excited and very proud, she has put in a lot of hard work,” said Prescott’s mom, Nicole. “It’s been many years, a lot of hours that she’s put in, sacrifices she’s had to make and she got her dream.”