Amazing Ellie: Warren senior Lobdell to continue softball career at Cal U

Watching Ellie Lobdell pitch is a thing of beauty.

The Warren Area High School senior intimidates opponents when she’s on the mound with overpowering velocity and precise location. She is perhaps the most uncomfortable at-bat in District 10.

California University of Pennsylvania is one of many school’s that recognized her talent, and that’s where she will continue to academic and athletic career in the fall.

“I realized this is something I want to do beyond high school when I started going to national tournaments and being exposed to collegiate level competition,” she said.

She started playing softball around age 11, and the passion only grew.

“I really fell in love with the sport about freshman year, when I was 14,” she said.

That love and passion is evident every time she steps on the mound and in the batters box.

And she shares it with someone very special, her sister, Emily.

“She has had such a big impact on me by being such a fantastic pitcher and person,” she said. “I look up to her so much and I’m so thankful of how supportive she is of me and how we can share our love for softball together.”

Emily went on to start at Slippery Rock University and Ellie is following in her footsteps, but also has forged her own path at the same time.

Growing up and even recently, Ellie, as you can imagine, has many fond memories playing the game.

And while there will still be many more to follow, several stick out to her.

“Some of my specific fondest memories of playing softball growing up are hitting my first grand slam in an all-star game and getting third place in the state with the 2013 all-star team,” she said.

“There are so many memories, but just in general being part of a team that grew up together and became best friends. I am so thankful to have been part of teams with great players and coaches.”

And many memories certainly aren’t just limited to what happens on the field

“I just have to mention one of my absolute favorite things from softball tournaments, pickles on a stick,” she said.

She will take all those memories, all of her amazing accomplishments and her fun-loving personality to Cal, a school where she feels at home.

“CalU is the right fit for me because academically, it has the career I want to study,” she said. “I love the campus and how little and homey it is. The coaching staff and team is amazing and I couldn’t imagine myself with any other team.”

And as for a potential major?

“I am still finalizing my specific major, but considering various public service fields,” she said.

She is a pitcher first and foremost, and had her most dominant season to date as a junior. She more than cut her walk total in half while posting a ridiculous 0.86 ERA and 192 strikeouts in 114 innings pitched.

But, as her .382 average and four homers last season would indicate, she’s much more than that, and will do whatever is asked of her as a Vulcan.

“My main focus in college is pitching, but in terms of being able to play multiple positions, I will play anywhere the team needs me in order to help them in any way and at any time,” she said.

And her high school head coach, Jon Sitler, recognizes not only her versatility on the field, but her humble and fun-loving personality off of it.

“Ellie Lobdell is not only a wonderful teammate, pitcher, and hitter, but also a wonderful person. I have enjoyed getting to know her and her family, and she has been a friend and mentor to my own daughter — and a great one at that. I wish her all the best,” Sitler said. “Ellie is not braggadocious, rather even more humble than you’d imagine. She has improved greatly every season, from Little League on up. I am excited for her senior season, after seeing the level of her competition and success this past summer in travel softball. She will no doubt continue to work hard and improve.”

Not only has she earned the respect of her coaches, but her teammates as well, many of whom she has played with for a long time.

“Ellie is a player who has learned to never give up, and always strive to be the best that she can,” said Warren senior Kiersten Hoffman, who will also play college softball at Edinboro. “Not only have we played together for many years through high school and travel, we have always been best friends even off the field. Collegiate ball is a whole other level, and I can not wait to play with each other for the next four years even on opposing teams!”

And before she heads off to Cal, there are high expectations awaiting her and her Warren teammates this spring. Coming off an appearance in the District 10 title game, you can guess what one of their main goals are.

“Now that I have signed and I look ahead to the spring, some goals I have for the team are to win D-10 and make a strong run for the state title,” she said. “Individually, I am prepared to step up and contribute any way I am asked.”

And as one of a number of players on the softball team that were on the volleyball team that made an epic run to the state championship game, she feels that success will only help this team.

” I think the success in volleyball will definitely have a positive effect of the softball team because we have proven that if we work hard and as a team we can accomplish great things.”