MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- Jessica Calvini always knew where she wanted to attend college and also play softball.
The Rye Neck senior and stand-out pitcher focused on Lehigh University. Her logic was easy to understand.
I loved the balance of everything, said Calvini, who will be Rye Necks No. 1 pitcher for a fifth varsity season. Between the academics and athletics, the overall environment and feel of the school, I loved everything about it.
Calvini will take her softball talents to the Patriot League school in Bethlehem, Pa., where she plans on majoring in education and playing softball.
Calvini, who has been instrumental in leading Rye Neck to three consecutive Section 1 Class B softball championship games, had many discussions with her parents concerning school. Calvini wanted to continue playing softball, but academics were the major factor in her decision.
On her official visit to Lehigh, Calvini and her parents met with 17-year softball coach Fran Troyan, who has guided the Mountain Hawks to 13 Patriot League regular-season titles.
When my parents and I spoke to him, he stressed family, Calvini said. His wife coaches the womens basketball team. He is a family man and we were able to connect with him. That was very real. He also had a sense of loyalty to his players and he stressed the team as a family.
Calvini first met Troyan, unofficially, attending a softball clinic where he was the instructor.
I loved the way he ran the clinic, Calvini said. He was so interactive with every players. It was so much fun and I learned so much.
Calvini will go in next fall and said she will play anywhere she is needed. She pointed out that she plays first base on her travel softball team and is the No. 2 pitcher. If she is not pitching next year, Calvini looks forward to playing the field because in college, the pitchers dont usually hit. As much as Calvini enjoys stifling offenses, she looks forward to when she has the bat in her hand.
The incoming Lehigh freshman found herself rooting for the mens basketball team during the NCAA tournament as the Mountain Hawks upset Duke in the first round. That was so exciting and made it so much fun to watch, Calvini said.
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