PERKINSTON — Kristen Cade will continue her already outstanding collegiate softball career, having signed a scholarship to play at the Division I power University of Louisiana.
"It's a top-20 program, and I couldn't miss the opportunity," Cade said. "The coach is really nice and everything about him and his staff made me really interested in going."
In fact, the Ragin' Cajuns finished in the top 10 of the national rankings and were one out away from advancing to the College World Series. They finished 52-6 under coach Gerry Glasco.
Cade went 15-5 with a 2.70 ERA in her freshman season at Gulf Coast. She struck out 173 batters, ninth in NJCAA Division II, and finished fifth in the country in strikeouts per seven innings. She threw a no-hitter with nine strikeouts in a 12-1 win at Southwest and had two two-hitters.
She struck out 12 batters in a 2-0 win over Highland and added three other 11-strikeout performances.
The recipe for her success is easy to pinpoint for new Bulldogs coach Eric Neel.
"Her work ethic, No. 1," he said. "She's evolved as a pitcher these last six months. We've gone from a hard-thrower to where now we can mix it and mix it on the upper levels and lower levels. She's done what she needs to do to be able to pitch at that next level."
Cade credits the coaches she's had at Perk with that improvement.
"In high school, I just wanted to strike everybody out," she said. "But now thanks to all the coaches I've had here, it's do what you have to do to get your team where they need to be."
For more information on MGCCC's 10 intercollegiate athletic teams, follow @MGCCCBulldogs on Twitter and MGCCCBulldogs on Facebook, and go to mgcccbulldogs.com.