While she still has her senior season of softball ahead of her, Manhattan High’s Jenna Stigge knows where she’ll be taking her talents once that season ends this spring.
Stigge signed a letter of intent to play softball at Ottawa University Wednesday afternoon.
As a junior, Stigge was second-team all-Centennial league while batting .375 with an on-base percentage higher than .500.
She was second in RBIs for the Indians, while being utilized all over the diamond defensively for coach Scott Mall. That versatility is part of what Ottawa coach Jay Kahnt liked about Stigge.
“Typically, at our level, you have a lot of girls that play specific positions, but it’s always nice to have one or two girls that you can put literally about anywhere on the field and you know they’ll be productive,” he said. “You’ve got to really utilize your roster. By having one of those two versatile girls that can play any infield or outfield position, it allows you to make your bench that much more productive.
“It’s very valuable to have someone with her versatility.”
Stigge, who plans to major in Biology at Ottawa, said the two-hour drive to Ottawa is the perfect distance to be away from home.
“I just liked the small-town environment,” Stigge said. “Coach Kahnt has always been in contact with me and he’s a really good coach. I’m so excited to join the program and it’s going to be a really good experience.
“It’s good being far enough away from home, but also being close by. And it’s a really good program.”
Kahnt said Stigge’s speed on the bases was also a factor in offering her a spot on the team.
“The very first time I watched her, we liked her presence on the basepaths,” he said. “For us, we love to be aggressive and do a lot of things on the basepahts, so we look for girls that have some speed. Every time I went to watch her, she was playing a different position, which really intrigued me.”