Trinity’s Russell commits to play softball at IUPUC


When Ally Russell would scroll through her phone and look at old pictures, she’d see so many of them filled with memories of playing softball.

She would then think to herself, “I don’t think I can give that up.”

So Russell, who recently graduated from Trinity Lutheran High School, filled out a form on Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus’ website to show interest in playing softball, and shortly after, she was contacted by IUPUC’s softball head coach.

Russell first talked with IUPUC in May, and now, she has officially decided to commit there to continue her athletic and academic careers.

“Before that, I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to play in college or not because I knew it would be a big step and hard to be in college, take a lot of classes and be on the field for a lot of hours,” Russell said. “I’ve come to the conclusion I can do it if I organize my schedule correctly and have the focus to get it all done.”

Russell is fresh off of a historic run with the Cougars’ softball team this past spring. She was in a group of seniors that captured their first sectional championship, and then they kept going.

The Cougars won the program’s first regional title and competed in the semistate semifinal game.

“It was really, really special,” Russell said. “We had a bit of a rough time in the middle of the season because we dealt with a lot of injuries, but we worked through it. I think it helped us as a team because we had to go through so many difficult times to get to that spot. I feel like it was just amazing because we worked so hard to get through the regular season. Then we got that spark and fire in our eye that we don’t want to be done.”

Russell made The Tribune’s all-county team from her play last season. She had a .352 batting average, 25 hits, 13 stolen bases, 22 runs, nine RBI and a .938 fielding percentage as the team’s shortstop.

When Trinity lost 4-1 to Hauser to end its season, Russell knew she didn’t want her career to end.

“I knew after our semistate that I had a lot to give to the game and to learn from it,” she said. “I didn’t want it to end because I fell in love with the sport.”

On top of playing softball at IUPUC, Russell is going to major in elementary education and minor in special education. She comes from a family of teachers, so this is a career path in which Russell has always been interested.

She also is happy she’ll be close to home. She said she focused more on where she wanted to go for college as opposed to what she wanted to do.

“For me, it was kind of obvious to go to IUPUC because it’s closer and I wanted to still have that connection with my family,” she said. “I can also come back and watch Trinity play. I’m so excited to go and watch them play and see how they do.”

All in all, the graduated Cougar is eager to get her life started at IUPUC, and she’s glad softball gets to be a part of that college experience.

“I’m very thankful, excited and grateful for it,” Russell said. “There’s a connection you have with a sport that you’ve been playing for a really long time, and you start to look back at all the memories you have with them, and you don’t want it to stop. I’m thrilled and excited to play at the next level.”

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