The following article first appeared in the Cornerstone Athletics' monthly sports newsletter, The Talon, which is available in the March 2013 edition. Heidi Warmelink and the Cornerstone Golden Eagles will take to the road this weekend, playing Grace College on Friday and Spring Arbor University on Saturday.
The Golden Eagles' Heidi Warmelink is a competitor on the softball field.
The junior's competitive mentality is evident from the moment she steps onto the softball field. Whether walking to home plate and hitting a home run or stepping onto the pitching mound, Warmelink attacks the game with full force.
"I have always been a really competitive person so I am pretty easily motivated. I love to win and I love to compete but my main motivation is to bring glory to God through what I do on the field. My family and my fiancé are also great motivators for me. They come to every game and cheer me on even on my off days."
The right hander started playing tee ball when she was in first grade. This moved on to recreational softball in first grade until she started playing travel ball in fifth grade and has been playing ever since.
"I used to play a lot of sports but softball has always been one of my favorites. I was naturally good at it from a young age and that encouraged me to keep getting better. I played AAU basketball in elementary and middle school while playing high school basketball for two years. I also played volleyball in middle school but I wanted to focus on softball once I got to high school."
Warmelink started playing travel ball in fifth grade where they traveled all over the state while playing indoors in Indiana and Illinois against some of the top teams in the country. During high school ball, she played for the "Blaze". The team consisted of girls from all over the state where they traveled all over the country participating in tournaments and even nationals in Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Owensboro, Ky. Alongside the Blaze, Warmelink played at Wayland High. There she played on varsity all four years while serving as team captain for three. As a freshman, Heidi helped her team reach the state semi-finals.
The pitcher racked up several high school honors during her four years at Wayland Union High School. She was named to the All-Conference Team all four years, All-State Team for three years, and was nominated for Miss Softball her senior year. During her senior year, Warmelink had signed with the Cornerstone softball team so did not try out for any travel ball clubs. Instead, she was a substitute player for the Elite 18U team.
"I had a lot of fun getting to know some of the girls on the Elite team. I even get to play against some of them now in our conference."
The accomplished pitcher was first introduced to Cornerstone when she used to stay with her cousin in the dorm during middle school. When she got serious about looking into college, she knew she didn't want to attend a big Division 1 NCAA school.
"After playing at one of the top levels as a high schooler, I realized that life was about more than just softball. I wanted to grow in my faith as a Christian and surround myself with other believers that could become lifelong friends. I truly believe that this is where God has intended me to be at this stage of my life."
Cornerstone turned out to be a good pick for the right-handed pitcher. She has been named to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference All-Conference Team for two years, and was named to the All-American HM Team her freshman year.
Besides playing softball, Warmelink loves to draw, pant, and take pictures. She also is an outdoors kind of girl when the weather is nice. In the summer, she enjoys going fishing with her dad or go tubing down the river at her grandparents' cabin.
After graduation next year, the accomplished pitcher is plans to get married to her fiancé and begin searching for a teaching, reading, and language arts position at the elementary level.
The 2013 CU softball season is underway and the Golden Eagles are off to one of their best starts since the 2006 season. The Golden Eagles participated at the NTC Spring Games during the Cornerstone spring break on March 2-9. The team left with a 10-2 record led by Warmelink's 6-1 record. The right handed pitcher was named WHAC Pitcher of the Week with a 0.72 ERA during the week while recording four complete games. She allowed just 20 hits and recorded one shutout game against Bellevue University. Warmelink held her opponents to a 0.146 BA while striking out 39 batters and walking only five.
Warmelink is excited about the potential the team could have this year in the conference and has set high goals for this year.
"I am looking forward to growing together as a team. After playing in Florida for 10 days, I am excited to begin conference play. My goal is to make it to nationals this year. CU softball has had a bad name for the last few years and I truly feel like this year is our chance to change that. We have a young team but we have lots of potential. I have no doubt in my mind that this team can put up a good fight in the conference this season."
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