WINONA LAKE – Grace College added a key piece to its softball recruiting puzzle with the signing of Wawasee High School catcher Paige Hlutke.
Hlutke has been a three-year starter at catcher for the Wawasee softball program. As a junior, Hlutke batted .244 with 13 runs scored and eight RBIs, but was a defensive asset for an all rookie pitching staff that helped Wawasee to its first sectional title since 2010. Hlutke was voted a team captain and should lead a very loaded team again in 2015.
Hlutke has earned three letters in softball and is also working on her second letter in volleyball this fall.
Grace College softball head coach Heather Johnson is ecstatic to add the Wawasee backstop.
“Paige is a great fit overall,” Johnson said Friday morning at the official signing at WHS. “She has a great sense of communication with her teammates, and really has a lot of those unteachable things you need as a softball player. The catcher is the general on the field, and I really liked how she took control with her team and pitchers. It’s hard to teach leadership, and she does a great job. And it helps that she is a great student in the classroom, as well.”
Hlutke, ranked No. 14 in her class of 206, is looking to study biomedical engineering at Grace. At Wawasee, Hlutke is a member of the Wawasee Leadership Committee and the National Honor Society.
“I was looking for a small, Midwest college that fit with my beliefs and values,” Hlutke said. “I’ve been impressed with what Grace has done with their softball program and I feel at home with the team and on the campus. I’m excited to continue my softball journey with Grace.”