By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
PLEASANT HILL — Erin Norman’s biggest concern when it came to choosing a college to attend may have been having to make a choice at all.
“I was a little stressed, but I also felt like I had a lot of options, so I was excited about that,” the Newton High School senior said. “But I … am a really bad decision maker. So it was also really stressful.”
Luckily, Bluffton practically made the decision for her.
Norman signed her national letter of intent to attend Bluffton University in mid-March, choosing to play softball for the Division III Beavers, members of the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Norman said the the environment — particularly the small-school atmosphere, coming from a high school like Newton — as well as the people were the biggest things drawing her towards Bluffton.
“I really liked the community there,” Norman said. “I prefer smaller schools, so it was perfect. The coaches there were awesome, too. I loved the coaches, and the players were a bunch of really nice girls. I went to a camp during the winter, and I got to stay overnight.”
For Norman, one of the leaders and one of only two seniors on the Indians varsity softball team, the other options evaporated once she got to experience what Bluffton had to offer.
“Ohio Wesleyan was a possibility … but when I got to Bluffton, it just kind of clicked,” Norman said. “I knew that was where I wanted to go.”
The choice of college was the only future decision that was difficult for her, too. Norman already knows what she is going to Bluffton for — she plans on double-majoring in early childhood education and intervention.
And with her senior season with the Indians just about to start when she made the commitment, Norman said it was a weight off her shoulders going into her final softball season at Newton — a team that she saw plenty of success with last year. The Indians won the outright Cross County Conference championship and reached the Division IV regional tournament in the postseason for the first time since 2015, with the season coming to an end in a regional semifinal loss.
“Definitely,” she said when asked if signing took the pressure off. “We just want to be a close team and win as many games as possible.”
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.