NEW PALESTINE — The seed was planted four years ago. While Adie Lorsung walked the hallways of her new surroundings, her future became clearer with each step and picture she looked at with admiration.
At that moment, Lorsung knew she wanted to leave New Palestine with her photo hanging there.
“The high school has the hall of fame with pictures of everyone who’s ever made first-team all-state,” Lorsung said. “When I would walk down those hallways my freshman year, and seeing the seniors that had made it before, I wanted that to be a goal of mine. I wanted my picture in that hallway.”
Now, the Indiana State University signee can be someone else’s inspiration.
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Named First-Team All-State as a senior and invited to participate in the 2015 ICGSA North-South All-Star Game on Saturday in Carmel, the hard-hitting shortstop smacked both of her career goals out of the park.
Yet, as with any aspiration, it required sacrifice, patience and timing. Lorsung instinctively possesses all three.
A four-year varsity starter, Lorsung’s trek from obscure outfielder to prominent cleanup hitter was a matter of progression. One she embraced.
“Very few players come in and are able to contribute right away your freshman year, and Adie was one of them,” New Palestine head coach Ed Marcum said. “She came in and was our starting right fielder and steadily improved every year. That is the key. Being a freshman on varsity is tough … because you’re kind of on your own, so being able to contribute all four years is something rare. Adie did a great job with it.”
In her first season, Lorsung’s plan was singular — break into the lineup. Once she gained the trust of her coach and the opportunity, the numbers started to fall into place.
In 29 games, she hit .378 and drove in 16 runs. Her production ramped up the following spring with a .395 batting average and 13 more RBIs, but it wasn’t until her third year when the swagger appeared.
Shedding her greener past for the gritty terrain of the infield, Lorsung scooped up the chance to become a team leader. When thrust into the heart of Marcum’s batting order, she never looked back.
As a junior, Lorsung’s RBI totals spiked to 44, and her batting average and home run totals reached a career-high at .536 and seven. This past spring, she remained consistent with a .485 average and eight home runs.
“Hitting is confidence, and Adie got off to a such a tremendous start this year that I think her confidence just continued to grow, kind of the same way it did last year,” Marcum said. “That’s the way it is with hitting. You get on a roll; and when things are going your way, it’s a whole lot easier to be confident when stepping in the box in those crucial situations.”
Few were as prolific with runners on base. Driving in a personal best 56, Lorsung nearly chased down the state’s single-season RBI record.
Michelle Marcum set the bar at 65 in 2010. Two years prior, younger sibling Alyssa Marcum, now an assistant coach alongside her father, rewrote history with 57 RBIs with the Dragons.
“It’s going to make the state record book,” Marcum said. “She was right there. If we would have won the sectional championship and had been able to continue, I think she certainly would have had a great shot at it.”
After falling to eventual Class 4A state champion Center Grove 8-7 in nine innings during the Sectional 13 finals last month, Lorsung finished her career with 145 RBIs through 112 games.
Her home run contributions helped the Dragons establish a state standard for any team in a single season with 34.
“She had a great career, and to me the all-star game should be based on the type of career you had instead of just a one-year deal,” Marcum said. “She’s driven in a lot of runs, and I think that’s a big part of why she was recognized.”
At the Cherry Tree Softball Complex where this year’s all-stars will play a doubleheader, beginning at 11 a.m., Lorsung will have another shot to add to her reputation as one of the state’s best.
“It’s always been a goal of mine since my freshman year. I always wanted to be part of the all-star team and be First-Team All-State. When I got that news that I accomplished both of those things, I was speechless,” remarked Lorsung, who will play for the South All-Stars.
“A lot of the players that are on this all-star team are going to go play college, so it’s pretty much a get-together of seniors that are furthering their softball experience. That’s something I’m really looking forward to.”
Lorsung Career at a Glance
On-base plus slugging;1.336;1.530;1.020;1.018
Runs batted in;56;44;29;16
2015 ICGSA North-South All-Star Game
When: 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Cherry Tree Softball Complex, 13989 Hazel Dell Parkway (at Cherry Tree Elementary) in Carmel
What: North-South All-Star doubleheader
Admission: $5 per person