Eastwood graduate Lynsey McIntire never really put a lot of thought into playing college softball.
After high school, she decided to attend the University of Toledo. After some time there, she played in a summer league and with a couple rec teams.
“I never thought how much I would really miss playing,” she said. “After talking to a couple people who had played for Owens, I knew I wanted to play.”
So, McIntire transferred two seasons ago and recently wrapped up her junior college career by winning the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) player of the year award.
“I couldn’t believe I won it,” she said. “There is a lot of competition in [the] league and really I didn’t think I had much of a chance. Coach [Lanham] told me early in the season I was leading the league in batting average, but it never really dawned on me that I could be player of the year. It really meant a lot that the other coaches [in the league] noticed my talents among all the other strong athletes.”
McIntire played in 39 games overall, had 41 hits, seven doubles, three triples, 21 RBI, and finished with a .414 batting average – second on the team to First-Team All-American Amanda Temple. Her on base percentage was .483.
She also tied for the team lead in stolen bases with Mandy Hensley with 19.
“I’m a tough competitor and a smart offensive and defensive player who really loves the game,” she said.
It’s those qualities that McIntire used to help lead the Express to the brink of a trip to nationals, falling in the regional championship game to Lansing C.C. – the #2 team in the country. They won the conference championship in each of her two years at Owens.
“[The season] just blew by, but all in all, I really had so much fun,” she said. “The girls were so talented and we had some crazy fun times. Winning league was really exciting, and also getting second at regionals was an improvement from last year. Even though we didn’t make it to nationals, I thought we had a really successful season.”
McIntire came to Owens as a catcher and eventually moved to the outfield. She said that her focus on improving as an outfielder and her short game offense is what led to her success this past year.
“I started off as a catcher and ended up breaking my hand, which kind of hindered my confidence,” she said. “However, I came in this year with a new attitude and knew it was my last year at Owens so I wanted to lay it out all on the table. I think this year I became more aware of the defense when I was on offense so I could use bunts and slaps more to my advantage than just getting base hits.”
With her career at Owens finished, McInitre said she will remember her teammates and the times they spent on and off the field the most.
“You don’t realize the amount of time you spend together until you are done and you spend four hours in a jam packed van on the way to games or have a six a.m. practice together after just seeing them not even 10 hours before, at practice.
“Somehow we made every situation exciting, especially the two days we spent rolling snowballs off the field so we could play on Sunday. Throwing snowballs and tackling one another made the day go a little better. In all honesty, though, the best memories I have from Owens are with, and because of, my teammates.”
After receiving her associates degree, McIntire plans to transfer to Stautzenberger College to become a veterinary technician. As far as her athletic career, she said that will always find some way to play the game.
“I don’t know if I will continue playing in college, but I will always keep an open mind to that idea,” she said. “For right now, I am just looking forward to finishing up school.”