Neva will attend William Jessup University on a scholarship

A second Lassen High School softball player will be attending college on a scholarship

Outfielder Neva Adams signed with William Jessup University Wednesday, Feb. 2, in the LHS Library.

Neva Adams, third from left, will attend William Jessup University on a softball scholarship this fall. Photo submitted

“I think it’s a great fit for me,” Adams said of the Rocklin, California school. “It’s not too big of a jump from Susanville. It’s a really small school — it’s obviously a change from home — but it’s not so big a change that it’s going to be something terribly terrifying. It’s comforting.”

Paul Moore, her softball coach at LHS agreed.

“I think it’s a great fit for her,” Moore said. “I think it’s actually a steal for William Jessup.”

Adams said she had an opportunity to attend college at a school in Chicago but going to a big city so far away from Susanville was “too much for me.”

Adams said she has always loved the competition in softball and pitting her abilities against the best players available in the sport. Jessup University will allow her to continue to improve and play against the best.

“They’re very competitive,” Adams said the Jessup University softball team. “Friday, they played the number one team in their conference, and they beat them. So, I’m going to a very competitive program that has a winning mindset. Even though it’s a small school, they really compete in their conference. They go for the title every year … I want to be surrounded by girls with the same mindset that I have — winning is a priority, and I know where I’m going that’s what the other girls are thinking, too … Having fun is a big part of it, but for me it’s not all fun if you’re not winning.”

“Neva may not look like a big-time college player,” said Moore, “but pound for pound she’s one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached. She does things you wouldn’t expect out of someone her size — she hits the ball out of the ballpark, she has a great arm and she’s one of the best outfielders in school history. Last year during the entire season she only struck out one time all year long.”

Adams said she plans to begin her college career living in the dorms with another softball player on campus the first year, “so that will be nice.”

And Adams recognizes college offers an opportunity, but she still has to keep working to improve her skills.

“I have a lot more work to put in to keep up with the athletes that I’ll be training with,” she said.

Athletes begin with God-given talent, but those natural Adams credits teammate Katie Marsh’s father Jon with helping develop and hone her softball skills. Marsh, the first player on this year’s LHS softball team to receive a softball scholarship, recently signed a National Letter of Intent to attend Sacramento State College.

“Her dad has always been my coach,” she said. “From the beginning he put a lot of hours into helping me be who I am … He spent countless hours working with me in a batting cage, pitching to me, helping me build my swing. He is the one who built that for me. He’s one of the main people who helped me get to where I am … She comes from a great family. She’s a hard-working kid and she teaches little kids and gives back to the game. She’s a great student, she’s in the top 25 in her class.”

“Someday when I retire, I’m going to write a book,” Moore said. “I don’t care about anybody reading it other than my former players and my family and there’s going to be a chapter called Katie and Neva, Neva and Katie. “They’re two great kids who are so much fun to coach. They’re great players.”

All that work and development paid off. At LHS last season, the left-handed Adams put up an impressive .560 batting average.

“I can hit all over the zone,” Adams said, and since most pitchers tend to go at lefties with a first pitch outside, she’s always looking for that. “I’m kind of lucky with that … The power hitting people look for a pitch inside because that’s how you hit homeruns, that’s their strong point. But me, I’m looking for base hits and a higher batting average rather than the homeruns, so getting big hits off that outside pitch is definitely my strong suit.”

Adams said she hits some homeruns, but she’s not really a power hitter.

“My strong suit is getting on base so those people behind me can come up and hit the homeruns,” she said. “I would rather have a higher batting average and get on base more than have a lower batting average with tons of homeruns.”

Adams said she plans to major in kinesiology and minor in business.

“My goal is to try and stay with the athletes and do athletic training or athletic physical therapy, but that could all change,” and she could go into other areas of physical therapy after she graduates. “I’d like to work with athletes so I could give back and help a lot of people,” she said.