McDonald Inks With Lady Rams

May 12, 2008 | RSS

Bluefield, Va. -- Amber McDonald didn't take long to decide on her collegiate destination.


McDonald, a product of Woodrow Wilson High School (Beckley, W.Va.), knew within a matter of minutes of stepping onto the Bluefield College campus that BC is where she wanted to spend the next four years.

Amber McDonald signs her letter of intent with Bluefield College on Saturday afternoon.  She is surrounded by her mom, Macel (seated, left), brother, Ryan (seated, right), cousin, Zela Hess (standing, left), and BC head softball coach Lauren Shepard.


"As soon as I showed up (on campus), I knew this is where I really belonged," McDonald said. "The Christian atmosphere was very evident."


"The coaches, players, faculty, staff, and the whole campus community made me feel like I was already a part of the team and the school. I just knew from that point that Bluefield College was the place for me."


Lady Rams' head coach Lauren Shepard believes that Amber will contribute right away in many different areas.


"Amber should fit right in," Shepard said. "She has a great drop ball and should really complement our other two pitchers (Allison Quesenberry and Vicky Martin)."


McDonald, who was senior team captain, primarily played three positions (pitcher, shortstop, second base) while at Woodrow Wilson, but can be used virtually anywhere on the diamond.


"I consider myself a utility player because I can play pretty much any position and I've been playing softball since I was five years old," McDonald stated. "I started taking pitching lessons when I was 10."


While McDonald excels on the mound, she most enjoys showcasing her defensive abilities.


"I really like to play defense, especially first base because I can get a really good stretch on the ball," McDonald said.


"She should make an immediate impact on the mound," Shepard said. "She will give us quality innings and give our other pitchers some well-deserved, much-needed relief."


Shepard recognizes McDonald's diversity and will utilize her in many different ways.


"Amber is a very capable field player, and she will learn a lot from Courtney Upham (at shortstop)," Shepard said. "We look for Amber to continue to develop as the season progresses and really improve the team."


McDonald, who plans to major in exercise and sport science and hopes to become a physical therapist, realizes that the transition from high school to collegiate softball will not be easy, but she is well-equipped to take on the challenge that lies ahead.


"I'm really excited about playing college ball and am ready for the new challenge," McDonald said.


Shepard, a former Lady Ram standout, knows how important it is to bring in local student-athletes, and she hopes that McDonald is the first of many to come.


"I was recruited from Tazewell HS, so I know how important it is to have the local support and local players on the team," Shepard indicated.


"It helps Bluefield College to expand the program and allow the community to get involved."


"I try to divy them up (signings) between local and non-local girls as much as possible," Shepard noted. "Signing Amber really opens the doors as far as the West Virginia side of high school softball."