MUNCIE, Ind. - - Rachel Houck (Greenfield, Ind./Mt. Vernon/Louisville) and India Steward (Matteson, Ill./Rich South/Western Kentucky) have signed scholarship papers to play for the Ball State softball team according to head coach Tyra Perry.
Houck, a 5-foot-5 infielder, played in 14 games as a freshman at Louisville last season, while Steward, a 5-foot-3 outfielder, played in 50 games as a freshman at Western Kentucky last season. Both players will have three years of eligibility with the Cardinals starting in the 2015 season.
“We are very excited to add Rachel and India to our program,” Perry said. “Rachel played multiple sports in high school and understands how to successfully fulfill her role. She has the potential to be a powerhouse at the plate and can play first or third base. India will bring the boost of speed we need to both our offense and defense. She is a very athletic player and understands the game.”
Houck played in 14 games with one start as a freshman at Louisville, helping the Cardinals win the American Athletic Conference Championship and earn a berth in the Tucson Regional of the NCAA Softball Championship. Her first collegiate hit was a pinch-hit RBI double in the Cards’ 7-0 victory over St. John’s (Feb. 9). She finished the season with three runs scored, while also drawing a walk and being hit by a pitch.
Prior to playing at Louisville, Houck was a four-year letterwinner in softball for coach Mike McGill at Mt. Vernon High School in Fortville, Ind. She was named the 2013 Indy Star Sportswoman of the Year after helping lead her softball team to a sectional title and her basketball team to an Indiana Class 3A State Championship as a senior. A two-time first-team all-state selection in softball, Houck posted a .438 batting average as a senior, while finishing her career as the program’s all-time home run leader at 40. She also earned four letters in basketball and was the 2013 Class 3A Mental Attitude Award recipient.
Steward, who was recruited by Perry to play at Western Kentucky, saw action in 50 games for the Lady Toppers last season, making 31 starts in the outfield. She finished the season with 13 hits, including three triples and a pair of doubles. Steward, who ranked fourth on the squad with eight stolen bases, scored 14 runs on the year while adding six RBI. Her first collegiate hit was a RBI triple in WKU’s season-opening 9-1 (6 inn.) win over Liberty (Feb. 7).
Prior to her one season at Western Kentucky, Steward played travel ball for the Southern Force. At Rich South High School in Matteson, Ill., Steward competed in track & field and basketball, plus was a member of the cheerleading squad. She was a three-time state qualifier in the long jump, placing sixth in the state in 2011. She also helped her basketball team win a pair of conference championships, as well as a regional title in 2011. Her cheerleading team also captured a sectional championship in 2010.
Houck and Steward join an incoming class which includes four players who signed national letters of intent in the fall; Julia Bailey (Lafayette, La./Teurlings Catholic), Leigh McAnally (Trussville, Ala./Hewitt-Trussville), Elise Sandberg (Mariette, Ga./Lassiter) and Carolyn Wilmes (Evansville, Ind./Mater Dei).For the most up-to-date news on Ball State softball, follow the team on Twitter: @BallStateSports, @BallStateSB and @TyraPerry13 | Instagram: ballstatesb | Facebook: BallStateSoftball