TIOGA CENTER — Tioga’s Mariah Culver has been a power pitcher for the Tioga Lady Tigers the past few seasons.
She will now take that talent to Caldwell University following her penned letter of intent with the Lady Cougars on Friday.
Caldwell, an NCAA Division-II school in New Jersey competing in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference, was the only school on Culver’s college radar search.
“Caldwell was the only school I found an interest in,” she said. “There wasn’t another school I was remotely considering.”
For Culver, the size of a school matters, and when you compare Caldwell with Tioga, there wasn’t much of a difference in her eyes.
“It’s a great school. It reminded me a lot of Tioga,” Culver said. “It’s so small, but it seems like a big family there. I like schools like that.”
The magnitude of competing with a high level college softball team will be challenging for Culver, but the hard work got her to this point. With that being said, she has no problem working even harder once her first season with the Lady Cougars rolls around.
“When I want something, I work very hard for it,” Culver said. “For pitching, I’ve put so much time into it and I’d like to think that’s what the (Caldwell) coaches liked about me.”
Pitching will be Culver’s only intention with Caldwell, but she isn’t afraid to try out a different position. However, now until then, throwing the softball to the backstop is her main workout.
“I really want to work on my speed for pitching,” Culver said. "I also just want to mentally prepare myself for the next level.”
As for her final season with Tioga softball, she has one goal in mind.
“The goal in my final season with Tioga is get us to states,” Culver said. “I want to get there (in my last year).”
In Culver’s junior season in the circle with the Lady Tigers, she had a 3.56 earned run average with 111 strikeouts in 63 innings pitched. At the plate, Culver batted .500 with six doubles, two triples, two home runs, 10 runs and 14 runs batted in.