Great career at Jackson CC gives Jefferson grad a second chance at recruiting
Addie Hudson was not used to all the attention.
The 2020 Jefferson graduate put together a fine softball career in high school. As a junior, she batted .552 with 21 runs scored and 22 stolen bases.
But getting to the next level proved to be more challenging than she thought.
"Coming out of high school, I didn't get as many looks from colleges as I would've liked," Hudson said. "I was always told I was too small, that I'm not strong enough. Your stereotypical things."
It didn't help when her senior season was taken away by the COVID-19 pandemic, but with the help of her coaches, Hudson found her place on the softball team at Jackson Community College.
In two years at Jackson, Hudson tuned herself into a hot commodity on the recruiting trail.
"It was almost weird for me going to Jackson and then starting to get people looking at me and getting interest from schools I never imagined getting interest from," she said. "Coming to Jackson and performing at a high level and finally getting the looks and interest I never had was a super cool experience."
Hudson will continue her academic and athletic pursuits this fall at Western Michigan University.
It was much easier going through the recruitment process a second time. In fact, the benefit of experience both on and off the field gave Hudson a confidence that she lacked the first time around.
"It was different, but very enjoyable," Hudson said. "I had already done it once, so I knew what I was looking for. I had an idea what I wanted to do and the type of program I wanted to play for. I knew what I liked and what I didn't like and it was just a case of finding a good home for me."
For Hudson, the choice came down to either Western Michigan or Central Michigan. A visit to WMU's campus convinced her that Kalamazoo was home.
"I absolutely loved it," she said. "I took a campus tour and talking to the coaches and the staff, I love the program. We scrimmaged Western when I was at Jackson, so I got an idea of how they play and what the team was. ... I fell in love with everything about the school."
The Broncos are getting a highly athletic outfielder.
Hudson was first on her team with a .465 batting average in her second season at Jackson. She scored 77 runs, had 12 RBI, and led the nation with 68 stolen bases in 48 games. She also struck out just 12 times against 24 walks.
She was named NJCAA Division II First Team All-American – the only softball player from Jackson to earn All-American status since the school brought back athletics in 2006.
She also was NFCA Second Team All-American, First Team All-Michigan Community College Athletic Association, and NJCAA Division II All-Region.
The Jets completed their most successful season with Hudson hitting atop the lineup.
Jackson was the NJCAA Great Lakes District A softball champions, earning a spot in the national championship for the first time in program history.
"We beat teams this season that we struggled beating in the past, especially in the Regional tournament," Hudson said. "It was exciting and fun for us to go out there and beat our rivals that we've been struggling with the last few seasons."
The journey to nationals in Alabama was an unforgettable experience, despite the Jets going 0-2 to take an early exit from the tournament.
"We didn't perform as well as we would've liked, but it was a super cool experience with the team getting that last week with girls who have become my best friends," Hudson said. "We got to spend that last week doing what we love with the people we love."
Hudson plans to pursue a bachelor's degree in health and physical education at Western. She hopes to one day coach softball.
"I'm excited for this new experience," Hudson said. "It will definitely be different going from junior college to D1 ball, but I'm excited. I can't wait to see what we do this year. I think we're going to do big things."
St. Mary Catholic Central graduate Brooklyn Barton also played for Jackson this spring. She was named MCCAA Second Team All-Western Conference after batting .345 with 38 runs scored and 20 RBI.
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Other Monroe County Region softball players also posted impressive numbers this spring in the MCCAA.
New Boston Huron graduate Anna Atherton led the MCCAA in batting average, hitting .496 her freshman season at Henry Ford College. She was third in the league in home runs with 15 and second in RBI with 64. She scored 42 runs.
Atherton was named First Team All-MCCAA and was chosen as the Eastern Conference Player of the Year.
Two of her Henry Ford teammates also had strong seasons – Airport's Lauren Gannon and Karlee Plensdorf.
Gannon batted .453 with 40 runs scored, 20 RBI, 3 homers and 10 stolen bases, while Plensdorf hit .415 with 27 RBI, 23 runs, 13 stolen bases, and a team-leading 14 doubles. Gannon was First Team All-MCCAA and Plensdorf was Honorable Mention All-Eastern Conference.
St. Mary Catholic Central graduate Sammy Michael belted 17 home runs to finish second in the MCCAA in that category. The Oakland Community College freshman hit .356 with 60 RBI, 56 runs, and 11 stolen bases.
Michael was Second Team All-Eastern Conference.
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TJ Potcova of Henry Ford College earned First Team All-MCCAA baseball honors and First-Team All-Eastern Conference.
The 2019 Airport graduate batted .396 this season with the Hawks and had 31 RBI, 17 runs scored, 4 stolen bases and 3 home runs. On the mound, he finished 3-3 with a 4.95 earned-run average and 27 strikeouts in 36.1 innings.
Henry Ford's roster also includes Monroe graduate Cole Sulfaro. The backup outfielder batted .239 with 8 RBI and 9 runs this season.
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Summerfield's Derek Clark (Northwood University) and Airport's Karter Fitzpatrick (Wayne State University) both were named First Team All-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in baseball.
Clark was 6-3 on the mound this season with a 4.25 ERA. He struck out 89 batters in 82.2 innings of work. He was the GLIAC Freshman of the Year in 2021.
Fitzpatrick, a junior, finished 9-1 with a 2.65 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 71.1 innings pitched.
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Monroe's Shayna Frank and Haley Frank both were named Second Team All-GLIAC for Northwood's softball team.
In her senior year, Shayna was 16-7 with a 2.48 ERA and 168 strikeouts in 135.2 innings. Haley, a junior, hit .351 with 5 homers, 30 RBI, 35 runs and 7 stolen bases.
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Do you know a local athlete who is excelling in college sports this year? Send us the details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: College Trail: Jefferson's Addie Hudson to play softball at Western Michigan