By Pete Mollica
YOUNGSTOWN — When Brian Campbell took over as head softball coach at Youngstown State last season, one of his priorities was to recruit more local players.
Wednesday, Campbell got his first local recruit when Ursuline High’s Sarah Ingalls signed a national letter of intent.
Ingalls, who will be a senior with the Irish this spring, is one of the area’s top hitters. Ursuline coach Michael Kernan is excited that his prospect will be continuing her career locally with the Penguins.
“I think it’s just great for Sarah, for the community and for Youngstown State,” Kernan said. “She’s an outstanding athlete and will be a great addition to their program.”
Ingalls began her high school career at McDonald, where she played two years before transferring to Ursuline last season. She’s been the top hitter on her teams all three seasons.
“I really felt that academically and athletically it was the best move for me to make to come to Ursuline,” Ingalls said. “I really liked the fact that they have everything here that I’m interested in taking academically and I love the coaching staff and the girls on the teams.
“Plus, being right here in Youngstown, my family and friends will be able to come and watch me play.”
Kernan said although Ingalls was a catcher for him at Ursuline, he feels she will probably play first base or be the designated player at YSU.
Ingalls batted .527 and .457 at McDonald and .425 at Ursuline.
At McDonald she led her team to the ITCL Tier Two championship both seasons and was a first team all-conference pick both years. She set a school record for home runs as a freshman.
Last season she led the Irish in batting, home runs (four) and walks and was second in doubles (six) and RBIs (24). She helped the team set a school record for wins in a season (27) as the Irish finished second in Div. III— its best showing in the tournament.
She the Irish to the Steel Valley Conference championship and was selected MVP in the state semifinal contest. She was also second team all-NEO and first team all-SVC and was selected to the Northeastern Ohio underclassman all-star team.
Ingalls is the daughter of Kurt and Debbie Ingalls.