Roberts looks to shine on Cleveland State diamond
by By SARALYN NORKUS Sports Writer
Feb 07, 2013 | 1319 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BRADLEY CENTRAL senior Tori Roberts, seated center, has decided to continue her softball career at Cleveland State. Present for the signing were, front from left, Bill Belcher, Roberts, Jena Belcher and Courtney Roberts. Back from left were Katie Willingham, Terry McElhaney, Christie McElhaney, Todd Shoemaker and Turner Jackson. Photo by SARALYN NORKUS
BRADLEY CENTRAL senior Tori Roberts, seated center, has decided to continue her softball career at Cleveland State. Present for the signing were, front from left, Bill Belcher, Roberts, Jena Belcher and Courtney Roberts. Back from left were Katie Willingham, Terry McElhaney, Christie McElhaney, Todd Shoemaker and Turner Jackson. Photo by SARALYN NORKUS
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Bradley Central senior Tori Roberts made her decision to play softball for Cleveland State Community College official Friday.

“She’s got a strong work habit, a great academic push, she’s going to be fine at the college level and she’s going to help Cleveland State out,” Bearette assistant coach Terry McElhaney said.

Roberts, a first baseman, has been playing softball since she was a toddler and is excited to transition into a Lady Cougar uniform.

“I’m usually a first baseman so hopefully I will bring success. Whatever they need me to do, I’ll do it,” Roberts stated. “It feels great. I’ve played since I was 2 years old so 15 years and it’s finally here,” she said of reaching her sport’s next level.

According to Roberts, her main goal has always been to go on and play college ball. She had looked into the Cleveland State program for a few years, went to a camp, and was then chosen by Lady Cougars head coach Katie Willingham.

“Local athletes are great to have. I look there first. If they’ve got good talent, a foundation in Cleveland, I always look for that,” Willingham explained. “Tori’s just a solid ballplayer, has a great attitude and is willing to work hard, so that is going to make my job a lot easier.”

With Cleveland State losing their sophomore first baseman, Willingham expects Roberts to step up and fill that gap.

“I definitely think she’s going to bring a solid glove at first base. I’m actually losing a sophomore first baseman who’s just been dependable since day one, so I’m looking for that dependability and to fill that gap.”

McElhaney knows Roberts’ softball skills and leadership abilities will greatly impact the Lady Cougars next season.

“Her strongest point is that she’s a first basemen and [plays] great defense at first base. She has natural abilities and on that side of the corner it’s a lockdown when it comes to her. She’s going to make sure that everything gets taken care of and she’s a leader too.”