HPCA’s McPeak signs with Belmont Abbey

Jan. 14, 2014 @ 10:30 PM

Sloane McPeak wants to play softball as well as she can for as long as she can.

That’s been her focus throughout her playing career, as she’s grown up playing the game and excelled during her time at High Point Christian Academy. Now, she looks to continue that at the next level, signing with NCAA Division II Belmont Abbey College.

“It feels pretty good,” says McPeak, the daughter of Amy and Todd of Winston-Salem. “I’m ready to get there, and I’m ready to start a new career. It’s something I love, and I’m going to play it as long as I can.”

McPeak started playing baseball when she was 7 years old and switched to softball when she was 8. Inspired and helped by her family, her focus has largely been on excelling on the softball field, although she’s also played basketball and volleyball.

“I don’t know — it’s just something I got the hang of,” she says of why she’s stuck with softball. “My dad’s really big into baseball, and it’s just one of our big sports. I was just raised on it. I started practicing at it and got really good at it.”

McPeak, who transferred in as a sophomore, has contributed in a number of ways to High Point Christian’s success, playing strong defense at third base, pitching well when called upon and hitting for power in the heart of the lineup.

During her junior season, she earned All-PACIS, NCSCA All-Region and All-State and NCISAA All-State and helped her Cougars team, which had also reached the previous two state finals, rally to win the NCISAA 3A state championship.

“Here at High Point Christian, she came in as a softball player,” Cougars coach Jeremy Cecil says. “She’s fine-tuned her all-around game, from being at the plate and pitch recognition to how she handles herself in the field.

“She’s a very, very good defender and even pitches some when we need her. So, she’s very much a coach’s dream — plays well, plays hard, very committed to the team. Her drive and determination have propelled her to do great things in the game of softball.”

In considering schools, she narrowed her top choices to include Lynchburg (Va.) College, Chowan University and Belmont Abbey, which had watched her play in a tournament in Rock Hill, S.C., and invited her to its camp.

McPeak, who credits coaches Cecil, Jeff Pate, Ricky Martinez and Keith Stanek for helping build her game, chose second-year coach Brooke LeSage and the Crusaders of the Conference Carolinas to continue her playing career.

“It’s a huge relief. It’s a very big relief,” says McPeak, who wants to study sports management, of signing. “I’ve worked really hard for it. So, it’s a big burden off my shoulders.

“The location could not have been any more perfect. I’m familiar with the area, and it’s close to home. And I really like the school. I’m used to small schools, and Belmont Abbey was just the perfect fit. And the coach, I really like her.”

mlindsay@hpe.com
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@HPEmichael