By Michael Fitzpatrick
The North Ridgeville softball program hasn’t won many games in recent seasons, but it has produced one of the top players in the area.
Her stats say so, and so do all the postseason honors. But so did what happened last week inside the auxiliary gym at the high school. There, at a long table, Addison Mease signed her letter of intent to attend Division II Tiffin University on an athletic/academic scholarship.
Mease, an outstanding middle infielder, picked the school because of its outstanding criminal science program, which she hopes leads to a career in the FBI.
It’s been criminal what Mease has done to opponents during her softball career. She was an all-county player a year ago when she hit .547 with 32 stolen bases, and she’s picked up just where she left off, hitting .740 with five doubles, two triples, a home run and eight RBI while scoring 10 runs and stealing nine bases this year. In a pair of wins over Southwestern Conference rivals North Olmsted and Berea-Midpark, she went a combined 9-for-9 at the plate.
She also is an outstanding defensive middle infielder and is currently the Rangers’ starting shortstop, but is more of a natural second baseman, according to her father.
Her drive to continually improve is one of her strengths, said Mike Mease, and assistant coach McMillan says she’s a strong leader and a great teammate.
Mike Mease, who was a high school baseball player, always thought he’d be the father of sons and teach them how to play baseball.
Instead, he ended up with the two daughters in Addison and her younger sister Rachel, an eighth-grade middle schooler who also plays softball.
Addison said she bonded with her father through the sport and remembers as a youngster their batting practice together, which weren’t always the most harmonious of sessions, especially when a young Addison struggled.
“A lot of arguments. A lot of frustration,” Addison recalled, who added it was all worth it.
“It’s gotten me to where I am today, and I couldn’t ask for more,” Addison said.
She started playing organized softball in the 10-and-under league and has been playing ever since.
A student-athlete, she has a 4.34 GPA in the classroom. She credits her academic success to her mother, Ashley, who is a manager at ATT and stressed the importance of education in her daughters’ lives.
“When you go through life, you really need to have a core foundation of values to be successful, and one of those has to be education. Without that foundation, you have nothing” said Ashley Mease, in explaining how she made education important to Addison.
Addison’s strong work ethic took over from there, her mom said.
“That girl is all about work. On a Friday night, she’d rather be doing homework than going to parties,” Ashley said.
Mike Mease helped bring out the ballplayer in his daughter, Addison said, as well as a love for the game.
“I think it was just instilled in me. It was something I always loved, felt a passion for. It was something right off the rip I was great at, but it was something I worked toward and it got me everywhere I am today,” said Addison.
And while Mike Mease may have taught Addison the fundamentals, he said she put in all the work to make herself as good a player as she is.
“Just her drive,” he said, when asked what makes his daughter an elite-level high school softball player. “It’s the same on the field and off the field. She’s a 4.3-student and her grades always come first. No matter what she does, she puts her best foot forward. She’s going to do great things in life.”
Tags: North Ridgeville
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