softball standout Lindsay Montemarano is still two years away from college but has already solidified a future competing at the highest level of the sport she loves.
Montemarano made a verbal commitment last week to take her diamond skills from Seaford to UCLA, one of the top softball programs in the nation, starting in the fall of 2013. Montemarano recalls as a youngster watching UCLA on ESPN competing in the College World Series and envisioning then one day suiting up for the Lady Bruins.
“I’ve been watching UCLA since I was like nine on TV and I would always think ‘I want to go big, I want to play there so bad, “ said Montemarano, who generated plenty of interest from top-flight NCAA division I softball programs while competing on the Jersey Inferno Gold travel team the last two years. “When I heard that UCLA wanted to hear if I wanted to be a Bruin or not I couldn’t believe it.”
Some of the schools that looked at Montemarano before her decision to choose the Pac 10 powerhouse included Notre Dame, Michigan, Penn State and Northwestern. Montemarano had a visit scheduled with Penn State last week but cancelled it once deciding that UCLA was the right fit.
In addition to UCLA’s strong softball tradition, the Seaford product was also attracted to the school’s top-notch education program. Montemarano, who also excels academically with a 98 weighted average, looked at colleges that had a top 50 ranking for School of Education since she wants to pursue a teaching career.
At Seaford, Montemarano has been the Lady Vikings’ pitching ace but it was her hitting ability as well as her staunch defense at third base while playing on the New jersey travel team that sparked interest from college softball powerhouses. Montemarano helped lead Seaford to the last season while hitting .592 with five home runs and 37 RBIs.
“She has that intangible desire to be great,” said Seaford softball head coach Rob Perpall. “She has that Division I mentality that also has Division I tools.”
Montemarano said that the UCLA coaches were also struck by her positive attitude and motivation while recruiting her. Her spirit was even compared to former UCLA pitcher Megan Langenfeld, who led the Bruins to the national championship in 2010.
“I’m always up and cheering and always excited,” said Montemarano. “They saw that I have competiveness and drive.”