Wednesday Jul 16 2008
Lincoln softball star Sharp at tournaments
By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
Lincoln High softball star Nikoli Sharp will get a big chance to show off her softball skills to college scouts this weekend in Huntington Beach. Sharp, who pitches and plays first base for the 18G Bears out of Concord, and her teammates will participate in a College Showcase tournament. About 100 colleges, including some of the best softball schools in the nation, are on the list to have scouts or coaches attend. These showcases are set up so college scouts and coaches can view the players although they are not allowed to talk to Sharp yet as she will only be a sophomore in the fall. “We have a six-game guarantee,” Sharp said. “You play all of the games no matter what and there are colleges walking around to see if they like you. And they write stuff down.” Sharp has played very well in recent tournaments. She and the Bears played in Seattle over the weekend in the 18G Western Territory Tournament, a qualifier for nationals in Oklahoma. The Bears went 2-2 and didn’t qualify for nationals but Sharp managed to star on the mound and at the plate. She pitched about half of two of the games and those were the two victories for Concord. Sharp, the cleanup hitter, also batted over .500 and was strong defensively at first base throughout the tournament that featured 80 teams. “I thought we would do a lot better,” Sharp said. “Every game we started off getting runs early and then would sit back and would (give up) more runs.” Sharp, the youngest player on the team and the only one from this area, joined the Bears this summer. “We all get along – and it’s a really good team,” said Sharp, who played for the Lincoln Comets last summer. Sharp and the Bears also played in the Colorado Fireworks College Showcase in the first week of July. More than 300 colleges had representatives there to scout the girls. Sharp had lots of success on the mound and at the plate. She went 2-for-3 while the Bears beat a nationally-ranked team from New Jersey. She also threw a complete game and went 3-3 with two RBI during a victory over the Texas Heat. Another highlight was when Sharp came in as the closer against a tough team from Wisconsin and she proceeded to shut them down to ensure the win.