Lincoln's Sharp draws attention at tourney

By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Nikoli Sharp, who will be a sophomore at Lincoln High in the fall, showed off her softball skills at a College Showcase tournament in Huntington Beach over the weekend. Sharp, who plays for the 18G Bears out of Concord, and her teammates went 4-2 at the tourney. She played first base and pitcher and attracted the attention of several of the college officials that were in attendance. About 100 colleges had scouts or coaches at the tournament. Bill Sharp, Nikoli’s father, made the trip with his daughter. “It’s a showcase and the kids play different positions and move around,” Bill Sharp said. “At this age it’s about getting colleges attention.” Because of Nikoli’s age college officials cannot approach her yet. “But we have a guy that works for the Bears organization and (coaches or scouts) go to him and they say ‘we want to see this kid in this position’ and he goes and tells the coaches (of the Bears),” Bill Sharp said. “Colorado State and Arizona wanted to see her pitch and Northwestern wanted to see her pitch and play first base. And Harvard and Purdue, they were looking at seeing her at first base and pitcher as well. “And a lot of the colleges are not just looking at first base and pitcher because she hits the ball very well. So whoever recruits her for college – she will hit to.” Sharp, the youngest player on her team, plays for a team that produces lots of scholarship players. The catcher has committed to UNLV and a third baseman/ pitcher has committed to Harvard. Sharp was solid at the plate in Huntington Beach and she also pitched in four of the six games. She threw all seven innings in a 1-0 loss to the SoCal Crunch, allowing one unearned run and striking out eight. She also threw a complete game in an 11-2 victory over the Arizona Chaos. Nikoli Sharp returned from the tournament and spent eight hours Monday making her college video. She went to the Kelly Jackson school in West Sacramento and was filmed pitching, playing first base and hitting.