FAIRLAND — Nikki Dingle, who was the most valuable player in the Lucky 7 Conference and an Oklahoma Fast-Pitch Softball Coaches Association all-stater, has signed a letter of intent with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
“This is a real thrill,” Dingle said. “I like the campus. After walking around and talking to the coaches, I knew I liked it there better than anywhere else I went to.”
The success of the program also helped lure Dingle.
The Lady Norse have been to the NJCAA national tournament three straight seasons and have gone six of the last seven.
NEO finished 44-10 in 2017.
“That was a big factor, too,” Dingle said.
“Nikki had a great four-year high school career,” Fairland coach Chad Ross said. “I look forward to watching her grow and succeed the next four years. She has put a lot of effort and time to earn the opportunity to play college softball.
“There is no doubt in my mind that she will continue with her work ethic and be successful at NEO and beyond.”
In the circle, Dingle logged a 29-7 record with a 1.753 earned run average.
Dingle logged 250 strikeouts with 59 walks. She allowed 112 runs, only of which 48 were earned, and 144 hits.
Offensively, she hit .500 while driving in 37 runs. She was 54 of 108 at the plate, collecting 12 doubles, five triples and two home runs.
Dingle struck out only twice in 130 plate appearances while drawing17 walks.
She had a .574 on-base percentage, a .759 slugging percentage and a 1.444 OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage).
Dingle had a .946 fielding percentage logging 52 assists and 18 putouts with only four errors out of 72 total chances.
“’Nik’ is a really good pickup for us,” Lady Norse coach Eric Iverson said. “She has great value because here’s a kid that can run, that can play the outfield and infield and can pitch you in the circle. She is an accomplished hitter with really good speed. That is a really good recruit.
“She provides you depth everywhere. She is a very confident kid that can impact you.”
Dingle said she wants to major in biology so she can become an occupational therapist.
“I wanted this year to be extra special, so I worked hard,” she said.
“She really stepped up her leadership on the field,” Ross said. “Her teammates really looked up to her and responded very well.”