Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Sterling grad Stroup blossoming into a star for UIS

Her jersey number is 00, but Erin Stroup has been anything but a zero during her first two seasons for the University of Illinois-Springfield softball team.

The 2016 Sterling graduate came into college as an accomplished recruit for the Prairie Stars, and has made an immediate impact at the plate and in the field.

“After my first year, I learned so much that was going to help me,” Stroup said. “But I really didn’t expect to be as successful as I have, especially as soon as I started.”

Stroup also started her high school softball career in a large role as a 4-year varsity player for the Golden Warriors. She was an SVM all-area first-team selection as a junior after earning co-NIB-12 West MVP with teammate Lexy Staples and being tabbed to the second team of the Class 3A Illinois Coaches Association all-state team.

Illinois-Springfield coach Shannon Guthrie was aware that Stroup had started her junior and senior seasons as the Golden Warriors’ shortstop, but also considered her at second base and in the outfield. An injury to UIS’ starting shortstop right before the 2017 season gave the former Sterling star a chance to start right away, and she hasn’t relinquished the job since.

“When we recruited Erin, we could see the potential she had as a shortstop and offensively,” Guthrie said. “She had a really great career at Sterling. We knew she was going to bring a lot of talent. We wanted to have her bat in the lineup, but we weren’t sure which position she would play.”

This article appeared in the Sauk Valley News on August 1, 2018.

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