As we get ready to release the updated 2022 Extra Elite 100 rankings, we will spotlight some talented freshmen who are ones to watch in their class.
One of those is a player we’ve been following for a while and who is really rising fast in the eyes of college scouts.
Lindsey Long wrote a blog for us in February of 2018 in which she detailed her amazing trip to Taiwan where she got to play some softball and dodge a strong earthquake only 40 miles from her hotel!
Since then, the prototypical power-hitting lefty first baseman has joined one of the top 14U club teams in the nation, the Birmingham Thunderbolts 04 – Flannery squad (which will make the Extra Elite Eighty 14U team rankings starting on Monday) and seen interest from Power 5 and other top programs skyrocket as she has attended camps at programs such as Alabama and Baylor and is getting interest from SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, ACC, MVC and Ivy League programs.
Here’s a closer look at this fast-rising prospect you’ll be hearing a lot more about in the coming years…
--- Brentt Eads, Extra Inning Softball Executive Editor
NAME: LINDSEY LONG
Hometown/State: West Lafayette, Indiana
Grad Year: 2022
Club Team: Birmingham Thunderbolts 04 - Flannery
High School (City/State): William Henry Harrison High School (West Lafayette, Indiana)
Other Sports: played basketball and volleyball in middle school
How did your softball journey begin?
I started playing in my local rec league when I was 10. I had never picked up a ball or glove before and I was terrible at first. I asked my dad if he would find me a hitting coach because I really wanted to do better. My hitting coach saw my potential and got me on my way to where I am now.
Your softball experiences have led you far from home, even out of the country… can you tell us about that?
I have been on a lot of different travel teams throughout my softball journey. After a year in rec ball I moved to a local travel team. My desire to improve led me to teams in Indianapolis (about an hour away), then in Chicago (about two hours away) and to a team in Virginia. Now I’m proud to be a part of the Birmingham Thunderbolts organization in Alabama.
In 2018 I played for a team representing the U.S. at a tournament in Taiwan. I was one of three 8th graders on a team that was mostly juniors and seniors in high school. It was amazing to see how teams from different countries play the game.
What has been your favorite part of your softball journey so far?
Getting to travel all over, see new places, and play against some great competition. But finding a team that feels like home is probably the best part. Being a part of the Thunderbolts 04 has increased my confidence and has really made playing fun.
What is the hardest part about softball?
Learning to handle the mental side of the game is the most difficult thing about softball in my opinion.
Balancing a social life with softball is also hard. Sometimes I have to give up going to a school event or hanging out with my friends to get my softball training done.
What is your regular training schedule?
My regular off-season routine is hitting and defensive drills 5-6 days a week.
For speed, agility and strength training, I work with a former college All American sprinter and long jumper 1-2 times a week during school, and more in the summer. I have also spent time working with throwing expert Austin Wasserman to improve my overhand throwing mechanics and velocity.
During the school and travel seasons it depends on practice, game and camp schedules, but I still hit and work on defense on my own after practice and on the weekends, so usually 3-4 days a week.
Who is your softball role model?
Merris Schroeder, the outfielder for the University of Alabama. She has a passion for the game and is always working hard. I love how she is always happy for her teammates’ successes, which really inspires me.
What do you look forward to this season?
Dominating the field with my Bolts family. I can’t wait to get back to PGF Nationals and attend the Sparkler in Colorado.
What do you like to do when you’re not playing softball?
When I’m not playing softball, I love to read and travel.