SIGNING: Kelly softball’s Alyssa Tidwell signs to East Central College

Wednesday, January 30, 2019
Kelly softball player Alyssa Tidwell signs her National Letter of Intent to continue her career at East Central College, in Union, Mo., on Tuesday morning, at Kelly High School. (Alex Wallner/Standard Democrat)

BENTON, Mo. — East Central College welcomed a new member to the team on Tuesday morning, as Kelly’s Alyssa Tidwell signed her National Letter of Intent to continue her softball career with the Falcons.

Tidwell was a pitcher and first baseman for the Lady Hawks over her four-year career and picked up many accolades during her time.

Among the awards she garnered, Tidwell was named to the All-Region and All-District Teams three times each. She was also named to the All-Conference team twice and was all All-State 2nd-Teamer in 2017.

“She’s more than proved herself at the plate, on the mound, and even defensively on the mound,” Kelly head coach Melanie Heuring said. “I can’t brag enough about her, she had zero errors on the season even at first base, when I moved her there for a few games. She’s just one of those pitchers that can cover the field really well, and snag any ball. She can even cover a bunt and make sure to throw that runner out, so she was huge on the mound for us; saving us in more than one instance.”

Kelly softball’s Alyssa Tidwell signed her National Letter of Intent to East Central College, on Monday, at Kelly High School, in Benton, Mo. Pictured, from left to right: head coach Melanie Heuring, Alyssa Tidwell, assistant coach Melanie Lacey. (Submitted Photo)

On the mound, Tidwell finished with a career ERA of 2.37. She also had a stellar 46-17 record, in 70 games pitched.

An innings eater, Tidwell pitched 380.7 innings for her career — nearly five innings per outing as well.

Going into big games, Heuring knew whom she was going to count on the most to take the bump and lead Kelly to a win.

Never really showing much emotion, Heuring called Tidwell a quiet leader and one that lets her actions do all the talking.

“Alyssa has been a tremendous pitcher for us the last few years for our program,” Heuring said. “She is a quiet leader, but I like that because she leads by example on and off the field for our girls. I think that’s huge because she is just that quiet leader who leads by example and you don’t find that in a lot of kids today, so I think that speaks volumes of her and her character. As far as on the mound, she’s always calm, cool, and collected, and she doesn’t feel the pressure and doesn’t let it get to her.

“She’s not an overpowering pitcher, but she can throw strikes, and she can call her own pitches and do a good job as far as that goes.”

Being able to work the plate, is one of the strengths that Tidwell possesses. For her career, she gave up only 91 walks — nearly one walk per appearance.

Defensively, Tidwell was elite.

During the 2018 season, Tidwell did not commit an error for the entire campaign and finished with only 10 for her career.

She joins an East Central team that averaged nearly two errors per game last season.

Heading into college and competing in a new environment, Tidwell said that she is looking forward to a new set of goals.

“I’m looking forward to being able to continue playing,” Tidwell said. “I know a lot of people who can’t play anymore, so I’m just excited.”

Kelly now has two former players on the Falcons’ roster, as Alyssa Moore enters her freshman season in 2019.

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