Friday, June 10, 2011

Sito taking her talents down South

Former Elyria standout Tess Sito is taking her talents to the south.

After two stellar seasons on the diamond at Cleveland State University, Sito officially transferred to the University of Georgia, on Friday, to continue her softball career.

Sito is coming off her sophomore season, where she was named Horizon League Softball Player of the Year for the second year in a row. She made 36 starts and 44 appearances, and led the league in strikeouts (293), wins (24) and innings pitched (272 2/3). At the plate, Sito batted .369 and led the Vikings in hits (58), doubles (11), stolen bases (18) and runs scored. She was the second player in conference history to win the honor as a freshman and sophomore.

Despite her success at Cleveland State, Sito said she was ready to move on.

"I wanted to play at a bigger university," Sito said. "There were a number of schools that I was in contact with, but when Georgia called I was really excited. They really wanted me, they must have did a lot of research on me.

"Once I got down there and talked to the coaches and took the tour I fell in love with the place. When I saw the field and how big it was and all the seats I knew this was for me."

Other schools Sito was in contact with were Auburn, Michigan, Arkansas, Memphis, Virginia and Nebraska.

Sito said there were other factors that played into her decision. A Communication major at CSU, Sito said she was impressed with the Georgia’s Broadcast Journalism program. She also will be close to her sister, Ashley, who lives in Miltown, which is 65 miles from the campus in Athens.

"It’s nice knowing she’s that close," said Sito about her sister. "They’ll be able to come to a lot of the games. Also when my family comes down they will be able to stay there."

Sito will join a Bulldogs team that lost in the Athens Super Regional in the Women’s College World Series. The Bulldogs ended the season with 51-14 record. Sito added she is eager to have a chance to play in the Women’s College World Series.

"It definitely played a role in coming here," Sito said. "After I saw them on TV, I knew I had to take this opportunity.

"We had to win the Horizon League just to get in to the tournament, where they (SEC) had seven schools there this year."

Sito knows the competition will be tougher in the Southeastern Conference, but said she welcomes the challenge.

"Facing top competition everyday is going to be the biggest adjustment," Sito said. "I’ll have to adjust to the pitching and hitting at first, but I know it’s going to be an amazing experience."

Sito added she appreciated everything her coaches and players did for her while she was at Cleveland State.

"I loved my time there," Sito said. "My coaches were great. It was just time for me to start a new chapter in my life."

During her career at Elyria, Sito was 75-9 with an incredible 814 strikeouts in 531 innings. She holds the career and single-season record for strikeouts. Equally as tough at the plate, she batted .470 with 107 RBIs and 143 runs scored. She stole 46 bases in 48 attempts.

Courtesy of Anthony Rios

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