Vol State standout catcher Addie Lange has found her next college softball home.
The former Station Camp Bison first-team All-Sumner County selection (2019) became just the ninth player in Sumner County since 2000 to sign with a Power-5 program, inking with Missouri out of the SEC earlier this week.
Lange, a first-team JUCO All-American, batted .435 this past spring for head coach Johnny Lynn in 192 plate appearances. The freshman also added 81 RBI, 70 hits, 37 extra-base hits, 152 total bases and 21 home runs. A tough out at the plate, Lange struck out only nine times during the season.
“She works extremely hard and understands the process,” Vol State head coach Johnny Lynn said. “Anytime you work the way she has worked, good things will happen.”
Lange becomes the first Sumner County high school softball player to sign Power-5 since Sheridan Allen inked with UT out of Vol State in 2014.
She says signing with Missouri was always her goal.
“Since I was young, I would always joke with my dad about going to Mizzou,” she said. “I emailed coach (Larrisa) Anderson when my stats were high and when she emailed me back, I freaked out. She is the best coach I have read about and was the reason I wanted to go there.”
Lange’s timeline of going from junior college standout to All-American and Division I signee happened in a blur.
“Last Friday I received All-America honors, then coach Anderson called on Sunday and said I needed to come the next day for a visit,” she recalled. “We spent five hours with her on Monday and the next day I signed — it was crazy how fast everything happened.”
Lange is the only catcher Missouri signed this off-season.
“It feels amazing,” she said. “It shows how much coach Anderson believes in me to come in and compete for a spot right away.”
After Covid-19 shut down sports around the country in 2020, Lange used the time and opportunity to get better.
“I think we played 18 games before our season was cut short, and I was playing well,” she said. “I knew if I used my time wisely while we couldn’t be in contact with anyone, I could do well with a full season. I was on the field every other day, going to hitting lessons, having my dad train me and just worked very hard.”
Added Lange on her parents support:
“I was a late bloomer in terms of taking softball seriously,” she said. “I didn’t start taking it seriously until I was 16 and have my parents to thank for helping me get to this point. They were never super intense about it; they only wanted me to have fun. Through it all, they have been by my side and could not do it without them.”
Her high school coach, Ken Crook, says that Lange has always been a standout player but just needed to be seen by the right school.
“She has always been a great ballplayer and good athlete,” he said. “She just needed the chance to be seen and I think she took advantage of those opportunities given.”
Lynn adds that Missouri is not only getting a great ballplayer but an even better person.
“As good as she is on the field, she is, even more, a top level young lady,” he said. “Those kinds of players make it a lot of fun to coach.”
Lynn and Lange speak the same language in terms of sharing in division one experience. Lange says Lynn has helped her with managing her expectations.
“He relates because he knows how crazy it is going to get once the press release comes out,” she said. “Not every person will be positive about it, and that is just the nature of it all. He tells me always to push through and work my hardest, and if I do that, good things will happen.”
Lynn adds that he isn’t worried about Lange, that her work ethic has always been Division I quality.
“Now the real work begins and goes into turbo speed,” he said. “You can be a good JUCO player and take a day off now and then. Now it’s a job, and that is something she will learn. You can’t prepare players for it, they have to experience it, but I am not worried one bit because she works so hard and that will make her successful.”
Lange adds she could not have accomplished this without the support of Crook and Lynn.
“Both of those coaches pulled every ounce of potential out of me and believed in me when no one else did,” she said. “I’m so grateful for them.”
She will study Forensic Psychology while at Missouri.
Sumner County softball players to sign Power-5 since 2000
Ashley Cline, Gallatin — University of Tennessee
Camille Harris, Beech — Louisiana State University
Cassie Stanfield, Beech — University of Louisville
Colby Weary, Beech — University of Louisville
Cat Banks, Beech — Virginia Tech University
Jinny Carrol, Beech — University of Kentucky
Sheridan Allen, Beech — University of Tennessee
Julie Towers, White House — University of Connecticut
Addie Lange, Station Camp — University of Missouri