Lebanon — Throughout her entire high school softball career, Abbi Wirey has continued to get better.
As a freshman, she batted just .220, but was a key component to Lebanon winning the Class 3A softball state title with her play in the outfield. Fast forward three years, and Wirey has become one of the top players in the area, and will continue her playing career at Marian University.
She was honored at a signing ceremony at Lebanon Thursday afternoon.
"It is a great feeling," Wirey said. "I feel like a lot of pressure has been released off of me now that I don't have to look for schools. I am excited to play for Marian."
Wirey said when she was looking at schools and taking visits, Marian stood out.
"I visited the campus and I loved it," Wirey said. "Talking to their coach, I liked him a lot. (Former teammate) Kassidi (Cadle) told me a lot about the program and how great it was. It was just a good fit."
Wirey will join her former teammate in Cadle on the Knights roster last year and is familiar with many of the girls on the team.
All 21 girls on the Marian roster this year are from Indiana and Wirey has grown up playing with or against many of them.
"That helps a lot," Wirey said. "I am actually going to be roommates with a girl who I play travel with, and knowing girls on the team will be a help."
Marian finished last year 51-7 under head coach Scott Fleming and advanced to the NAIA World Series.
Wirey said that Fleming liked a lot of things about the way she played the game and believes she will be able to be a key part of their outfield during her tenure.
"He really likes my work ethic and the time that I put in," Wirey said. "He said I have a good attitude.
After batting .220 as a freshman, Wirey improved to .379 as a sophomore, including 28 runs scored and 24 RBIs.
Last year as a junior, she led the Tigers in batting .444 with 44 hits and 30 runs scored. She also had a team-best 17 doubles. She also had 20 RBIs.
Since last high school season ended, she said she has been working on her all-around game to make sure she is ready to go.
"I have been going to the Montgomery's barn and hitting a lot," Wirey said. "I usually do fielding work with my dad, just to make sure I'm ready to go."
Last year ended earlier than the Tigers wanted to, falling in the sectional to Tri-West.
Wirey said heading into this year, she has bigger goals for herself and the team.
"I want to be more of a leader for the team this year being a senior," Wirey said. "That is what I am focused on. I didn't like the way last year ended, so we want to win at least the conference and the sectional this year."
When looking back at her time playing at Lebanon, Wirey said it is the relationships she created with the people in the community.
"The friendships I made at Lebanon will be what I remember the most," Wirey said. "With softball, I will remember my teammates the most and having all the bonds with them."