The 2021 St. Clair College Women's Softball team has added four new impact players to its roster while welcoming back a returning league All-Star.
Cambridge native Amy Claydon has transferred to the Saints after three seasons for NCAA Division II Wayne State University (Detroit, MI). During that time, she carried a 3.53 ERA as pitcher and batted 0.295 while slugging a 7 career home runs. The 2017 Jacob Hespeler Secondary School Outstanding Female Athlete also competed with the Windsor Wildcats and won a U19 National Silver Medal in 2018 that was played in Surrey, BC. Claydon was also named an All-star pitcher at the 2016 Nationals in Charlottetown, PEI.
St. Clair Head Coach Doug Wiseman said, "Amy is a tremendous addition to the Saints program and will bring an enormous amount of experience to the team with her pitching and hitting. Amy is a quiet leader, but her continuous hard work will set an example for her teammates. We are super excited to write her name down in the lineup card."
Claydon was quoted on why she chose to join the Saints, "St. Clair has strong academic and athletic programs. Wayne State and St. Clair have an academic partnership which is another reason it was a good place to further my education. I want to help the team be as successful as possible while being a good teammate and leader on and off the field."
Claydon will be enrolled in the Business Administration Finance program at St. Clair.
Catcher Emily Erskine (Brampton, ON/St. Thomas of Aquinas) also transfers to St. Clair after three years at Humber College where she won an OCAA Championship in 2019.
Wiseman said of the Erskine pick-up, "Team defence starts behind the plate and with Emily taking the lead we will be in good hands as she has a great release and a strong arm. She brings OCAA experience to the table and maturity after having already graduating from Humber."
Erskine will be taking St. Clair's Protection, Security and Investigation program academically and stated, "I chose to come here for multiple reasons. My first program choice was available, and I had heard so many good things about it along with the opportunities that follow graduation. Another big reason is because of the history of their athletic program which I look forward to being a part of."
Erskine continued, "The ultimate goal for the season is winning OC's. However, I guess we need to start with a season record over .500, creating a strong team bond and simply being a good teammate."
Chatham native Sarah Vellinga (Chatham-Kent Secondary) transfers from the University of Windsor after completing a bachelor's degree in Human Kinetics. The middle infielder played locally for the Windsor Lady Expos and was a National Softball Association scholarship recipient in addition to winning a 2014 Provincial Bronze medal.
Wiseman complimented, "Sarah is an excellent heads-up player who is extremely versatile. Having coached her with the Windsor Wild in 2016 I am comfortable playing her anywhere on the diamond."
Vellinga said about her decision to come to St. Clair, "After completing my degree in Human Kinetics I knew I wanted to stay in the health field. I knew St. Clair would be a good fit for me because it is close to home and offers multiple program options."
"My goals for the season are to come out of the gate strong and prove that we are a force to be reckoned with not only in the OCAA but nationally as well. My personal goals are to continue to improve my skills as a player, be the best teammate I can be, and to contribute to the team's success in any way that I can," finished Vellinga.
Vellinga will study in St. Clair's Cardiovascular Technology program this fall.
Centerfielder/third baseman Judy Lafleur (Essex, ON/Essex District) comes to St. Clair with club playing experience from the Michigan Batbusters and a 2015 provincial championship with the Windsor Wildcats.
Wiseman noted, "Judy brings a left-handed bat and outstanding speed. She is athletically gifted and will look to put pressure on the opposing defence. We are fortunate to have Judy and Shae Murphy at the top of our order. We like her as a player but even more as a person."
Vellinga commented on her choice to be a at St. Clair, "Because it offered me a great opportunity to continue my post-secondary studies as well as play the sport I love. The college has a great atmosphere that makes you want to work hard and do your best while feeling at home."
"I hope to contribute to the team and be the best teammate I can be while also becoming a better player. I want to stay on top of all my academics this year work and maintain a high average," Vellinga said of her goals this season.
First baseman and centerfielder Megan Lumley (Windsor, ON/Holy Names) returns to the St. Clair lineup after a few years off. Lumley played four seasons from 2015-18 and was a 2-time OCAA All-Star (2015, 2018) helping the Saints to a 2015 CCSA National Championship and three OCAA Silver Medals (2016, 2017, 2018) in addition to four Regular Season Championships. The former Saints MVP was also a 2018 OCAA and St. Clair Academic All-Star graduating from the Office Administration – General and Executive programs.
Wiseman complimented on Lumley's return, "Megan will bring leadership and a winning attitude to the team. With Megan deciding to come back this has made us a much more competitive team for the upcoming season."
Lumley will be enrolled in St. Clair's Liberal Arts program this fall.
Wiseman finished, "As a coaching staff we are looking for great things from this group of new additions."