PLATTSMOUTH – Haylee Heim built a successful Plattsmouth softball career by following a blueprint of hard work, determination and mental toughness.
She is planning to start designing a similar level of softball excellence at the collegiate level next year.
Heim signed a letter of intent Tuesday morning to play softball at Dordt College. She said she was thrilled to be able to join the Defenders on the diamond.
“I’ve always dreamed about playing college softball, so this really is a dream come true,” Heim said. “Dordt was a place that fit perfectly for me too. It has the subjects I want to study and it will give me a chance to play softball, so it really is the best of both worlds. I’m really excited about it.”
Dordt head softball coach Jeff Zomer said he was impressed by Heim’s tenacity and athletic ability. Zomer said Heim contacted him about the possibility of playing softball after learning Dordt offered programs in both architecture and business. That initial conversation ignited a recruiting process that led to a result both sides were happy about.
“Her personality is really strong and positive, and she has so much versatility all over the field,” Zomer said. “Not only can she pitch really well but she can hit really well too. I think she’s going to be a fantastic teammate and a great player for us. She’ll be able to contribute a lot to our program.”
Heim became Plattsmouth’s all-time leader in single-season on-base percentage this past fall with a .546 mark. She finished second in PHS history in season batting average (.484) and tied for third in single-season hits with 46.
Heim ended the 2018 campaign with 32 singles, nine doubles, three triples, two home runs, 23 runs batted in and nine walks. She also posted a .944 fielding percentage and team-best 144 innings in the pitching circle. She appeared in 30 games and compiled a 5.79 earned run average with 90 strikeouts.
Plattsmouth head softball coach Tabitha Keating said she felt Heim’s work ethic would pay dividends at Dordt. She said she had watched Heim become a better softball player from her freshman to senior seasons.
“I’m super excited for her because she’s done so much work to get to this place,” Keating said. “She’s improved a lot on her mental strength both as a pitcher and a hitter, and that’s helped her out tremendously. Her batting average has been great and she’s able to hit for power too. I think Dordt is getting a really good recruit.”
Heim is planning to major in both architecture and business at Dordt and eventually earn master’s degrees in the subjects. She has earned academic honors at the local, conference and state levels and has collected awards in both art and dance.