Carson signs with Clarke University

Clarke senior Devon Carson will continue playing for Clarke after graduating this summer.

Only the school colors and school mascot will change.

Carson signed her National Letter of Intent on Friday to play softball for Clarke University next year.

She'll trade in the maroon and white, along with the Indian mascot, for blue and yellow to be a Crusader.

"I am really excited," Clarke High School head softball coach Lindsay Diehl said. "This year I've got quite a few kids going on and I hope to make that a tradition that when they leave here, they're looking to go on and continue their softball career. It is a little bit of a bittersweet moment with this group of kids that I have. Signing letter of intent means that I'm nearing the end of being able to coach them in their high school career."

Carson hit .345 with team highs in home runs (10) and runs batted in (45) last year for the Class 3A runner-up Lady Indians.

Her decision came down to Kirkwood and Clarke University.

"I was looking at Kirkwood for a while, but Clarke was a better fit for me and that's where I wanted to go," she said. "They have a great medical program up there."

Carson, who wants to be an orthopedic surgeon, said a brand new science facility was a big selling point for her.

"They just built a brand new $13 million science facility, so that was a bonus," she said. "And they have a cadaver lab, which me wanting to go into the medical field, that's a good opportunity for me."

Carson said she had the opportunity to practice with the team when she went on her visit, and found the practice to be very similar to her high school practices.

"I spoke with the coach that's over there," Diehl said. "He seems like a really good guy that coaches a very similar style as I do. I think she's going to be able to jump right into that.

"I know some kids when they go to college, it's a culture shock of playing college softball. It's kind of like a job. She's already in that mode. She's willing to come in late at night or early in the morning. He's trying to rebuild a program and I think she's going to be a kid that will be a foundation for that."

But, before trading her Clarke High School playing days for Clarke University, Carson still has a few things she wants to accomplish.

"I definitely want to go to state again," she said. "That was an experience I'll never forget. And I want to get another conference title."