Growing up, Michele DiNicola sat on the sidelines and watched her older brother play baseball. As soon as she could throw a ball and swing a bat, she too could be found playing on a field.
Michele, expected ’19, competed on softball teams for more than 10 years prior to joining the Red Barons Softball Team at Corning Community College (CCC) in 2018. Tossing, batting, and catching was synonymous with her everyday life—and still is as she balances classwork.
The 19-year-old came to Corning from Rochester, N.Y., last year to pursue a degree in early childhood and special education, and of course, to play ball. Her college debut went so well that she is a finalist for College Athlete of the Year in the 2018 Twin Tiers Sports Night Awards. (Vote for Michele here until June 22, 2018!)
“I enjoy playing softball because I get to travel and meet new people. CCC’s Softball Team has been a wonderful experience because I get to play with other people who are also passionate about the game,” Michele shared.
So far, Michele’s favorite college memory was taking home a win against Onondaga Community College (OCC). She said that it was a tough game, but the Red Barons worked together to team up against OCC and slide to victory.
“I feel like all of the hard work and time spent practicing softball has paid off. It’s definitely different being in the spotlight for it, but I feel blessed to be on the Twin Tiers Sport Night Awards poll,” she said.
Following her successful career at Corning Community College, Michele plans to transfer to a four-year college. She’d like to return to her hometown and become an elementary special education teacher at a public school in Rochester in the years to come. But, for now, she’s focused on packing her summer with volunteer work and seasonal jobs.
Soon enough Michele will return to her dorm room in Perry Hall with her fellow Red Barons. This time, the future educator will be one step closer to earning her Associate’s degree.