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Tobias will join former DU coach at Central Michigan

Delton Kellogg senior Katie Tobias signs her National Letter of Intent to join the Central Michigan University women's softball program at DKHS in November. Tobias has earned honorable mention all-state honors in Division 3 each of the past two seasons, helping lead the Panther program to back-to-back district championships.

Brett Bremer

Sports Editor

New Central Michigan University women's softball coach McCall Salmon took a step up this summer, and she thinks that Delton Kellogg senior Katie Tobias can make that step with her.

Tobias signed her National Letter of Intent last month to join the Central Michigan University Chippewas beginning with the 2020-2021 season.

Coach Salmon recruited Tobias when she was leading the Davenport University, an NCAA Division II, program last spring and kept right on wanting Tobias on her team when she joined the Division I Chippewas in June.

“The main reason I chose Davenport was because of (the coaching staff). Once they offered me, I couldn't say no,” Tobias said.

Tobias is looking forward to playing for Salmon, and former Wayland star and CMU standout Brittini Merchant who will continue as an assistant under Salmon.

“I visited and did a bunch of camps with Davenport, and just got closer with them. I really enjoyed watching their games, and their coaching style. I just wanted to play for them,” Tobias said.

She was nervous at first, not wanting to go through the whole recruiting process all over again once it was announced Salmon was leaving Davenport.

“It turned out all good,” Tobias said.

Tobias, will be the Panthers' senior catcher in her fourth varsity season this spring. She has been a team captain each of the past two seasons and is a two-time team MVP.

She had 16 home runs last spring, recording a .545/.628/1.26 line (batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage). She was named all-state honorable mention in Division 3 each of the past two seasons, helping lead the Delton Kellogg varsity to back-to-back district championships the past two seasons and 30 total victories a year ago.

“I think we have a really good shot of winning regionals this year,” Tobias said. “The past couple years we've made it to regionals and fallen short. This year we're really determined we don't want to just win districts. We want to win regionals. We want to go as far as we can. I think we have the group of girls to do it this year.”

Tobias is one of three DK softball seniors who have chosen their collegiate teams already. Hailey Buckner recently signed with Adrian College and Lily Timmerman signed with Lake Michigan College. There is a chance senior Erin Kapteyn joins them at the collegiate level soon as well.

Tobias is still working on what she might want to major in at CMU, education or possibly sports psychology.

“I want to be around kids and people making a difference,” Tobias said.

Watching her big sister Kylie Tobias playing travel ball really stoked the flames of wanting to be softball player Katie said.

Tobias and a few of her other softball teammates also helped the DK varsity girls' basketball team to a district championship in 2019, and she is in the middle of her senior season on the basketball court currently.

“I have basketball during the week. On Saturdays, my travel and high school (softball teams) do indoor games. Every other Sunday I have travel practice, and then I have hitting up here at the high school. During the week, I get in and hit at my house.”

Her stellar bat has been helped by the batting cage her father built upstairs in the barn about five years ago. She hits off a tee most of the time, and takes some soft toss from her dad now and then.

“Mostly I just go up there by myself and work on what I need to work on,” Tobias said.

Salmon was the head coach at Davenport from 2014-19, posting a 235-63 record and leading the program through a successful transition from the NAIA to the NCAA Division II according to her CMU bio. She has big shoes to fill at CMU, taking over for legendary coach Margo Jonker who led the Chippewas from 1980-2019. The CMU softball stadium was renovated and renamed Margo Jonker Stadium while she was still coaching there in 2008.

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