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Peace set to continue career at Notre Dame College

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The North softball team will honor its seven seniors prior to Wednesday’s Western Reserve Conference showdown with visiting Mayfield.

Among that group, three will continue their softball careers in college.

Dana Turchon and Sam Szoradi will play at Lakeland Community College and Kristen Peace will study criminal justice and play softball at Notre Dame College.

“Already having a team for college has been a stress reliever,” Peace said. “I have been able to finish out my last high school season worry-free and I’ve been able to enjoy every last memory with my teammates.”

Peace, a four-year starter, is third on the team with a .400 batting average and second with a .615 slugging percentage. She has six doubles, one triple and two home runs and has knocked in a team-high 24 runs.

She also has been a rock at third base for the Rangers over the past four years.

“Kristen is a four-year starter who has had a major impact on this program,” said North coach Andrew Palermo. “Since her freshman year, she has produced offensively and defensively with numbers that are comparable to any player in this area. Very proud to say I’ve had the opportunity to coach her and wish her the best of luck in college. The North Lady Ranger program will miss her and her shoes will be hard to fill.”

Peace also considered Lake Erie College, Bluffton University and Kent State but was drawn to what Notre Dame offered academically and athletically.

“What really went into the decision of choosing Notre Dame was the fact that education is really valued there and that’s important to me,” she said. “By going to Notre Dame, I will be able to be pretty close to my family and my high school friends. The campus is beautiful and it seems like there’s always something going on to get involved in.”

Notre Dame recruited Peace as an infielder and she plans to put in the work to push for a starting spot in her first season on campus.

“I am going to train hard to get a starting spot at preferably third base or shortstop,” she said. “I’m going to work hard for them and if I get a starting spot anywhere I will be thankful and do my best no matter where I am. I have played with some of the girls on the team already from past summer ball seasons so I think I will fit in perfectly and they have really calmed my nerves about the team and the whole college experience in general.”

With just a handful of regular season games left to play and her final shot at a district title and more, Peace is prepared to give everything she has to help the Rangers finish off the season in style.

She also hopes to leave her mark on the program in an official capacity.

“I want to break a school record and leave my name somewhere on the walls of North,” she said. “I am also going to be leaving high school with the need to play every single game like it’s my last and always putting forth my best effort no matter what, because my actual ‘last’ game with this team is getting closer and closer every day and I need to value the time I’m given, no matter what school or where I am. My coaches and team this year have showed me that importance.”

Peace hopes her teammates and coaches remember her for more than the impressive statistics she posted over her four-year career.

“When I leave North, I think everyone will remember my sense of humor the most,” she said. “I know how to make everyone smile when they’re nervous or having a bad day.”

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