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Hauser softball standout looks forward, commits to play for Indiana State in 2016

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Hauser's Leslie Sims, throws a ball during practice for the Indiana Select Softball team. 
Jade Sharp|For The Republic
Hauser's Leslie Sims, throws a ball during practice for the Indiana Select Softball team. Jade Sharp|For The Republic

Leslie Sims has played only one year of high school softball, but she already knows where she’ll be playing in college.

The Hauser sophomore recently committed to play for Indiana State beginning in the fall of 2016.

“I went to their camp one time in my eighth-grade year, and as soon as I left that camp, I said, ‘That’s where I want to go to school,’” Sims said. “It’s close to home. I love the campus. It’s beautiful.”

The Sycamores are coached by Shane Bouman, a former pitching coach at Iowa. His ace pitcher, Amanda Zust, who led the Hawkeyes to three College World Series appearances, is his assistant at ISU.

“I love the coaches, both Shane and Amanda,” Sims said.

“They’re awesome. My dad (Hauser coach Craig Sims) has the same coaching style as Shane, and it’s awesome.

“You get in there, you do work and you get out. I love the way he plays softball.”

“She said, ‘I really like him, and that’s where I want to play at,’” Craig said. “It’s rare that a kid says, ‘That’s where I want to go,’ and the coach has a need for them.”

Leslie Sims, who played shortstop and did a little pitching as a freshman for the Jets, was recruited as a middle infelder/outfielder. She set a state record with 72 stolen bases this spring and batted .630 with 45 runs scored.

“The way (Bouman) plays softball is very impressive,” Craig said. “He likes the speed, and he’s trying to recruit athletic kids.”

The Sycamores had 23 consecutive losing seasons until Bouman came in three years ago.

“He said this year, they should win conference, and by the time Leslie gets there, she should plan on making it to the College World Series,” Craig said. “He has things going in the right direction.”

Southern Indiana and Evansville also had offered scholarships to Leslie. Syracuse and Ohio State had invited her to prospect camps.

“She had other schools interested in her,” Craig said. “She wanted to stay close to home. Her main decision was the coaching. Division I softball, if you haven’t done something by your junior year, scholarship opportunities are very limited.”

“Of course my dad wants what’s best for me,” Leslie said. “He and my mom (Shannon) are both a big part of this. They always want me to do my best in everything and succeed. They’re really awesome.”

Leslie is currently playing with the Hauser girls basketball team. Then, it’s on to softball.

“This year, I think we’re going to be a lot better than we were last year,” Leslie said.

“One of my goals for our team would be to win conference and then win sectional.”

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