Injury can’t keep IR’s Bomhardt from catching in college

DAGSBORO – Indian River senior Eliza Bomhardt committed the next four years of her academic career to the University of Hartford after signing a letter of intent to play softball for the Hawks beginning next fall.

Bomhardt said playing at the university, which is located in West Hartford, Conn., wasn’t her initial choice.

Indian River’s Eliza Bomhardt signs her letter of intent to attend the University of Hartford next fall. The senior catcher, who will be sidelined this spring while she rehabs a knee injury, said she is looking forward to playing for the university in West Hartford, Conn. (Special to the Sussex County Post/Bill Mitchell)

Indian River’s Eliza Bomhardt signs her letter of intent to attend the University of Hartford next fall. The senior catcher, who will be sidelined this spring while she rehabs a knee injury, said she is looking forward to playing for the university in West Hartford, Conn. (Special to the Sussex County Post/Bill Mitchell)

“Originally I wanted to go to a school in the south because I loved the areas of North and South Carolina when I visited,” said the Lady Indians catcher. “However, I received an email from the University of Harford asking me to visit the campus. I decided to visit mainly because I was already going to be in the Boston area playing in a softball tournament.”

Following her visit there were several reasons why Bomhardt decided to attend the Northeast school instead of those in the South.

“The campus was beautiful and the people were very nice,” said Bomhardt, who entered her senior year at Indian River with a 4.25 grade-point-average “They also offered me a 90 percent scholarship and I couldn’t turn it down.”

While she is excited about playing softball for the University of Hartford next fall, Bomhardt is extremely disappointed when it comes to her senior season on the IR softball team. The reason why, an injury is forcing her to sit the season out.

“This would have been my fourth year playing on the varsity team,” she said. “However, due to injuring my ACL in my left knee I will not be able to play for the team this spring.”

It’s obvious by the reaction to Bomhardt’s injury that the University of Hartford is thrilled about her commitment to the school.

“I was really worried that [my injury] was going to adversely affect everything,” Bomhardt said. “But, since my injury happened so early and because I would not be attending the university until next August, they told me to not worry. They said they were going to go through with the scholarship because they trusted me to get my knee fixed and to rehab very hard so I would be ready to play when I get there.”

Bomhardt went onto say that unless there are complication with her rehab, she doesn’t expect to be redshirted her freshman season at Hartford.

Being offered a 90 percent scholarship, which is rare in softball, was mainly due to the position Bomhardt plays.

“I started catching when I was about eight years old and really loved it,” she said. “My parents told me that, if I liked catching, I should stick with it because catchers are hard to come by.

“That’s when I decided to focus on catching because I knew if I wanted to attend college and play softball, this was a good position to be playing to get noticed.”

In addition to her catching abilities, Bomhardt said she knows she can contribute more to the Hawks softball team.

“I feel I’m a really good team leader,” she said. “I’m very enthusiastic about softball and I really like to help in any way I can.”

Bomhardt plans on majoring in both phycology and education because her life’s goal is to become a phycology professor.

While she is looking forward to playing softball at the collegiate level, Bomhardt, who will have her knee repaired in December, is disappointed her high school career will end off of the playing field.

“I feel it’s [graduating] going to hit me pretty hard because I cannot play softball my senior year,” she said. “However, I am excited about graduating because I know I will be playing softball again when I go to college.”

Even though she will be unable to help her IR teammates on the field this spring, Bomhardt stated she will be cheering them on from the sidelines.

Bill Mitchell can be reached at sussexpost@newszap.com

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