Koch headed for Millikin University to pitch

Bryan Veginski
Morton High School senior Nicole Koch, middle, signed May 8 with Millikin University, where she will play softball for the Big Blue. With Koch in the MHS library were, in front, from left: her parents, Steven and Tonya Koch; second row: Koch's brother, Bryan, sister, Kristin, and MHS softball head coach Stacey Buescher.

Millikin University offered the right combination for Nicole Koch.

The Morton High School senior signed May 8 with Decatur-based Millikin, where she will play softball for the Big Blue.

"It was the best option for me both academically and with softball," said Koch of her choice. "It was a really good fit."

Koch added she fell in love with the campus and liked the philosophy of head coach Amber Dohlman, who is concluding her first season guiding the Big Blue.

Koch primarily will pitch for Millikin.

Her changeup will be a focal point as she prepares for NCAA Division-III competition. Koch also will concentrate on her riseball and dropball.

A softball player since the age of 5, Koch got a lot of looks before deciding on Millikin.

"I always wanted to play at the college level," said Koch.

One of the scholastic leaders at MHS with a 5.0 grade-point average, Koch added it was a big relief knowing what academic and athletic pursuits were in her future.

Koch is a third-year varsity player for Potter head coach Stacey Buescher.

She has twice been named second-team all-Mid-Illini Conference — as a pitcher in 2011 and as an outfielder last spring.

Koch is 13-5 this season through Monday with a 2.25 ERA, bringing her career Morton record to 31-12. She has 87 strikeouts and only six walks in '13.

At Millikin, Koch will major in biology for pre-physical therapy.