GAYLORD — Rey Linares saw an online recruiting video for Summer Sullivan.
That’s all the Schoolcraft College softball coach needed to see, yet he took in more, just to be sure.
The Gaylord St. Mary standout pitcher committed to Schoolcraft.
Linares saw a recruiting video of Sullivan, a member of the 2019 Record-Eagle softball Dream Team.
“That little bit was enough to draw my interest,” Linares said. “She’s a very dynamic player. As soon as I saw her, I knew she had to move on to the college level.”
He went back for several travel ball games, where Sullivan played for the Alpena Thundercats. That’s no small trip from Livonia, and last season’s Ocelots roster consisted exclusively of Detroit-area players.
“You could tell Summer was a leader on the team,” Linares said. “She’s got a good bat, too. We expect her to play right away.”
Sullivan hit .566 in 2019 with a .906 slugging percentage and 1.499 OPS, all in the top 10 of players in the Record-Eagle coverage area. She added 14 extra-base hits, including eight doubles and two home runs. As a pitcher, she struck out 127 batters in 91 innings with a 2.33 earned-run average and 1.099 WHIP.
“What surprised a lot of colleges was her outfield ability,” her father and St. Mary coach John Sullivan said.
The 5-foot-10 senior rarely played outfield in high school, since the Snowbirds needed her to pitch. Sullivan saw far more outfield work in travel ball with the Moran Iron Works Vulcans and Alpena Thundercats.
Plenty of area athletes — most notably in baseball and softball — have gone the community college route and ended up at Division 1 or 2 programs. Or they’ve been able to extend their playing days for a couple years while spending less and getting ready for a four-year school.
“I was looking at schools that would be financially viable,” said Sullivan, who plans to major in business and administration, then get a bachelor’s degree and go to law school. “It’s a good way to experience it if you want to move on.”
Sullivan’s older sister, Savannah, did the same thing, signing with Jackson Community College (now known simply as Jackson College). She also looked at Jackson College, Lake Michigan Community College and Spring Arbor University.
Schoolcraft started the 2020 season 3-6 on a spring trip to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, before the rest of the season was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
That also cost Sullivan and the rest of Michigan spring sports seniors their senior season.
“It is pretty hard,” said Sullivan, who also ran cross country at St. Mary. “It sucks. There’s really no way to put a good spin on it. There’s no positive to losing your senior season. I wish I would have known so I could have savored more of last year.”
Sullivan not only participated in the Michigan Model Judicial Program — a YMCA Michigan Youth in Government program for high school student involvement in mock trials — but won best defense attorney in the state.