Bella Lodico was only a freshman when she became the starting pitcher for the Rochelle Township High School softball team. Lodico knew it would be a challenge facing older and more experienced hitters, but that challenge has helped her to become a better person and leader.
Now a senior, Lodico will be looking to finish her high school career strong with the Lady Hubs before she takes her academics and athletics to Judson University in Elgin. Lodico said she plans to study psychology in hopes of becoming either a school counselor or a therapist.
“I chose Judson University because it will provide the best future for me,” Lodico said. “When I first visited the campus, the environment and the people made me feel at home. I knew I wanted to be closer to home because my family and friends mean so much to me… I’m looking forward to competing against girls who have as much passion and love for the game as I do.”
Lodico showed great promise her freshman season, striking out 103 batters and totaling only 29 walks in 103 and one-third innings pitched. The left-hander took a step forward as a sophomore, throwing 120 innings and recording six wins while striking out 124 batters. Lodico, who also plays for the Kishwaukee Valley Storm, was Rochelle’s Most Valuable Player in 2019.
“I knew my freshman year was going to be a challenge,” Lodico said. “Playing softball at RTHS has helped me become much stronger mentally… As a lefty, I know situations chance against other opponents. I want to make it a challenge for other teams to compete against Judson and I know I can do what the coaches tell me and more. I want to make an impact on the Judson team and the only way to do that is by working hard and getting better every single day.”
Lodico and the Lady Hubs will tee off their upcoming season next April. Softball is one of several sports that saw its 2020-21 season pushed back to the summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lady Hubs have won 11 games in Lodico’s three-plus years with the softball program.
“I’m excited to see Bella have a chance to play at the next level,” head coach Lindsay Suess said. “She has been a great leader in our program and she works extremely hard. Bella will be a great asset to the Judson program.”