03/15/11 — Shingleton headed to Methodist

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Shingleton headed to Methodist

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 15, 2011 1:47 PM

Just like any high school student-athlete, Ashley Shingleton has always had aspirations of playing college sports.

She also knew her choices were limited since she plans to major in the Physicians Assistant program, which is offered by just five universities statewide.

And the decision became harder when Shingleton, a Charles B. Aycock senior, realized the disparity in travel. Would she stay close to home or conceivably spend half a day on the road to attend school?

Well, she's not going far. Shingleton will attend Division III Methodist University in Fayetteville on a Presidential Academic Scholarship and will play for the Monarch softball team.

"I looked at East Carolina, which has a waiting list ... the other schools are about three or four hours away and I don't want to go that far from home," said Shingleton. "(Methodist) coach (Ron Simpson) was really nice. When I toured the school, everyone seemed nice."

Simpson is recruiting Shingleton as a pitcher, but also knows she could see time in the outfield. Aycock head coach Brad Matthews feels Shingleton can contribute to the Monarchs.

"She has good speed and in the outfield, she can cover a lot of ground," said Matthews. "She's pitched real well for us. She throws strikes and mixes her pitches up really well. She's a hard worker. Everybody feeds off of her and she's a good leader."

Methodist has appeared in six NCAA Division III regional tournaments during Simpson's tenure as head coach. The Monarchs have won five USA South regular-season titles and four USA South tournament crowns.

Simpson has recorded seven 30-win seasons, but his last two teams have finished below .500.

Shingleton isn't quite sure where she'll fit in, but admits she needs improvement in her pitching and outfield play. The right-handed hurler has a solid arsenal of pitches -- drop, curve, rise, fastball, change-up and drop.

"I need to work on my speed for pitching and outside pitches, and being patient with my bat," said Shingleton, who plays with the Hurricanes 18U travel team. "(Travel ball) keeps me in shape. (At Methodist), I'll just have to be on top of it."