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Clinton Township

Chippewa Valley’s Rene Finn off to play softball at Trine University

June 11, 2014

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Chippewa Valley senior Rene Finn reaches for a throw at third base during a game against Grosse Pointe North earlier this season.

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — For every ending, there is a new beginning.

Rene Finn’s high school softball career at Chippewa Valley came to a close this spring, but her playing days are far from over.

Finn will be joining the softball team at Trine University in Indiana — a Division 3 school that qualified for the national championship this spring — to extend her career.

“I’m very excited. The way they’re doing now gets me even more excited to play at their level,” Finn said.

Her decision to pursue softball in college didn’t happen until this past fall. After a productive junior season and a strong summer, Finn said she began getting noticed by coaches, and she committed to Trine in November.

Finn, who hit .446 this season with 23 RBI, said that her improvement in hitting during her time at Chippewa was especially significant.

“I started off kind of slow with hitting, but I’ve definitely progressed with working on it to come where I am now,” Finn said.

In addition to softball, Finn said that Trine’s academic offerings suited her perfectly while she was deciding on a college.

“The school is smaller. It has about 2,500 people, so I like the small feel. In academics, I want to go for elementary school teaching, and their program fit me the best with what they had there, so that helped a lot and helped me pick where I want to go,” Finn said.

This season, Chippewa coach Claire Cannon leaned on Finn to help lead the team in her first year of coaching the Big Reds.

“(Finn) was a tremendous leader for us. She’s one of two seniors for us who have been at the varsity level for four years, and since we had a young team, she guided the underclassmen and got them playing at the level that the varsity is. She did a great job,” Cannon said.

Cannon, a 2008 graduate of Chippewa and former softball athlete at Albion College, a rival of Trine’s in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, said that Finn was very receptive to her as a young head coach this season.

“She came to all of the open gyms. She’s very solid in working all the time. She’s very outspoken but in a very approachable way, so it’s been nice working with her. It’s been nice having her as a senior,” Cannon said. “I know as an 18-year-old looking at a young coach like I am, it could’ve been a difficult transition, but she’s a wonderful girl and a tremendous athlete, so it’s been pretty easy.”

In addition to having Finn lead the Big Reds on and off the diamond, Cannon said that having Finn play in college could help set the foundation for more Chippewa softball players to play at the next level.

“Because she’s going and there’s been a lot of talk about it, I know Stephanie Adamczyk, another senior, is considering playing at Macomb or St. Clair Community College, so it is a nice foundation-builder,” Cannon said. “We need athletes who want to play college ball and travel ball, otherwise, we’re just going to be a mediocre program. So it is nice to have her as an example, especially being a young team, they can see her and all of the excitement she has.”

Finn complimented her coach’s efforts this season, and said she is excited to come back and see what the program becomes.

“Our program has definitely stepped up from where it was, and I can’t wait to come back and see what it will be after college,” Finn said. “There was a big difference this year compared to what we had last year. The program is going to do great.”

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