Neosho senior center fielder Tori Frazier earned all-conference, all-district, and all-region honors during her final high school season, signs of recognition of her on-field contributions.

On Wednesday, Frazier was recognized for signing her national letter of intent to play softball at NCAA Division II Missouri Southern, a short drive down the highway from Neosho to Joplin.

“I’m just excited to have the opportunity to go play at Missouri Southern,” Frazier said. “I just feel really blessed.

“Missouri Southern was just a great fit for me all around both academically and athletically, and I think that being so close to home is something that I was looking for in a school. I’m just excited to get up there and play on the field and be at the collegiate level.”

Frazier talked about what made Neosho special … her senior year still has a full basketball season ahead … and what could be special about playing at the collegiate level.

“I’ve lived here my whole life,” Frazier said, “so the whole team felt like a family and I knew everyone. Going into a new school, I am sure it will be a new family, but it will be hard leaving that one.”

Frazier helped a young Neosho Lady Wildcat softball squad win a pair of 11-1 games in the Class 4, District 12 tournament against Joplin and Republic to reach the district finals against Webb City.

“Tori was a four-year letterman for us,” Neosho head coach Catie Cummins said. “This was my first year I got to coach her. This year, she batted .444, which led our team. She had the most stolen bases on our team and she also had the most runs scored, which was a big deal. She was on base all the time for us. She was an unanimous first team all-conference, unanimous first team all-district and all-region, so it’s been a while since we had an all-region softball player from Neosho. It was a big deal and we’re really proud of her. I am glad that I got a couple years with her and hopefully, we’ll have some more come up like Tori in the program in the next few years.”

After Neosho’s 9-4 loss to Webb City in the district finals, Cummins was asked about the four seniors and her response began with Frazier.

“Tori Frazier, our center fielder, has just been one of the most level-headed kids that I’ve been around,” Cummins said. “I’m young in experience and years, but she just gets it. She gets it and we’re going to miss her a lot with her leadership. She’s not the most vocal person, but she’s always doing the right thing and encouraging her teammates. She can go catch any fly ball hit at her and that’s real important, and she’s solid in the leadoff.”

Missouri Southern, coached by Melissa Chmielewski, comes off a 2017 season in which the Lady Lions finished 27-30 overall and 16-10 in the strong Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association. Just a couple seasons ago, the Lady Lions only won 15 games overall and seven in the MIAA.