“I think we are already a very known group, including myself,” said Zimpleman. “I hope we leave a legacy with the younger athletes that we overtook the boys at Caston.”
Zimpleman, a senior, is a three-sport standout at Caston, playing volleyball, basketball and softball. In 2022, she helped the softball program collect its first semistate championship and make its first ever appearance in the Class A state finals.
“I remember that day like it was yesterday,” she said. “Walking in to (Bittinger Stadium at Purdue University) and seeing the crowd wearing red, white and blue.”
The Comets did not get to finish that special season with a state championship, falling 6-0 to Tecumseh, who captured the program’s fifth state championship.
“We knew we had to play at a great level,” said Zimpleman. “It’s probably my favorite memory so far in my career.”
Remember, she said, “so far.”
Caston volleyball (24-7) takes on Southwood (26-4) Saturday at 11 a.m. in its sectional opener. And with the postseason at hand, Zimpleman is experiencing the first of what will be three athletic seasons coming to a conclusion.
“Senior Night made it feel like it would be coming to an end,” admitted Zimpleman. “It is emotional but it won’t compare to softball.”
Zimpleman cited her father’s influence for her love of softball.
“In T-ball, I wanted the ball,” she said. “I had a passion for it. It’s a sport of failure and that has shaped me into who I am today.”
And today she is a Division I caliber softball player after announcing her commitment to play collegiately at Purdue University Fort Wayne.
“You hear it all the time but it felt like home,” said Zimpleman of her college choice. “Taking softball out of the equation, it felt like home.”
Zimpleman was impressed with the coaching staff and the campus and the proximity to home – just 90 minutes away. She intends to major in Business, or potentially Marketing.
Before that happens, Zimpleman has a volleyball season to finish and a basketball season to fire up. The Comets finished 20-3 last season with Zimpleman averaging 11.3 points (second most on the team), 4.3 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.3 steals per game.
“We should have a good season in basketball,” she said. “I have a great group of girls surrounding me. I am looking forward to it.”
And with the pressure of a college commitment now behind her, Zimpleman feels the Comets have unfinished business ahead in the 2024 softball season.
“Only two players graduated,” said Zimpleman of a 22-5 squad. “We have players that can step up.”
That includes Zimpleman, who will rise from the team’s No. 2 pitcher to the No. 1 spot in the circle, a role she has carried during recent travel ball seasons. She was 6-2 with a 3.14 earned run average with 84 strikeouts in 51 innings pitched for Caston as a junior.
When not pitching, she is a middle infielder, which will be her primary role at Purdue Fort Wayne. As a junior, she hit .500 for Caston with 13 doubles, 10 home runs and 30 runs batted in.
Ideally, a return to Bittinger Stadium in June would be a great way to cap off a stellar career, one that helped her accomplish a major life goal when announcing her college commitment.
“It’s definitely a relief,” she said of the commitment. “I can focus more on high school and enjoy my time with my family and friends. I know now I’ve accomplished this little girl’s dream.”
Get the most recent Fulton County Post headlines delivered to your email. Go to fultoncountypost.com and click on the free daily email signup link at the top of the page.