Megan Master, a recent Atlantic City High School graduate, has committed to play NCAA Division I softball at Rider University in Lawrenceville.

In September, Master, 18, committed to continue her education and softball career at Holy Family University, a D-II program in Philadelphia. Last month, however, Rider hired Holy Family’s Davon Ortega as its softball coach, and Master decided to follow.

“I was a little shook up when I found out that she was going to be coaching somewhere else,” Master said of the coach who had recruited her to Holy Family. “I thought I was done with all this college stuff, and now here I was in June trying to figure everything out. I’m happy that it worked out.”

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Ortega coached Holy Family for seven seasons. In 2016, Ortega brought the Holy Family Division II program to its first appearance in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference tournament championship game since 2004. It was also the first time the team reached 30 wins in its NCAA era.

“Last year, I went to a lot of showcases at different schools, and Holy Family was great,” Master said.

“Once we found out the coach left, I looked into Rider immediately and figured overall it would be the best move to go there. I visited and loved the school, and the opportunity to play Division I was too hard to pass up.”

Master will be a pre-med major and plans to go on to medical school.

“With everything figured out, I’ve been working a lot this summer to make sure I’m ready to play Division I. I want to be ready to fight for a spot to pitch as soon as I get there.”

Master was a first-team Press All-Star this year. In 15 starts for the Vikings, she pitched three no-hitters and struck out 157, tops in the Cape-Atlantic League. She also batted .370 with five doubles.

Atlantic City coach Jason Grimes worked with Master since her freshman year. During that 2014 season, the Vikings reached the South Jersey Group IV final. The team lost many players from that team, and Master stepped up as the Vikings’ ace as a sophomore.

“I’m glad to see it’s finally paying off for her in the end after all her hard work,” Grimes said.

“Unlike a lot of amazing pitchers, she wasn’t able to really get the wins, just due to her team being a little weak around her. I was preaching to her for three years that if you work hard enough, good things will happen, and they are. She stayed with out program, and I’m happy she’s going up to the next level.”

Master’s mom, Margie Master, also pitched for Atlantic City and is a member of the Vikings’ Hall of Fame. She went on to be all-American at Georgian Court University.

“She was my role model as a pitcher,” Master said. “Everyone is always saying how great she was, and she used to be my pitching coach. She was very excited about Rider and has always been supportive.”

Contact:

609-272-7210 MGitsas@pressofac.com

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Attended Johnson & Wales University

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