Wolves’ Bernard signs with Williston State

sports natalie and randy

This week Natalie Bernard is playing softball with the Milaca Wolves on a spring training trip in Orlando, Fla.
Next spring she will be taking her skills to Williston, N.D.
Bernard, a senior catcher on coach Randy Johnson’s Milaca High School softball team, signed a national letter of intent to play softball next year at Williston State College, where she will go from being a member of the Wolves to a member of the Tetons. The Tetons’ mascot is a bison.
Bernard signed the letter of intent in front of the “Big M” at Milaca High School, with her parents, grandparents, brother, boyfriend, Principal Damian Patnode and Johnson by her side.
Bernard boasts a .552 batting average with 58 hits and 19 RBIs so far in her high school career. Behind the plate Bernard touts a .994 fielding percentage. Over her prep career, Bernard has been named league batting champion in 2012 and 2013, named to All-Conference Team in 2012 and 2013, and named to the All-Section and All-Area Teams in 2013.
The Tetons learned about Bernard through a recruiting website, she said. After being contacted by Tetons coach Scott Wachholz, she was told the school was interested in her for her catching and hitting skills, Bernard said.
“I did a lot of research and then went out there to visit the campus,” Bernard said. “I was able to talk with the coach and meet members of the team,” she said.
The school offered her a scholarship, which will pay most of her tuition, Bernard said.
Bernard said she looks forward to joining the team.
“I look forward to playing with an entirely new team, along with getting to know each and every one of the girls better,” she said.
“The experience that comes with college softball will be really new for me, but I’m willing to take the challenge to becoming a better player,” Bernard said.
“Not only is this about softball, but it’s about pursuing my degree in nursing. I’m excited to start taking generals and eventually becoming a registered nurse within five years of school.”
Teton softball coach Scott Wachholz, reached in Arizona on a Tetons spring training trip, was equally excited about Bernard’s signing.
“We are so excited that Natalie is joining our program. When you meet her, you can tell she is a gamer, and at the catcher position, that’s a must. We are also excited by her skill set; she does a lot of things right and takes her hacks at the plate. (She) definitely will have an opportunity to help us both offensively and defensively,” he said.