Junior outfielder Curtis wants to build off last season's success

Junior outfielder Allison Curtis stands at bat during the game against Valparaiso on March 28 at Margo Jonker Stadium.

Junior outfielder Allison Curtis hopes the 2018 season will continue a trend following her since high school — success.

The Tuscon, Arizona native is a two-time first team All Mid-American Conference selection, earning first team All-MAC freshman honors in 2016 and Great Lakes All-Region second team in 2017.

Curtis sported a .336 batting average her freshman season with 15 RBIs, seven stolen bases and 44 hits. She boasted a fielding percentage of 1.000. Curtis’ .374 on-base percentage ranked No. 3 on the 2016 squad. 

Curtis' numbers improved in 2017 with a .377 average last season with 63 hits, 10 doubles and 20 RBIs. Her .407 on-base percentage trailed only Lacy Tolfree for the team-high.

In 25 games this season, Curtis owns a .293 batting average with one home run and eight RBIs.

Curtis first gained attention from the Chippewa softball staff while playing in a showcase in California.

“We were impressed by how she played as much as how good she was,” said head coach Margo Jonker. "(Curtis) seemed to love the game and play with passion, sometimes that’s more difficult to find.”

Former assistant coach Joanna Lane gave her contact information to Curtis’ coach after a game — hopeful to get the eventual second team All-State outfielder to Mount Pleasant.

“A lot of times when we can get recruits to (visit) campus they tend to like our campus a lot,” Jonker said. “We brought her here and she liked it. Obviously it had to do with our staff and student athletes, as well as our campus."

Once Curtis visited CMU for the first time she knew she would one day wear Maroon and Gold.

“I fell in love with the school and the program. I liked the team dynamic,” Curtis said. “I liked the dynamic of the program (after) meeting the team, the family feeling and the coaches made the program what it is. I liked the dynamic of the program.”

Curtis also liked the idea of playing for Jonker.

“The stadium is already named after her and she’s a well-known coach everywhere,” Curtis said. "It’s pretty awesome I get to play for a coach like that. I’m pretty lucky.”

Curtis selected CMU over Minnesota, Southern Mississippi and Southern Illinois.

After her senior season at Salpointe Catholic high school, Curtis’ resume included three varsity letters while named team captain and MVP her senior campaign where she earned first team All-Southern Arizona honors and second team All-State. 

Curtis hit .448 with two home runs and 23 stolen bases while striking out once in 194 at bats during her junior and senior seasons.

Although she found success in Arizona, Curtis was not prepared for Michigan's winter.

“It was hard to get used to,” Curtis said. "I didn’t have a winter coat yet, so I had to buy my first winter coat. It was very different, but I’ve gotten used to it now.”

While most CMU athletes are recruited in-state or in the Great Lakes area, Curtis lives 1,618 miles from home, a hurdle she cleared thanks to the people closest to her.

“When I’m playing softball I’m not thinking about being homesick,” Curtis said. "I talk to my family a lot and all the players here are really supportive. On Thanksgiving I’d go home with my roommate or some people, (it’s) a family feeling.”

Jonker hopes to see more student athletes like Curtis.

“We have someone coming in next year from New Mexico (looking for) a different experience and wants ’to see green’,” Jonker said. "It’s a different experience, and it’s a great time in your life to experience something different.”

With two years remaining at CMU, Curtis wants to continue finding success after last year's regular season MAC title.

“I want our team to do as well as we can,” Curtis said. “Winning a MAC Championship last year was one of the coolest things, I want to keep doing that and win a tournament championship this year and maybe next year too.”