LaGrange College

LaGrange College Athletics
601 Broad Street LaGrange, GA 30240
Division 3 Georgia Southeast
Private Very Small Developing team


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Mel Rushing

Mel Rushing is in her first year as Associate Director of Athletics and Head Softball Coach at LaGrange College in 2021-22.

Rushing comes to LaGrange after a four-year coaching sabbatical during which she founded Mental Sweet Spot, a company that helps softball coaches and teams train the mental component to win more games and have more fun.

Her recent experience includes producing a successful podcast with over 100,000 downloads; running virtual bootcamps; helping coaches build an actionable blueprint for their team culture; creating resources and working with coaches to develop confident, mentally tough teams; and creating curriculum for player mental training programs.

A member of the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, small business owner and former member of the Athletics-Admissions Advancement Committee, she hopes to utilize her training and experience to improve recruitment, retention and overall performance within the team, department and college as a whole.

"I want to thank President Baxter and Athletic Director Olds for this amazing opportunity," said Rushing. "I know I will be a part of something special here with Olds' vision for an even greater department.

"I was looking for a position where I could help grow strong, confident students, athletes and people. Most importantly, I wanted a place where my husband and I could raise our three boys in a supportive community, surrounded by athletes and other impactful leaders. LaGrange most certainly offers both, and I cannot wait to get there."

Rushing previously served as head softball coach, event manager and sport psychology professor at Division III Kalamazoo College in Michigan. In just her first season, her team attained its highest conference finish in 15 years. The group set single-season team records in batting average, runs, hits, home runs and stolen bases. By her third year, the squad achieved the second-most wins in program history with a top-20 strength of schedule in the country. Her unit also produced a first-team all-conference player for the first time since 1998 and the first second-team player since 2004.

Prior to Kalamazoo, Rushing was a graduate assistant coach at Div. I Jacksonville University in Florida. Before that, she served as an instructor and coach at HitStreak Fastpitch in Colorado. She also assisted programs at Div. III University of Redlands and Div. II California State University, San Bernardino.

As a player, she started and won conference all four seasons at Redlands under Hall of Fame Coach, UCLA Alumna and Div. I National Champion, Laurie Nevarez. She also learned from alumni of the University of Arizona, University of Oregon and top Southern California travel ball coaches. Upon completing her degree, she also played and coached professionally with the Haar Disciples in Munich, Germany.

Rushing holds a bachelor's degree in communicative disorders from University of Redlands, a master's in sport psychology from the University of Denver and another master's in leadership & learning from Jacksonville University.

Rushing and her husband, Bryan Rushing, relocated to LaGrange, Georgia, from Jacksonville, Florida, with their three sons, Patrick, Connor and Tristan, and two fur-babies, Charlotte and Luna.

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Ivy Grant

Ivy Grant enters her first year as an Assistant Coach for the LaGrange College softball team in 2021-22.

Grant was a three-year student-athlete for the Panther softball team from 2019-21, earning a bachelor's degree in business administration with a concentration in sports management from LC in May 2021.

Grant has served as Fundraising Coordinator for the Sports Management club and Vice President for Common Ground at LaGrange College since August 2020. In her role with the Sports Management club, she plans fundraising events, corresponds with vendors for donations, organizes the schedule for fundraising volunteers and cultivates a social media presence for marketing. At Common Ground, she plans meetings and events, while promoting support for the LGBTQ+ community.

From August 2020 - May 2021, she worked as a Presidential Student Ambassador at LaGrange College, recruiting potential students, leading tours and abiding by the LC values and mission statement. During her undergraduate years, Grant served as the Social Chair for Phi Mu from December 2018 - December 2019, coordinating and planning social events.

On the softball field, Grant had some shining moments. During the 2021 season, she finished tied for first in the USA South in fielding percentage with a perfect 1.000 mark, featuring 19 putouts and four assists. The Hartwell, Georgia, native led the 2021 team in runs (11), was tied for first in walks (5) and ranked in a tie for second in hits (13). Grant recorded at least one hit in nine games, posted three multi-hit efforts and compiled one three-hit performance.

During her junior campaign, she finished 3 of 5, with three runs and one RBI, in an 18-1 victory over Mississippi University for Women on Feb. 23, 2020. Grant excelled as an outfielder and pitcher during her Panther career. On March 7, 2019, she threw 2 2/3 innings of relief and was not charged with a single run in Game 1 against Piedmont.

Grant was a great student and athlete at Hart County High School. She earned the Coaches and Slugger awards for the softball team, while being named a team captain. Furthermore, she earned the Ron Sadler Memorial and Math awards on her way to graduating with honors and earning the Hope Scholarship.

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