Rogers City’s Grace Garrison joins Mid Michigan softball program

Courtesy Photo Rogers City senior Grace Garrison, seated center, recently signed her letter of intent to play softball with Mid Michigan College. Garrison is pictured with Mid Michigan coach Greg Welch, Presque Isle Panthers coach Mike Tulgestke and assistant coach Ed Burke, and Rogers City coach Amanda Karsten.

ALPENA — When high school athletes sign their letters of intent to play collegiate sports, rapport with their new coach is a theme that repeatedly pops up.

For Grace Garrison, Mid Michigan College and coach Greg Welch checked that box.

Garrison, a Rogers City senior, recently became the newest member of the Lakers’ softball program after signing her LOI. She’s the second Rogers City player to sign with the Lakers after Kyrsten Altman signed in 2019.

“I am super excited to go play for Mid Michigan,” Garrison said. “The coach is so close to my travel ball coach and it makes me comfortable to go play with the team.”

That coach, Mike Tulgestke, has been an invaluable source of help to Garrison over the last several years. As a coach in the Presque Panthers travel softball program, Tulgestke has coached Garrison for two years on the Panthers’ 16U team and one season on the 18U team. Garrison will play for the 18U team again this summer. In the winter, Tulgestke works with Garrison in his barn hitting and playing catch.

Garrison has also played for the Hurons for two seasons and was part of the 2019 team — along with Altman — that made a run to the Division 4 semifinals.

Welch, who took over as the Lakers’ coach last season, also coaches a travel team in the summer. He got the chance to see Garrison play last summer when the Panthers played against Welch’s team.

Garrison, who will pursue studies in agronomy, will begin her studies at Mid Michigan, and hopes to play at second base as she does in travel ball.

“It’s a much faster pace than high school or travel ball, Garrison said. “It’s going to be like a job.”


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