GREENVILLE – The continual success of the Greenville Lady Wave softball program has never been more evident than the 2018 women’s college softball season.
“Be it sports, business or whatever – you’re in it with your teammates,” said veteran Greenville Lady Wave varsity softball coach Jerrod Newland, now in his 16th season. “You work hard and hard work is rewarded and obviously around Lady Wave Softball that fits it to a T.”
“Shaffer at Muskingum, Jazz and Minnich at Sinclair – Jazz hitting homers the other day, Minnich pitching a shutout Friday, Luce is the starting outfielder for Capitol, Hanes is at third with Mount St. Joseph and Russell at Wright State playing. You have the Baughn girl at Edison going to be playing. It says a lot to see the success they are having.”
Ally Russell a 2015 GHS graduate heads the list, pitching for the Division I Wright State Lady Raiders where she has twice been named Horizon League Pitcher of the Week.
“Russell playing D-I … best level it gets,” said Newland. “At Wright State she’s already on her third spring break trip.”
Capitol University starting center fielder Haleigh Luce, a 2014 GHS grad heads into her senior season holding down the center field position for the Lady Crusaders.
“You have Luce starting outfielder for Capitol,” Newland stated, “that is awesome.”
Jazzlyn Petry and Allison Minnich, from the class of 2016 are beginning their second season playing for the Sinclair Lady Tartans.
“Jazz the other day hits a homer for Sinclair,” said Newland, “Minnich pitches a shutout Friday.”
Muskingum University freshman Karsyn Shaffer, a 2017 GHS graduate and four year starter at second base for the Lady Wave has made an instant impression with her bat while earning the starting shortstop position for the Lady Fighting Muskies.
“It’s just tremendous when you think about what Karsyn (Shaffer) is doing at Muskingum,” noted Newland. “The team is undefeated – the first day she was nine for ten in her first two games and a walk-off winner in her first game ever.”
“I told her to retire,” chuckled Newland. “That would be a great way to go down.”
From the GHS class of 2017, Makayla Hanes picks us where she left off with the Lady Wave playing third base for the Mount. St. Joseph University Lady Lions.
Lauren Baughn, a 2017 GHS grad is playing first base and outfield for the Edison Lady Chargers at the college level.
“I’m just so proud of where we came to what we are doing,” said Newland. “When you look out and see those seven kids playing, it’s just awesome. That just says something for the community and Greenville High School and this case, Lady Wave Softball.”
“Our program gets them ready because we’re very blunt and to the point at our program,” Newland said of the program’s success at the college level. “The level we play at is awesome and to be able to get our high school team out and seen and get the kids in front of the right people is what it’s all about.”
“When you get to go places and do things, that’s what gets your names out. We play at a very high level and we love what we do. My job and my goal is to just get kids ready for college and to see them go and succeed. It is just awesome. Like today, Shaffer wins game one and Minnich pitches a shutout, Jazz hits one out, Russell is getting ready to play, they won earlier today and you start looking at the scores and tickers and things and you’re like, goodness gracious its five, six, seven kids going at it – playing.”
Coach Newland does not apologize for the rigorous Lady Wave softball program that sends players to the next level.
“If they make it through the program they will have the opportunity to play at the next level be-it division I, D-II, D-III,” said Newland. “We’ll see what their skill set is, but we will get them that opportunity because college coaches want those kids in their program just to show other kids how to do it and how to do the right thing.”
“It’s just neat at the level we play at and where those kids are going. The kids are so competitive and successful. It’s nice when college coaches say I want a Greenville kid.”
With the 2018 OHSAA softball “pre-season” underway, Coach Newland weighed in on the Lady Wave softball program.
“I’m so proud of this year’s team – 17 of my 18 kids are on the honor roll and when you do your math, that’s in the 90 percentile of your kids are on the honor roll,” noted Newland. “When you deal with good people, they want to be pushed and they expect that.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Muskingum University starting shortstop Karsyn Shaffer makes a diving catch at second for the 2017 Greenville Lady Wave softball team. (Gaylen Blosser photo)