GREENVILLE – Karsyn Shaffer, the daughter of Shawn and Tiffany Shaffer, a 2017 Greenville High School graduate is leaving her mark on the Muskingum softball diamonds for the Fighting Muskies.
“I love it,” said Shaffer of her first weeks of college ball. “It’s a lot of fun.”
“Karsyn is an extremely hard working young lady with a top notch, competitive work ethic,” said Muskingum University head softball coach Kari Winters. “I knew we were getting a great all around student athlete the minute she committed to us last year.”
Shaffer has quickly made an impact at the college level with the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) naming her OAC Softball Hitter of The Week. OAC teams include: Capital, Baldwin Wallace, Heidelberg, John Carroll, Marietta, University of Mount Union, Muskingum, Ohio Northern, Otterbein and Wilmington.
“She was a diamond in the rough,” Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland said of Shaffer. “She had a couple D-I opportunities out there. She wanted to go to an opportunity that she could be close, play great softball and that atmosphere.”
The Lady Fighting Muskies opened 2018 paly with an 11-1 record at the D9 Sunkissed Games in Kissimmee, Florida. Muskingum opened the season with 11 consecutive wins before dropping a game to Jew Jersey’s Rowan University.
“We were hoping to pullout the 12th win,” noted Shaffer, “but I think 11 was a pretty good start.”
Shaffer posted a .638 batting average with 30 hits in 47 at-bats, 19 runs scored, two RBIs and a triple during the week.
“Though she is only a freshman Karsyn has been one of our most consistent players,” Winters stated. “She has been a really important piece to our offensive and defensive line-up. With her depth and comfort being second base it has been awesome watching her embrace the ins and outs of short stop. It’s been a lot of fun watching her come up big in the box and in both middle infield positions.”
Shaffer opened her college career by going 9-for-9 at the plate with five runs scored, two RBIs and a triple during the Muskies first two games of the season.
“I asked my dad – did that really happen,” Shaffer said of her opening 9-for-9. “I didn’t believe I did it.”
“She starts down there just going crazy and going 9-for-9 but what was neat, first game, you’re first ever game you go 5-for-5 and you have a walk-off winner and you touch first base and everybody goes out and mobs you,” Newland said of Shaffer’s first game walk-off hit. “For her to do that her first game – that’s just unbelievable.”
It wasn’t until game three the opposing team would get the crafty-lefty out with Shaffer going 2-for-4 (.500) helping her team to an 11-3 win over Widener.
Game four of the season Shaffer was 3-for-5 (.600) in a win over Penn State-Berks to give the Greenville athlete a .777 batting average (14-18) with four games in the book.
Shaffer has helped the Muskingum to an early 16-2 (.889) season record. Shaffer is sporting a healthy .522 batting average after 18 games.
“Talking to the upper classmen, they have said that it’s been a big turn around,” said Shaffer. “For us freshmen, our five or six freshmen that are playing – I don’t think anyone really expected it but it’s been really cool to come out and start that hot.”
In 70 plate appearances, Shaffer has 36 hits in 69 at bats including two doubles and a triple, has scored 22 runs, knocked in 8 RBIs and has swiped 4 bases.
“Just so proud of her and at the level she plays it at,” Newland said. “Just to see how far she came as a little scrawny freshman that was hoping to play a little outfield, never really batted until her sophomore year here. Then to compete and win a spot at second base and then all the sudden starts at the bottom of the order and keep working up and by her last two years she’s a fixture at the top spot and just a game changer.”
Former Lady Wave standout softball player Kelly Martin, a 2012 Greenville graduate and 2016 Muskingum graduate left her mark playing for the Fighting Muskies.
“Karsyn is another example of the great softball talent that comes from the Greenville Lady Wave program,” Coach Winters said of former Lady Wave Kelly Martin. “A great high school program with a strong tradition.”
“To think back – Kelly Martin, a Greenville grad and one of the best softball players ever over there,” said Newland, “and for Karsyn to go and be in that mold, it’s very neat for the program and just very neat to say; a Greenville kid again.”
Shaffer opened the 2018 season as the starting shortstop for the Lady Muskies and owns an impressive perfect 1.000 fielding percentage in conference play and a .914 fielding percentage (81 chances and 41 assists) in all games.
“Just so happy for her and it just shows how hard work pays off,” said Newland. “Karsyn was graduating and her softball career was just hitting the peak on the mountain and now she gets a chance to explode and show it off. So the excitement for the team and they got ranked in the D-III pole this past week it’s a mindset and I think Karsyn brings that mindset.”
“One of the perks of coaching is watching young players develop on and off of the field,” concluded Coach Winters. “Though she has things to continue to work on and improve, Karsyn has had one heck of a start to her collegiate softball career. There isn’t a Muskingum Softball fan around that isn’t excited to see what the rest of her career will hold.”
An English Education major, Shaffer is pleased with her choice of Muskingum University to continue you education while playing the sport she loves.
“I like it a lot,” Shaffer noted. “The education program – I like that. It’s a good fit. Class comes first. We balance studies and sports pretty well. It’s nice at the D-III level that you can focus on studies – it’s not like softball is your job.”
PHOTO CAPTION: Greenville’s Karsyn Shaffer picks up a hit for the Muskingum Fighting Muskies. (Submitted Photo)