Most baseball or softball players can recall memories of playing catch with a friend and dreaming of playing on the same team in a championship game.
Wheelersburg's Chelsea Chaffin and Notre Dame's Ali Keller have taken the first step toward making that dream a reality.
The duo signed letters of intent Tuesday to continue their softball careers at Marietta College next season, bringing the former teammates back together.
Keller and Chaffin live near each other in Wheelersburg and played together through little league and beyond before attending different high schools.
"Alison grew up playing little league (in Wheelersburg) and Chelsea also played little league there and most of the time were on the same team," Notre Dame coach and Ali's father Darrell Keller said. "Both played third base and they both pitched, which was a great rotation."
Both players were looking forward to playing together again.
"I've always had fun playing with (Chelsea) and she's always been one of my close friends on the team and I'm excited to continue my journey with her," Ali Keller said.
"It will be cool because we know each other," Ali Keller said. "We've played together all through little league and then we'll go through college and and everything together."
Despite their shared history, Ali Keller said they each made their own decision to attend Marietta.
"We chose it independently," she said. "I think we both went there because it's competitive ball and it's also a good educational system."
Both players have had outstanding high school careers.
Ali Keller has a career batting average of .456 and an ERA of 1.04. She also holds the school record for strikeouts in a season with 207.
Chaffin, whose Lady Pirates are still alive in the post season, is batting .486 with five home runs and has an ERA of .27.
"I really think Marietta is getting a class one player," Wheelersburg coach Gary Bailey said. "She's led us for the last four years... I really think that she is going to excel at the next level. I also want to congratulate Ali on signing and I hope she enjoys it.
"It was nice to see these two girls, that started softball together many years ago until they got to high school and one went to Notre Dame and one went to Wheelersburg, keep in contact," Bailey added. "Now they're coming back together in college."
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org