PORTSMOUTH – One of the most sought after softball prospects in the Southeast District ended her college recruitment with a signing ceremony at her school Tuesday morning.
Joined by friends and family, Notre Dame senior and ace pitcher Cassie Schaefer signed her letter of intent to join Shawnee State University’s softball team following her graduation from Notre Dame this spring.
“Playing at Shawnee, it’s a family thing,” Schaefer said at her signing ceremony Tuesday morning. “We always say it’s a family thing here at Notre Dame, but it will be when I get to move on also. It’s always been set in my heart that I wanted to go there.”
While the family aspect at Shawnee State is true from a community perspective is true, it is also true in the literal sense for Schaefer.
Schaefer’s aunt, Robin Hagen-Smith, retired in 2013 after 30 years as the head women’s basketball coach at Shawnee State. Schaefer’s mother, Stephanie, is an alunmus of the SSU women’s program and sister Hagen, a 2017 graduate of Notre Dame, is currently a junior forward for the Bears under 5th year head coach Jeff Nickel.
Cassie’s expertise, however, has been developed in the diamond after a family legacy on the court.
During her junior season, Schaefer was named SOC I Pitcher of the Year, first team all-SOC, first team all-district, as well as first team all-Ohio in Division IV while helping the Titans reach the regional semifinals with a 22-3 record.
On the volleyball court, Schaefer was the setter on four (of six) straight SOC I champion Titan volleyball teams as well as four straight district championships at the D-IV level. As a four-year setter, Schaefer amassed over 2,000 career assists to finish her career with the most assists in Titan history.
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a family legacy if Schaefer didn’t have some basketball in her blood. While volleyball and softball have been her central focus, Schaefer will begin her fourth and final season on the hardwood under head coach JD McKenzie this winter.
“I’ll definitely look back at this as one of the greatest times of my life,” Schaefer said of her Titan career. “I may not know it now, but when we go back and look at all the numbers and accolades we were able to put on the wall, it’ll sink in then. It’s amazing to know that I’ve been a big part of our successes and that our team has left a legacy here that will never be forgotten.”
But, before it’s time to look back in reflection, Schaefer and her Titan team(s) still have work to do.
Whether it’s avenging a regional semifinal loss to Peebles in both basketball or softball, Schaefer knows her and her teammates have to be more focused than ever to take the next leap as a program in order to accomplish their goals.
“We look at the scores of last years games, we know we were right there and could have easily made it to state,” Schaefer said. “I think that gives us more drive and motivation to work harder, to get better at the things we needed to last year, and hopefully that will take us to where we want to go.”
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved