SOUTH WEBSTER — One of the Southern Ohio Conference’s standout pitchers made her collegiate decision official during a signing ceremony held at South Webster High School on Thursday afternoon.
Jeeps senior Gwen Messer, a two-time first-team all-SOC softball member and four-year member of South Webster’s volleyball and softball teams, signed to continue her softball career at the next level — by attending Kentucky Christian University in Grayson, Ky.
Messer said it was the environment, students and staff at KCU that ultimately factored the most in her decision of where to attend college.
“It was the people. Everyone is so nice and I am excited that it is a Christian campus,” Messer said, of attending Kentucky Christian. “It was the perfect size for me, and the perfect distance away from my family. The staff were all so kind, and the nursing program was amazing. I couldn’t be any happier to become a Knight.”
The middle daughter in the Messer clan, between older sister Olivia and younger sister Ava, Gwen was named as all-state Honorable Mention during her sophomore season, and likely would bear the same or better results again in her junior year — if not for the cancellation of the 2020 spring season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Messer credited much of her softball success to ‘countless hours’ spent practicing with her father, Jeeps varsity softball coach Andy Messer.
“When I was eight years old, my dad took me to the backyard and taught me to pitch because we had no pitcher. It has always been an advantage because my dad knows me so well, and he knows my pitching,” Messer said. “He always knows which pitch we should come back with and it seems like we are always on the same page. We think alike. Anytime I learn something new, he and I go to the backyard and practice it. My dad has spent countless hours on a bucket for me, and he is the big reason I have this opportunity. I enjoy playing for him on my high school team — he believes in me.”
Before attending KCU with an intended major in nursing, Messer and her Jeep teammates have unfinished business — both on the volleyball court and on the softball diamond.
As of the end of the regular season, the Lady Jeeps volleyball team will be pushing for their second consecutive Division IV district title — and a possible berth as the second Division IV team from Scioto County to claim a regional championship.
When it comes to softball season, Messer is looking forward to a senior season unfazed by pandemics and is grateful for her time competing as a Jeep.
“I have loved my time at South Webster,” Messer said. “Competing with my teammates on the softball and volleyball teams have been the most fun thing I have done in high school. I will miss them a lot, and I will definitely come back and watch them play. I have made many cherishable friendships, and I am grateful that I am a part of the South Webster community.”
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