Local SSU standouts named to MSC preseason ‘Watch List’

PORTSMOUTH — The 2021 Mid-South Conference Softball Preseason Watch List, on Shawnee State’s behalf, had a great deal of local flavor represented — as Wheelersburg native Kalle Coleman, along with incoming freshmen in Notre Dame’s Cassie Schaefer and Wheelersburg standout Brittani Wolfenbarker, were named to the conference-produced list on Tuesday afternoon.

The trio, who are three of 30 players to be represented on the MSC Softball Watch List, are looking to be leaders on a roster full of local flavor.

In all, 18 of the team’s 23 players hail from high schools that are within an hour’s drive from campus.

Eight of those players hail from Scioto County — including Coleman, Schaefer and Wolfenbarker — along with Faith Brown, Rachael Cline, Laiken Rice, Madison Sifford and Sydney Spence.

Cameryn Alexander, Rebekah Badgett, Josie Campbell, Ashton Rankin, Kylie Sims and Brooke Webb played their high school softball at a bordering county.

Kalle Coleman

Coleman, who batted .278 for Shawnee State in 2020, was one of two players to appear and start in each of the Bears’ 10 games last season.

The middle infielder led the team in extra base hits in 2020, with three doubles and a home run in 16 batting appearances.

Coleman was also a perfect 3-for-3 in stolen bases to finish second on the unit in that category.

In high school, Coleman, a three-sport athlete, wasted no time establishing a winning resume.

In volleyball, Coleman was first-team all-district and an Honorable Mention all-Ohio honoree as a junior.

On the basketball floor, Coleman — who started at guard — was named second-team all-SOC during her sophomore, junior and senior seasons and earned Special Mention all-Southeast District honors in 2016 and 2017.

She averaged 8.5 points, 6.5 rebounds, 3.2 steals and 2.9 assists during her senior season.

From the opening game of her freshman season, Coleman took over the starting shortstop reins and never looked back, ultimately being named an all-SOC honoree in all four seasons of her high school career.

In her sophomore through senior seasons, Coleman was named as an all-Ohio selection while helping lead Wheelersburg to three consecutive OHSAA Final Four appearances.

This stretch included the Division III state championship in Coleman’s junior season and a Division III runner-up finish in her senior year.

Coleman played two seasons at Morehead State prior to transferring to Shawnee State before the start of her junior campaign.

She appeared in 77 total games, while making 62 starts for the Eagles.

Cassie Schaefer

Schaefer, who is expected to be Shawnee State’s ace pitcher for the upcoming season, will be playing a role familiar to the one that she took on at nearby Notre Dame High School.

A native of West Portsmouth, Schaefer accumulated a 16-3 record with a 0.72 ERA and 158 strikeouts in 116-and-a-third innings of action.

Notre Dame went 22-3 and won a Division IV district championship to go 3-for-3 in district championship contests inside the school’s main trio of girls programs for the 2018-19 season.

As a result, Schaefer was named as a Division IV first-team all-Ohio selection by the Ohio High School Fastpitch Softball Coaches Association (OHSFSCA).

Schaefer, who also served as a starting volleyball hand for Notre Dame for three years, notched 2,152 career assists.

Over the final three years of her high school career, Schaefer posted 766, 763 and 623 assists — and added in 495 digs, 182 kills and 160 aces behind those 2,152 assists en route to leading Notre Dame to its first two regional final appearances in school history in 2017 and 2018.

As a basketball hand, Schaefer’s ability to shoot the ball from the outside, along with her defensive prowess, was critical for Notre Dame as she started or came off the bench to aid the team on the perimeter.

Those efforts helped lead the Titans to three consecutive Division IV district championships and a 73-6 record over her last three seasons.

Brittani Wolfenbarker

The daughter of head coach Wayne Wolfenbarker, Brittani is expected to play a major role in several different areas of the field.

During her junior year at Minford, Wolfenbarker collected a .425 batting average while posting eight extra-base hits in her 34 total hits on the year.

Her home run, four triples, three doubles and seven walks allowed the junior to collect 58 total bases in 80 official at-bats.

Wolfenbarker, however, has proven herself as a talent far beyond the softball diamond.

Over her final three seasons of soccer competition, the multi-dimensional threat posted 15 goals and seven assists on the pitch — including seven goals and three assists in the fall of 2019 at Wheelersburg en route to a share of the Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) crown.

In basketball, she contributed to a title-winning SOC II unit that reached the Division III, Region 11 Semifinals while at Minford — as well as another title-winning group at Wheelersburg that went 22-3 and a perfect 16-0 in SOC II competition.

For her career, Wolfenbarker obtained four all-Southeast District honors between the three sports, including back-to-back first-team honors in 2018 and 2019 in softball.

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