Bethanie Schaffner Commits to OCU

Her high school coach is happy. Her soon-to-be college coach is happy. Her dad and mom are happy. But, most importantly ... Bethanie Schaffner is happy.

Bethanie - a senior on the Galion High School varsity softball team who will be pursuing her fourth varsity letter this spring-signed a letter of intent to play collegiately at Ohio Christian University when her days as a Lady Tiger are over. "I never really thought about it until last season," Bethanie answered when asked how long she has aspired to play at the collegiate level. "I really like Ohio Christian and am excited about going there."

Planning on majoring in youth ministry at OCU, Bethanie has pitched, played shortstop and third base over the past three seasons for the Lady Tigers. A slick fielder with a rocket for an arm, the right hander has proven to be quite a hitter, too. As a freshman she posted a .360 batting average and drove in seven runs. Her sophomore season she hit .368 with 15 RBIs. Last year she had a breakout campaign hitting .380, belting four home runs and driving in 22 runners.

Galion High School veteran head softball coach Pat Durdle said, "I am very excited for her. She knows the game very well and is a competitor."

Emory Clark is the head softball coach at OCU. "We're getting ready to start our second varsity season," he stated, adding that from 2007-09 softball was a club sport at the school. "We are part of the National Christian Collegiate Athletic Association- the NCCAA. We are a member of the Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference." Clark was all smiles from the time he entered

GHS on Monday to sign his star recruit until he left the campus. "She's coming in to help us build our program," the mentor said. "This season we have four second year players and the rest are freshman. We have mostly Ohio girls." He added that his current squad has one player from Virginia, one from Kentucky and another from Michigan.

Bethanie's father, Mike, said, "This is kind of exciting. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see her play four more years. Mainly to me, though, softball is secondary. She's got her priorities in order, so I'm not too concerned."

And what are mom's thoughts about it all? "I did go on a college visit with her and was very impressed with the college itself," Dawn Schaffner answered. "I'm really happy for her."

Ohio Christian University softball competes in the National Christian College Athletic Association Mid East Region and in the Ohio Collegiate Athletic Conference. For more information about OCU softball contact head coach Emory Clark at eclark@ohiochristian.edu or 740-477-7707.

Article By JON KLEINKNECHT
Sports Editor, The Galion Inquirer