COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Dominican's softball program will welcome six incoming freshmen for the 2018-19 academic year as part of its 2019 recruiting class.
The six student-athletes signed national letters of intent during the NCAA's early signing period.
"We're very excited to welcome this group of young ladies to our Panther softball family," said ODU softball head coach Marcella Vanlandingham. "They are great young women and extremely talented softball players. They fit perfectly with what we were looking for both on and off the field. Each one of them will be strong in the classroom and provide versatility on the field. The more time I spend around them, the more convinced I am that they were meant to be Panthers."
Erika Case | 5-6 | SS/OF | R/R | Holland, Ohio/Springfield
High School: Garnered All-Academic honors at Holland Springfield High School…Named to Springfield's honor roll in each of her four years…Multiple district and sectional tournament champion…Helped Springfield to a 2015 OHSAA Division I softball state semifinal appearance in her freshman season… Honor roll student all four years…Varsity S Club member at SHS…Also played volleyball for the Blue Devils.
Personal: Daughter of Jamie and Don Case…Has one sibling, Nikk Case…Enjoys friends, family, riding four wheelers and camping…Picked ODU because of the "location, campus size, softball coaches and class sizes."
Melanie Coak | 5-4 | C/2B | L/R | Romulus, Mich. / New Boston
High School: Member of the National Honor Society…Earned an AP Biology and Chemistry award …Member of New Boston's student council…Favorite high school memory is beating three-time state champion St. Mary's Catholic Central during her junior year.
Personal: Daughter of Mike Tomlinson and Candice McCluskey…Has two siblings, Autumn and Macenzie…Father Mike coached softball at Oakland University…Enjoys reading, art, bike riding, hiking…Also played volleyball, basketball, taekwondo.
Sydney Long | 5-8 | P/1B | Ashland, Ohio / Hillsdale
High School: Earned an academic excellence award at Hillsdale High School…National Honor Society inductee…Honor roll student…Named a Hillsdale scholar-athlete…First Team All-Wayne County Athletic League (WCAL) in 2015 & 2016…WCAL Player of the Year in 2017…First Team All-Ohio honors in 2016 & 2017…Led Hillsdale to the 2016 OHSAA Division IV softball state semifinals…Boasted a 0.93 ERA as a junior with 238 strikeouts…Favorite high school memory is winning the regional final in 2016.
Personal: Daughter of Kevin & Jodi Long…Has one sibling, Shelbi Long…Enjoys playing softball and spending time with family and friends…Picked ODU because she "really enjoyed the campus and small classroom feel. I also get the opportunity to continue my softball career at the next level."
Jessica Newberry | 5-7 | SS/2B | Inverness, Fla. / Seven Rivers Christian School
High School: Received academic honors in English, history and humanities, algebra and reading at Seven Rivers Christian School…Named All-Citrus County and Miracle Sports Class 2A All-State honorable mention as a junior…Nominee for Under Armor softball player of the year in Florida…Holds a career batting average of .598 with 85 RBIs and 49 stolen bases…Favorite memory is hitting a lead-off triple in the 10th inning to score the game-winning run and defeat a rival opponent…Also played volleyball at Seven Rivers Christian.
Personal: Daughter of Jason and Rebecca Newberry…Has three siblings, Daisy Newberry, Chris Carlough and Chelsea Carlough…Enjoys kayaking, paddle boarding and photography…Picked Ohio Dominican because "the moment I stepped on campus it felt like home away from home and I also loved the team and coaches."
Keirah Smetzer | 5-1 | SS/2B/OF | Ashland, Ohio / Hillsdale
High School: First Team All-Northeast District at Hillsdale… First Team All-Richland Source and Wooster Daily Record as a second baseman…Six career home runs and as a junior, notched four home runs, 26 RBIs and 31 runs with a batting average of .473 and slugging percentage of .714…Favorite high school memory is making it to the state tournament her junior year…Also played soccer and was a cheerleader at Hillsdale.
Personal: Daughter of Troy and Kim Smetzer…Has three siblings, Riley Harpster, Hannah Smetzer and Hallee Smetzer…Riley plays baseball at Hiram College…Picked ODU because "I liked the size and layout of the school. I also really like the coaches and the team, and the school has a really great science program."
Rieley Widmann | 5-11 | 1B | New Palestine, Ind. / New Palestine
High School: Three-year academic honor student-athlete at New Palestine High School…Member of the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society…Holds a career batting average of .377 and fielding percentage of .983…Favorite high school memory is winning the 2017 IHSAA 3A state championship.
Personal: Daughter of Jim and Kris Widmann…Has two siblings, Griffin and Sydnee…Enjoys spending free time with friends and family…Picked ODU because "I love the campus, academics and coaches."
Contact: Aaron McPherson