Derrick Webb, Staff Writer
WHEELERSBURG — Anytime that Brittani Wolfenbarker steps to the plate, the potential of something special happening rises exponentially.
Wolfenbarker, who manned the leadoff spot in the lineup and spent tenures are second base, shortstop and in the pitcher’s circle last spring, has molded herself into one of the area’s top softball players. She’s done that through hard work, determination and repetition of her craft.
Thursday afternoon, the time spent into becoming the best she can possibly be paid off.
Wolfenbarker signed her National Letter of Intent to play softball at Shawnee State University, joining fellow Southern Ohio Conference player Cassie Schaefer, who did the same Wednesday.
“I love the idea of staying home and going to college. I’ve never been the type to want to go far away from home, so having a college close to home that has great academic programs and courses really stood out,” Wolfenbarker said. “Softball was the first sport I really got into and I loved it from the start. Bettering my skills to be able to play at the college level was a big goal of mine for quite some time, and I’m really thankful to accomplish that.”
Wolfenbarker also plays basketball and soccer, where she’s had success as well. But in the end, the first sport that won her heart came to the forefront when it came to a college decision.
“I’m very excited for the college softball experience. I can’t wait to play with girls that I know but may have never played with,” she said. “I get to make new friends and create new bonds while playing the game I love. I’m also excited to get to play against other college teams that may have girls on it that I used to play with and reconnect with them.”
Wolfenbarker’s connection span much wider than just the high school game. She’s spent her summers traveling to play, working to get better and making contact with college coaches.
“My family, teammates, and coaches have continued to push me throughout all of these years as I’ve became better at the game, physically and mentally,” she said. “By my parents putting me in travel ball, that has helped me tremendously. Seeing very good competition and playing all summer has helped me get better each year. My coaches the past few years have made a great impact on my skills and recruitment. My dad Wayne, Chris Zaker, and Shawn Bray have made sure they put the teams and I in the best environment and tournaments for the best possible exposure. They made sure you were constantly sending emails and going to camps to be seen by scouts and coaches. I’m very grateful for their time and dedication to help girls like me accomplish their goals.”
At the end of last school year, Wolfenbarker transferred to Wheelersburg, where she’ll certainly have a part in the team’s imminent success this season and play under heralded head coach Teresa Ruby. She joins a roster that already boasts of high-caliber players including, but not limited to, Boo Sturgill, Rylie Hughes, Sydney Spence, etc.
“I am so excited for the upcoming softball season at ‘Burg. I’m new and I know there is going to be some getting used to things,” Wolfenbarker said. “But I know the coaches and my teammates will make me feel very welcome. I am excited to get to play my final high school season with these girls and I can’t wait to see what all we accomplish this year.”