VERSAILLES – An injury has hindered Shaena Mayer’s high school softball career, but it won’t stop the Versailles senior as she committed Tuesday morning to play college softball at Muskingum University.
Mayer, the daughter of Samara and Lenny Mayer, missed her entire junior season of high school softball after breaking her leg during a practice. The injury problems persisted this year, again preventing her from playing, but Mayer isn’t deterred and will continue her playing career in college.
“Playing softball my whole life, it’s been a big part of my life. It’s made me who I am,” Mayer said. “These past two years not being able to play, my junior and senior years, is hard. So knowing I get to go on for four more years is special.”
Although the injury has continued to affect her more than a year later, Mayer is very confident that she’ll be able to recover and continue her softball career.
“My doctor is hoping by the end of the summer I’m back to 100 percent,” she said.
As a sophomore in 2015 Mayer helped lead Versailles to the Midwest Athletic Conference championship and was named second team all-MAC. The Lady Tiger center fielder hit .387 with 28 RBI, both of which were third best on the team that season.
“She’ll be a huge asset to that program,” former Versailles softball coach Mechelle Heitkamp said of Mayer going to Muskingum. “Great kid. Is going to work really hard for them and she loves the game of softball. They’re getting a lot with that player.”
Mayer, who plans to study biology and enter the pre-veterinary program at Muskingum, said she knew Muskingum would be her college choice the first time she visited the campus.
“I decided to go to Muskingum basically as soon as I stepped on campus,” she said. “I’d been to a few other campuses before, and nothing really felt like home. And as soon as I stepped on campus I could see myself going there and playing for Coach (Kari) Winters on that field and attending that school.”
Mayer is the second Darke County softball player to commit to Muskingum this year, joining Greenville senior Karsyn Shaffer.
“Coach Winters is a great coach so I’m hoping to get some championships; we talked about that, to go back and win,” Mayer said. “And I know Karsyn Shaffer had said the same thing so I hope that we can both do that and help contribute to the team any way we can.”
Mayer hopes to play center field for the Fighting Muskies, who compete in the NCAA Division III Ohio Athletic Conference, but she’ll do whatever she can to help the team.
“Whatever I can do to contribute,” she said.
Mayer’s speed and commitment to the game of softball are great assets, Heitkamp said, and will be very useful when playing in college.
“She’s played the game for a long time,” Heitkamp said. “With the speed that she has and just the dedication, she’ll be easy to get along with. Very coachable. Will be good for the program.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.