GREENVILLE – Greenville senior Ashton Kester committed to play softball for the University of Findlay following the Lady Wave’s victory against Fairborn on Friday.
Kester, the daughter of Rob and Mary Kester, said having the opportunity to play college softball is a dream come true.
“It’s great,” she said. “It’s always been a passion of mine, and it’s always been a goal to go on and play softball in college. Now that I’ve achieved that it’s a great feeling.”
While Kester is passionate about softball, what really drew her to Findlay was its pre-veterinary science program. She wants to become a veterinarian and said Findlay is one of the best universities at preparing students for the field.
“They have barns that you can work with the animals, and that’s really what pulled me into the school,” she said.
While Kester has her studies and career planned out, on the softball field she’s ready for whatever comes her way. She’s been a four-year starter at short stop for Greenville but is ready to play whatever position Findlay needs her to.
“If they need to they can move me around because I’m very versatile – the only place I really can’t do is pitch,” she said. “But other than that if I need to be moved around I will go wherever they need me.”
Greenville softball coach Jerrod Newland is confident that Kester will find a spot in the Oiler lineup.
“She has an awesome opportunity to go to a program led by Coach (Danielle) Lowe and will be able to compete very, very quickly for playing time with the Oilers,” Newland said. “She will bring a great skill set to the team, and I expect her to be ready to go and help Coach Lowe continue their winning ways to put them on the softball map.”
At Findlay, Kester is joining a NCAA Division II program that currently is 26-12 on the season and 12-4 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.
“Ashton has all five tools that coaches look for in softball players,” Newland said. “Her GPA and academic honors are amazing, and the list keeps growing. She works year round at her game.”
Kester was a first team all-Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division short stop as a freshman. So far this season the Greenville senior is hitting .359 with a double, a triple, a home run, nine RBIs, 22 runs scored and eight stolen bases.
“She’s just a tough nut,” Newland said. “Plays the game hard. Not many kids come in tough enough, smart enough to play four years at short stop for us at the level we play at. She’s come in and played every game for four years at short, an all-league player and just does it the right way.”
With Kester’s commitment, all three of Greenville’s senior softball players will continue their softball careers in college. Teammates Allison Minnich and Jazzlyn Petry previously committed to Sinclair Community College.
“I think that’s great,” Kester said of all three Lady Wave seniors going on to the college level. “I don’t think they’ve really had a full team of seniors go play college ball in a few years so that’s awesome.”
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.