PDT Sports Editor
What does a list of accomplishments and accolades do for a high school athlete? It provides a chance —a chance to play at the next level.
Marissa Messer gets that chance as she committed to Shawnee State University to continue her softball career.
“I chose Shawnee because I wanted to stay close to home,” Messer said in an E-mail to the Daily Times. “My sister played as a freshman. I’ve always seen them playing, even as a child, and always wanted to be a part of the team.”
Because of Messer’s desire to play for SSU, she never entertained any other collegiate offers.
“There was no offers from any other school because I always knew I wanted to play for Shawnee,” Messer said.
The four-year starter led Clay in batting average, runs scored, on-base percentage, stolen bases and hits. She finished second on the team in runs batted in and slugging percentage.
Messer’s fielding percentage was .960 for this past season.
“My biggest strength is I like the challenge of playing defense and being able to make the really hard plays,” Messer said.
As far as weakness, Messer wouldn’t even entertain the idea.
“There is no being weak in softball,” Messer said. “It’s not even an option when it comes to being a strong player.”
As far as high school, Messer didn’t show signs of weakness with her accomplishments.
Messer was an SOC I second team member in 2010, and first team member in 2012 and 2013. She was a Southwest All District second team member in 2010 and 2011, and a first team member in 2012 and 2013. Messer was also an All-State first team member in 2013 as well as the SOC I player of the year.
The former Panther has more modest goals for her collegiate career.
“(I want) to contribute to the team anyway I can so that we have a great season,” Messer said. “For the accomplishments in my career, I want to learn from the upper classman so that when it’s my time, I can help the new girls.”
Messer was also a top-notch student for Clay. She was on the honor roll and served on the student council — as a senior class representative. For her work on and off the field, Messer was awarded the Clay Alumni scholarship, Michael W. Powell Memorial Scholarship and the Shawnee State University’s Professor scholarship.
Messer doesn’t lack confidence or motivation, and she knows exactly who to thank for those characteristic traits.
“I would give anything for my ‘Grandy’ Mike Powell to be here and see me play,” Messer said. “But I know he is always there watching. He’s always been my motivation in softball. He taught me that the most important thing in softball is heart, desire and confidence. And that’s what I will have every time I step on the field.”
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking sports news, follow Chris on Twitter @crslone.