Kayla Appeman and Addie Mannino have such qualities to further their athletic careers into the collegiate level after signing their letters of intent on Wednesday.
The two Lady Truckers, although teammates on the softball field, are taking slightly different paths. Appeman, who committed to Ohio Dominican University, will be pitching for the Panthers. Mannino, an Ohio Wesleyan commit, will be hitting the greens on the ladies’ golf team.
Despite only having coached Appeman for this season, Trucker coach Julie Schmidt knows that the head of her team has only reached this point because of the hard work that she has put into it.”
“I’ve only known Kayla for a short amount of time, but in that time, I have seen that really impress me. I know that for NCAA sports, only 3.2 percent of all softball players end up playing Division I and Division II softball in college. That doesn’t happen by chance, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. It starts at a really young age, that’s a lot of years of putting in the time and effort to become who she is today to play collegiately.”
Appeman, who has been pitching since she was eight years old, was more drawn to ODU’s academics than the softball program.
“I want to do an internship at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and I’m going to pediatrics. I was looking down there in that direction and this was just the perfect school. Once I visited there, I loved it. The day (coach Marcella Vanlandingham) offered it, I committed. Everything was perfect.
“The softball program does very well. The coach is awesome and she is one of the best coaches that have been through that school with any program.”
As for Mannino, it’s a competitive spirit that ‘drives’ her.
“It’s something personal. I just know what I’m capable of and I try to reach my goals. To me, competing makes me the best version of myself. I’m fierce. I get upset when I’m not doing as well as I know I can,” Mannino said.
“Ohio Wesleyan has a beautiful campus, they’re coach was really welcoming to me. She made sure to talk to me immediately and really made it a point to get me there. I’m looking to bring low scores and help them in their conference. Coach has a goal of being in the top 25 for Division III sports, and I feel like I can help them reach that.”
Mannino will be majoring in business administration.
Although he wasn’t able to attend Wednesday’s festivities, Lady Trucker golf coach Don Nardecchia is most certainly proud to see the step that Mannino is taking.
“I see this as an outstanding choice for Addie,” Nardecchia said. “Ohio Wesleyan is an outstanding school academically. They are well respected among Division III NCAA schools, showing years of successful among their athletic teams. I have been blessed with numerous players that are gifted academically, and that scores highly when these smaller universities look for athletes. Addie has been taking advantage of the program allowing her to take classes at Bowling Green State University Firelands Campus over the last two years. So that transition should be extremely smooth.
“The Battling Bishop ladies’ golf program is less than 10 years old, but have a coach in Jana Shipley, that headed the Ohio State women's program through its early years. I feel Addie has more upside to her game than any player that has played for us over the last 10 years. She chose a great school and a coach that can guide her through the next level. She had some awesome rounds for us the last two years. She is a fierce competitor. And I have to believe Coach Shipley can't wait to start molding her into a collegiate talent.”