Wittenberg senior Rachel Ross, the ace of the softball team’s staff, has just recently been named a semifinalist for The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup. Along with being one of the best pitchers in program history, Ross has also been an influential leader on and off the field for the Tigers.
Ross is one of only 32 college student-athletes in the country to be selected for this honor. The Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup is presented by the organization Athletes for a Better World. According to the organization’s website, “The Cup is presented to two distinguished athletes – one collegiate and one professional – who have made the greatest difference in the lives of others. The recipients are athletes of excellence both on and off the field, role models both as performers and persons.”
“I was honored to be able to represent Wittenberg for this award,” said Ross. “It was really something special to be recognized as a semi-finalist among basically all Division I athletes,” she continued. “I was actually very shocked.”
Ross certainly fulfills the spirit of the award, and then some, through her academic and athletic brilliance. She has excelled in the classroom, with a 3.9 grade point average. Ross is a Mathematics major with a Business minor from Westerville, Ohio. After graduation she will work for Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati in the company’s commercial leadership program.
In 2013, Ross led the team with a 2.34 earned run average (ERA), a 17-6 win-loss record and 90 strikeouts. She also threw a no-hitter and hit a home run in a game against Hiram last season. But, this was trumped by an even greater accomplishment her freshman year, when Ross threw the first perfect game in school history. Ross sat down 21 straight batters to begin her legacy as one of the best pitchers to step into the circle in Tigers’ history.
“My goal this season is to help my team win the league since we fell one run short of the title last year,” Ross stated. “As a senior I want to enjoy every moment of my final season, be a great leader for the rest of my teammates and relentless on the field,” she continued.
The Tigers open the season on March 1, and will look to continue their steady improvements each season. In her freshman year, Ross and the Tigers went 13-24. Then, in 2012 and 2013 the team improved both years, with records of (23-17) and (23-13), respectively. It is no coincidence that this improvement has coincided with an excellent senior class headlined by Ross.