Wake Forest’s only two returning softball starters from last year are senior shortstop Sarah Walker and junior catcher Elana Lewis, so the maturity of freshman center fielder/pitcher Ramsey Schlafer has been a welcome boost to the young roster.
The left-hander had started every game in center field with some relief work, but coach Brittany Owens isn’t afraid to put her in the pitcher’s circle for crucial Cap-8 Conference contests.
“I wanted her to get some exposure,” Owens said. “She’s got a really bright future. She’s our center fielder and can pitch, but I can play her at just about any position.”
Schlafer retired 13 straight batters in an important March 27 win over Millbrook. The Cougars (9-5, 7-1) are only behind rival Heritage in the conference standings.
“I was struggling with most of my pitches at first, but my drop ball was working really well,” she said. “My curveball starting working and that’s when I was getting everybody out. It was exciting to have a chance to pitch.”
Schlafer said she was nervous about playing varsity during tryouts, but once she began working out with her new teammates, she found a comfort level from her extensive experience playing softball and year-round for travel ball.
“You just have to have confidence,” she said. “I love everything about playing softball – fielding, hitting and pitching. I’ve been playing since I was about 3 years old. I love meeting new people, and I like playing for my school. It’s different than travel ball.”
Owens also has quickly learned her rising star isn’t a dainty flower. In a recent game playing center field she dove for a fly ball at the same time the right fielder jumped. The right fielder’s cleats landed in her back and Schlafer said she still has cuts in the shape of a footprint.
“I came out there expecting to take her out of the game, but she wouldn’t come out,” Owens said. “She played the rest of the game. She has that kind of attitude and drive. It’s not something you can teach. She’s very competitive.”