Ace softball pitchers decide

Ursuline’s Kenneally, McDonald’s Ward sign

When Ursuline senior pitcher Jordyn Kenneally was just a 9-years-old, she knew what she wanted to do in college; play softball. Since then, that hasn’t changed one bit. Her commitment to Alderson Broaddus University in West Virginia shows just that.

“I absolutely fell in love with the campus and the atmosphere,” Kennally said. “The coaches there had confidence in my abilities. It was also about my education down there. I’m going to major in Exercise Science which is one of their top programs. Some of the girls on the team filled me in with that because that’s their major too.”

Kenneally, who signed her letter of intent on Wednesday, was also recruited by Malone University, Mercyhurst College and Hillsdale College in Michigan.

Another area pitcher, Rachel Ward of McDonald, also signed this week to a small school, Lake Erie College.

“It’s always great to have those type of players. They always show themselves above the rest after a few years in high school,” Ursuline coach Mike Kernan said about Kenneally. “She can work as hard as or harder than the next person. She has a demeanor that says I’m going to make this work or happen.”

As both a pitcher and outfielder, Kenneally has benefited greatly from coaching and learning.

“Started with emailing, but I didn’t have many looks from schools until junior year. The process was very stressful,” she said about the recruiting process. “My family supported me no matter what decision I made. They loved Alderson Broaddus as much as I did. They helped me weigh out all the options.

“I knew that when I went to Lake Erie, that I fell in love with the campus too,” Ward said about her recruiting experience. “I looked at other Division II and some Division I schools but they didn’t feel right. I’m from a small school in a small town and that’s the feeling I got when I visited Lake Erie.”

For Ward just as Kenneally, everything came down to how comfortable they can be in the system they choose.

“I want to be a leader and be the best. That motivation is what keeps me going. I love being a leader, and I want people to look up to me,” Ward said.

Ward said that it took her until her sophomore year of high school before she realized how good she could could become.

“Above everything else, it’s her love of the game that made her so good,” McDonald coach Tom Senich said. “She works as hard as anyone I’ve seen. I coached football for 12 years and she’s the hardest worker I’ve ever seen.”

Ward batted in the heart of the lineup all four years of high school and helped McDonald get to the district final last year.

“It will be nice to enjoy senior year and just focus on winning districts and try to lead this team. We lost last year and I won’t let us this year,” Ward said.