PIQUA — It was an emotional day for Caylee Roe — with good reason.
And an exciting day for Zane Pratt as the two Piqua High School seniors made their college choices official in the PHS commons.
Roe, the daughter of Luke Roe and Sara Williams, will continue her softball career at Wittenberg University.
And her motivation for Wednesday’s decision was right in front of her
A photo of her late grandfather Dan Hudson sat right in front of her.
Hudson passes away in August.
“After he died, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to play in college,” Roe said. “But, that was something he always wanted. That is a big part of it.”
And Roe knew Wittenberg University was the place for her.
“I really like the coaches and the players when I visited,” Roe said. “I liked everything about it. I would just say it felt like home to me.”
After losing her freshman season to Covid, the catcher/third baseman batted .500 as a sophomore with a triple, 12 doubles and 23 RBIs.
She followed that with a junior season where she batted .487.
She hit four home runs, had thee triples and eight doubles with 39 RBIs.
“I am looking forward to having a big senior season,” Roe said.
So, is Piqua coach Greg Campbell.
“I have no doubt she is going to have an amazing senior season,” Campbell said. “Caylee has worked extremely hard in the offseason. She does everything you ask of her. She puts in the hard work. Wittenberg is a great fit, but wherever she chose to go would have been a great fit.
“I think she was looking for somewhere where she could play right away. I have no doubt, Caylee will continue to get better. She is like a sponge. She soaks in everything you tell her.”
Pratt, the son of Kyle and Stacy Pratt, will continue his baseball career at Ohio Northern University.
“I have always loved the game of baseball,” the shortstop said. “I really liked it (at Ohio Northern) when I visited. They have great academic programs and they are looking to build a baseball program. And they promised me playing time as a freshman. That meant a lot.”
Piqua coach Brad Lavey said ONU is a great fit for Pratt.
“I think they are getting a great kid and a really good player,” Lavey said. “Zane does all the things you want. He is a really hard worker and good student. He always gives 100 percent and plays hard.”
After losing his freshman season to Covid, Pratt batted .293 as a sophomore with three doubles, 16 stolen bases and 21 RBIs.
On the mound, he had a 2-4 record with 26 strikeouts and only six walks and a 1.25 ERA.
As a junior, he batted .329 with seven doubles and 17 stolen bases. He had 25 RBIs.
On the mound, he was 4-3 with a 4.872 ERA. He had 33 strikeouts and only 22 walks.
“I am looking forward to having a big senior season,” Pratt said. “I have been working hard in the offseason.”
Lavey expects nothing less.
“I am sure with all the hard work he has put in, Zane will have a great senior season,” he said. “Definitely, he will improve when he gets to college. When you hit the weight room full time and have more practices, that last longer. When you are putting more time into it, you are going to get better. I am confident no matter what Zane does, he is going to be very successful at it.”
After an emotional and exciting day at Piqua High School for Roe and Pratt.
Sports Editor Rob Kiser can be reached at [email protected]