WAYNESBORO – Waynesboro Area Senior High School’s Michelle Baker will be playing another four years of softball.
The senior pitcher will attend Chestnut Hill College, located in Philadelphia, where she will play softball for head coach Francine Roseman. The Griffins play in Division II and compete in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference.
For Baker, playing a sport in college was the fulfillment of “one of my most important goals. I’m the first in my family to be a collegiate athlete, so it’s a big honor to me.”
Baker was a key player in Waynesboro’s run to a District 3 tournament appearance during the 2021 season. She started 11 games and pitched in 13 contests. She pitched a team-best 61.2 innings.
Baker has been playing softball for 13 years. She said she started to take the sport more seriously when she started competing in travel ball.
“I’ve been playing travel ball for four years, so that really made me want to play in college. I went to a lot of different colleges. Chestnut Hill reached out; Coach Roseman came out and watched me play. I fell in love with the school.
“CHC has an amazing coach and made my decision much easier.”
Waynesboro head coach Steven McElroy was not surprised that Baker was taking her game to the next level.
“Michelle works really hard and is always ready to go,” said McElroy. “She prepares before every game by studying the opponents and providing a game plan on how to attack each hitter. Michelle has that level of preparedness regardless of whether she is pitching that day.”
Baker also was a force at the plate. She batted .423 with 22 hits in 52 at bats. She scored 14 runs and drove in 18 runs.
“Michelle made varsity her sophomore year, but her breakout year came last year,” McElroy said.
While playing softball in college was one of Baker’s goals, she also has set educational goals for herself.
“My goal is to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, participate in internships and further my academic career in physical therapy and earn a starting position with the team.”
She is looking forward to the next chapter in her academic and athletic life.
“I am most looking forward to being a collegiate athlete and meeting my teammates,” she said. “Having the opportunity to play ball and traveling with the team and making connections along with the on-campus living is what I can’t wait for.”
Baker expressed her gratitude to her parents, Jeremy and Cheri, her pitching coach Kris Krane, her first pitching coach Autumn (Appleby) Ackerman, her hitting coach Bob Kline, her travel ball coach Renard Parson of the MD Fever and her high school coaches, McElroy and Troy Witte for helping her become a better player.
Baker said she is happy that the search for a college is behind her, and now she is preparing for her senior season for the Maidens.