Fairmont’s Welch headed to Duquesne

It’s one down, three to go for Fairmont’s ultra successful girls basketball teams.

Chelsea Welch, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, recently verbally committed to Atlantic 10 member Duquesne University. She’s the first of the four returning Firebirds underclassmen who have played in the last two Division II state title games to commit.

Welch averaged 15.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists for Fairmont (24-4) last season. As consistent as she is offensively, she’s just as impressive defensively.

Yet to commit are junior 6-2 frontliners Makayla Waterman and Kathryn Westbeld and senior deep-ball threat Alona Skipper. Ohio State is among the national powers to already have make offers to Waterman and Westbeld, and that was last year.

Welch becomes at least the seven area girl to verbally commit. According The Dabbelt Report, also having made their choice prior to their senior seasons are Jenny DeGraaf of Springboro (Penn State), Alexis Gassion of Fairborn (Indiana), Emily Leonard of Miamisburg (Kent State), Branca Quisenberry of Tecumseh (Cincinnati), Konner Harris of Sidney (Chicago State) and just this week Greenville’s Megan Galloway (Detroit).

The weeklong early national signing period for basketball begins on Nov. 14.

Powell a Queen

It’s official; Springboro softball standout Lauren Powell is a Queen of the Diamond.

The sophomore pitcher has been selected to participate in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase South at Winthrop University this weekend. The QDSS bills itself as one of the nation’s largest softball showcases for high school players. Players are invited based on “ability, potential, academics, grad year, coaches requests and referrals,” according to its website.

Powell was 3-3 as a freshman on the Panthers’ varsity last spring. She struck out 39 in 35 innings. She also excelled with the Cincy Doom this summer.

That’s the ticket

Former Bellbrook football and basketball standout Eric Frantz is the managing editor of JJHuddle.com. If you follow high school football, you’ll like what that go-to statewide site has to offer.

I’m not certain how it works, but the site promises to provide real-time scores of all sports this fall. You read that right: want that Alter/Carroll girls halftime soccer score? No problem.

Mostly though, it’s football scores and outcomes that JJHuddle offers. Make that scores of scores, real time. Links to that info are easily accessible on the site.

For the second straight year Frantz will team with Mark Neal of WING-AM (1410). The dynamic duo will broadcast a Greater Western Ohio Conference team or game for all 10 weeks of the regular season. That begins with Friday’s Week 1 opener of Alter at Fairmont.

Extra points

— Waynesville shortstop Ty Black has verbally committed to play baseball at Ohio University. He also had NCAA Division I offers from Ohio State, Wright State, Xavier, Tennessee Tech and Evansville.

Black played with the Ohio Heat 17U summer team. Other Heat teammates to also have committed are Zach Beckner of Lebanon (Kent State), Sean Kennedy of Springboro (Ball State) and Talawanda’s Nate Lynch (Wright State).

— Mark Hughes has been rehired as Oakwood’s athletic director after retiring from the school district. And that’s not all.

Hughes also will serve his second school year on the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Directors.

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