Sheffield Lake

Salena Kauffman will have some exciting news to discuss with her classmates when she returns to Brookside for her senior year this week. A three-year varsity player for the Lady Cardinals softball team, Kauffman was recently selected to compete in the Queen of Diamonds Showcase South (QDSS) at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., over Labor Day weekend. The QDSS, now in its fourth season, is the largest fastpitch softball showcase of its kind in the country.

“When I first heard I was accepted into the QDSS, I was very excited and couldn’t wait to play in it,” Kauffman said. “It is a great event, and it is so much fun to play with girls from all different states. It feels great to participate in this huge softball event. I am really honored.

“My main goal while participating in this event is to have fun and showcase my skills for college scouts. I also look forward to making new friends and meeting all of the great players and coaches.”

Kauffman said the application process for the QDSS consisted of two sections. Since the event continues to attract athletes from more than 30 states and two Canadian provinces, both the QDSS and its Northern counterpart have more than 2,000 applicants in which only 264 are selected.

“In my first application I had to express that I was interested, and the second was an evaluation of not only my skills, but social skills, academics, and personal references.”

Kauffman, a catcher, spent the summer playing for the Ohio Wolfpack, which advanced to the semi-finals in an 18U tournament to play against top competition.

“My summer playing for the Ohio Wolfpack was amazing. I absolutely love my teammates and coaches,” Kauffman said. “We played very well together and had fun on and off the field. I am looking forward to our next summer season because the entire team is returning and we will be competing at the next level.”

Through the QDSS process, Kauffman was also selected for the 2011 North American Select Team, which will participate in The Cup tournament in Schiedam, near Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The Cup tournament features national teams from Germany, Switzerland, Holland, France and Great Britain. The NAST team will compete against teams that consist of women ages 17 to 40.

“Last year when I attended the showcase, the director had approached my parents and I and told us about the teams that travel to Europe,” Kauffman said. “We then discussed it as a family and decided that it would be a great opportunity.

“It is going to be awesome being able to travel to Europe to play against women who have been playing all of their lives. It is just an honor to be able to travel and represent my city and country. I am getting the opportunity to play the sport that I love, and learn about different countries and cultures at the same time. I am also very excited to see how softball is played and taught around the world.”

For now, Kauffman said she is focusing on enjoying her final year at Brookside and plans on attending college to major in civil engineering while continuing her softball career.

“I am really looking forward to my last year of high school, playing with all of my friends and the softball girls,” she said. “I am hoping this year is the most fun of all my years at Brookside, and plan to help my team go out with a bang.”

With all the great opportunities she has ahead of her, Kauffman said her success has been possible due to the time and effort from the supportive team she has around her.

“I have to thank my family and coaches for all their support and time,” she said. “They have made me who I am today. They have been so helpful, and I cannot thank them enough.”

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