Twins sign to play at Baker

Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Future college softball players Democrat Photo/Lindsay Reed Cassville Lady Wildcats Cari and Kelsey Vollenweider signed national letters of intent last Friday to play softball at Baker University. Pictured in the front row, from left, are: Cari Vollenweider; Baker head softball coach Matt Windle; and Kelsey Vollenweider. Back row: parents Mark and Melissa Vollenweider; sister Brittany Vollenweider, who is already a member of the Baker Lady Wildcats softball team; and Cassville head softball coach Ben Abramovitz.

Lady Wildcat twins Kelsey and Cari Vollenweider are carrying on a family tradition. Last week, the talented duo signed national letters of intent to play softball at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kan.

Kelsey and Cari will be joining their older sister, Brittany, on the Baker squad in the fall. Brittany, a 2008 graduate of Cassville High School, will be a senior for the Lady Wildcats next year. She pitches and plays first base for Baker and Coach Matt Windle.

The girls' parents, Mark and Melissa Vollenweider, are alumni of Baker University, where Mark was a member of the Wildcat football team.

Matt Windle, Baker's head softball coach, was in attendance at the signing and expressed his pleasure at signing the twins.

"I would have to say that we are very excited to have Cari and Kelsey sign with us," said Windle. "They have a strong will to compete, and they are students of the game. They constantly want to learn and get better. They are also great people. Having worked with them at camp, they bring a non-stop, infectious energy that I love to see.

"I expect them to come in and compete for playing time," added Windle. "I believe we found two diamonds; now we have to polish them up."

Kelsey was the starting catcher for the Cassville Lady Wildcats this season, and Cari was the team's starting third baseman. The girls were both named to the 2011 All-District second team in their respective positions.

Cassville Wildcat head softball coach Ben Abramovitz, who has guided the girls since they were freshmen, has high praise for Kelsey and Cari.

"If I had to sum up a phrase that describes these two athletes, it would be put into three words -- exemplary work ethic," said Abramovitz. "If a pitcher needed someone to catch her, or if someone needed help with their throw, these two were the first they called."

Abramovitz believes Kelsey and Cari will find success playing at the college level.

"A lot of times players sign or even verbally commit, and in the back of your mind, you doubt their intentions and commitment, but not with Cari and Kelsey," continued Abramovitz. "I feel very confident that our program will be well represented at the collegiate level by these two young ladies. Don't tell them they can't, because they'll find a way.

"I wish I could take responsibility for their achievement but truly their parents and sister have put in the years of time, money, work and miles into giving the girls the opportunity that stands before them," added Abramovitz. "I thank them for their years of service to our program."

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