Growing up in Maumee, Ohio, near Ned Skeldon Stadium where the Toledo Mud Hens played until 2002, Sarah Fetters and her parents were big fans of the minor league baseball team. A passion for softball came as naturally as breathing for Fetters, and she has taken that passion to extraordinary heights.
"I always knew I wasn't going to make my life playing sports," Fetters said. "I love math, and I originally planned to teach math and coach softball. When I started looking at colleges, they had to have good education and athletics programs." She found both at Wittenberg.
However, soon after coming to campus, Fetters attended a management department colloquium featuring Fall 2004 Executive-in-Residence Randy Adamack '73, who was then-vice president of communications for the Seattle Mariners. His talk opened a whole new arena of possibilities for the future.
"Once I learned I could really make a living working in sports without being an athlete, I started looking into sports career opportunities," she said. She soon declared a major in communication and began to prepare for a life that fit her passion.
Hired by Wittenberg's director of news services and sports information to intern in the Office of University Communications, Fetters' resumé now includes three years as an intern in sports information and a summer internship in 2007 with the West Virginia Power, the class A minor league baseball team affiliated with the Milwaukee Brewers in Charleston, W.Va.
She also presented a paper titled "A Critique of an All-American Team's Marketing Strategy" to the Ohio Communication Association conference, a distinct honor for an undergraduate. She researched and wrote about the Chicago Cubs major league baseball team and its marketing strategy to 13-26 year olds.
On the playing field, Fetters will go down as one of the all-time greats in Wittenberg softball history. A four-year starter, Fetters served as a co-captain for the Tigers in 2008, leading them to records of 23-13 overall and 7-7 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC). She led Wittenberg in runs scored, hits, total bases, on-base percentage and stolen bases in 2008, while also ranking second in batting average, doubles, home runs and runs batted in. Defensively, Fetters committed just eight errors in nearly 200 official chances.
All that came on the heels of her best collegiate season – at least statistically – in 2007 as Fetters ranked third in the nation and first in the NCAC in doubles per game. She finished her career as one of a select few Wittenberg student-athletes to earn All-NCAC honors all four years of their collegiate career, and she added a pair of All-Central Region awards as well in 2007 and 2008.
Off the field, Fetters proved she was no slouch in the classroom as she graduated summa cum laude, was tapped by the prestigious national academic honorary Phi Beta Kappa her junior year and was inducted into Wittenberg's chapter of the student-athlete honorary Chi Alpha Sigma. In addition, Fetters became just the seventh Wittenberg student-athlete to earn more than one one Academic All-America accolade as she picked up second-team honors for the second straight year in 2008.
All along, however, Fetters never lost sight of the future she began planning soon after arriving on campus.
"I'm following the steps to become an ESPN statistician," she explained. "I have experience working with a Division III school and a minor league baseball team."
Now she is on to East Carolina University, where she will serve a one-year sports information internship.
- Written by Phyllis Eberts '00
- Photo by Robbie Gantt