LIMA - The University of Northwestern Ohio softball program keeps growing. On Wednesday evening, coach Tracy Coffman signed two more standout high school athletes in Kylie Snyder and Kelly Merkle.
Snyder continues Coffman's trend of attracting the top talent from local high schools; Merkle is a two-time All-Midwest Athletic Conference performer at Rockford Parkway High School. She has won three varsity letters in both softball and basketball, and another two letters in volleyball.
As a junior, Snyder hit .339 with 25 RBIs and 23 runs while going 5.1 off the mound in being named first-team All-Conference. She hit .302 with 26 RBIs and 16 runs with a 3-3 pitching record as a sophomore, being named second-team All-Conference.
"Kylie is one of the first area kids that we saw last spring and knew she would be a great fit for our program," Coffman said. "She will have a tremendous work ethic here after being a three-sport athlete throughout her high school career. Kylie comes from an excellent high school program and we are looking for her to help us in many areas. She is a very strong athlete who can hit, play the infield and pitch."
Merkle comes to UNOH from Lakeland High School in Highland, Michigan. She helped Lakeland to a state runners-up finish in 2010 and an appearance in the state final four last year. She has been named Oakland Press Athlete of the Week, All-County, All-District, All-Region and All-State.
She hit .520 with 40 RBIs and 39 runs as a junior, following a sophomore season when she hit .465 with 20 RBIs and 10 runs. She hit .341 as a freshman.
"I am so excited that Kelly chose UNOH to continue her softball career," Coffman said. "She has shown enthusiasm to be a part of this program from very early on. She has an excellent softball pedigree, playing for one of the best teams in Michigan and will help us in so many ways. She is a tremendous athlete and I think she will provide leadership right away."
Merkle's cousin, Lauren Maxwell, is the setter on the Lady Racers volleyball team.
The UNOH softball team will begin play in the 2013-14 athletic season.