Look around the field when you watch an Otterville High School baseball game. It should be obvious that something is different. Otterville has three girls on the team and often two of them are starters.
Sophomore third baseman Stephanie Oswald is one of those girls, stepping to the forefront in what is considered to be a male-dominant sport.
“Stephanie can do pretty much whatever she makes her mind up to do,” said Rob Young, assistant Otterville girls’ basketball coach and athletic director.
In her first season of high school baseball, Oswald is hitting the ball hard, has displayed a strong arm at third and can charge the plate quickly on a bunt.
In a recent game at Smithton, Oswald singled to center in her first at bat, then doubled to the right-center gap in her second trip to the plate and struck out in the seventh inning.
“Well, (expletive deleted), we finally got that girl out,” the Smithton catcher said sarcastically as he walked back to his dugout.
A good three-point shooting guard for the Lady Eagle basketball team and an infielder-outfielder-pitcher for the Lady Tiger softball team and a shot putter for the track team, Oswald is also an excellent student.
She has a 3.75 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, will take the ACT for the second time later this month and is ranked third academically out of 16 students in her sophomore class at Otterville.
With college still more than two years off for her Oswald is undecided about where she might want to go after high school. However, Oswald wants to work toward becoming a math teacher and wants t to coach either softball or basketball.
This school year, Oswald is taking her first weighted course – Spanish I – in high school.
Besides the softball, basketball, baseball and track teams at Otterville, Oswald is also a member of the FBLA, the National Honor Society and the drama club
“Academics are more important,” said Oswald, who turned 16 years of age in March. “If you don’t have the grades, you can’t play sports.”
Before playing two years of softball at Otterville, she played for several years in summer traveling leagues as well as a summer league team in Otterville and a summer team in Tipton last summer in the Jefferson City League.
Oswald began playing basketball at age six in a recreational league in Sedalia and has played for a summer traveling tam n Sedalia for many years. She just finished her second year of playing for the Lady Eagle team where she averaged nine points a game for a team that finished 27-2,won their second straight district championship and has made two straight Class 1 sectional