Wittenberg University added a second Ohio Varsity Viper to its roster when Twinsburg’s Sydney Loffredo committed to the school.
Gianna Baynard, Loffredo’s high school and Vipers teammate, also will play for the Tigers.
Growing up, Loffredo would attend Arizona State softball games and watching the Sun Devils inspired her at a young age to dream of playing collegiate softball; a dream she is about to achieve.
“I’ve wanted to play at the college level since I was about six years old,” Loffredo said. “I would go to ASU games and watch Dallas Escobedo and think ‘Dang, I want to be like her.’”
Loffredo was drawn to Wittenberg for a multitude of reasons. The school’s smaller student body was one of the factors that appealed to her.
“It’s nice being able to go to a smaller school,” Loffredo said. “I know that the professors will actually be able to get to know me.”
In addition to the university being on the smaller side, Loffredo enjoyed the campus. She plans to bring her dog with her to school and feels that the campus will nicely accommodate this.
“I really liked the campus,” Loffredo said. “I’m bringing my dog to college with me, and I could picture us sitting under one of the trees on campus and reading a book.”
Another reason for Loffredo’s decision to commit to Wittenberg was the coaching staff. Their welcoming nature made her feel that the team would be a great fit.
“I would say the coaches really solidified my decision,” Loffredo said. “We talked over the phone, but once we met in person, I knew they were really accepting, and I felt at home.”
Loffredo also had the opportunity to connect with some of the current members of Wittenberg’s softball team. The program has an approachableness from top to bottom that Loffredo felt right away.
“I had an overnight visit that was really fun,” Loffredo said. “All of the girls were really welcoming, and it wasn’t awkward at all.”
Getting to continue playing with her best friend, Baynard, was an exciting opportunity for her.
“It’s really nice that we both get to play together,” Loffredo said. “We’ve been best friends since we were 12 and we met through softball, so being able to play with her at the college level is a pretty cool experience.”
Loffredo was recruited as a utility player, specifically at second base and catcher. She feels she is well adept to succeed in this role and is excited by positions becoming available due to seniors graduating.
“There are a lot of positions opening up,” Loffredo said. “It will be nice to know that I will hopefully be able to get some playing time.”
This summer, Loffredo is preparing for the step up to the college level with the Vipers 18U squad. She explained that the team’s coaching staff has helped her in this process.
“Coach Megan (Passwaiter) is very hip and it’s nice having a coach that understands us,” Loffredo said. “Coach Amy (Sullivan) is so helpful to everyone and she is always there to pick you up. It’s really nice having coaches like that.”
In addition to the Vipers’ coaches, the chemistry of the team has allowed for Loffredo to enjoy her time with the group and focus solely on the sport.
“The girls are really nice, and we connected really fast,” Loffredo said. “There’s no drama, which has helped me enjoy the sport and just get ready for college.”
Loffredo will be majoring in animal sciences with a minor in business. While she has two different career paths in mind, she is vehement in her desire to help animals.
“I either want to become a vet or open my own kennel with a rescue,” Loffredo said. “I want to help dogs and animals that are in need.”