Greenville’s Justine Shilt competes in USSSA Challenge Cup

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Justine Shilt crushes a hit for Team Ohio at USSSA Challenge Cup. (courtesy photo)

GREENVILLE – Justine Shilt, a Greenville alum, and member of the 2007 Lady Wave State Championship softball team, 2006/2007 All-Ohio who went on to star for the DI Wright State Lady Raiders recently returned home from competing in the USSSA Challenge Cup known as the Olympics of Slow Pitch Softball.

The tournament is held at the USSSA Space Coast Complex & Stadium located in Viera, Florida. The renovated complex provides an idyllic setting for amateur athletes to showcase their skills and to experience the pleasure of competing at a professional quality venue.

Justine Shilt takes up infield in USSSA Challenge Cup held in Florida. (courtesy photo)

“I love going down there and representing Ohio,” said Shilt. “The people are great. I was lucky enough to meet new people and play with some that I currently play COED with.”

“Justine was one of the best players ever here a Greenville Senior High School (2004-2007), player and star,” said veteran Lady Wave softball coach, Jerrod Newland. “Justine went to Wright State University and set the homerun record – never hit one here.”

Greenville’s Justive Shilt makes a safe slide at home in USSSA play. (courtesy photo)

Shilt plays for a team based out of the Cincinnati area along with many players who played at the collegiate level. Besides Shilt, Collin Teagarden Valdosta State, Dallis Knotts for Thoma Moore, Haley Shuemaker at Thomas Moore, Riley Brown played for Heidelberg, Kayla Reedy played at Ohio Christian, Lyric Houston played for Lindsey Wilson College and Josh Linne played at UC Clermont made up a large part of the team.

The versatile Shilt can be seen playing different positions for both teams she plays for.

“They throw me around anywhere,” Shilt said. “It’s usually second, third, some first base and even some catching which I don’t mind that spot, hahaha, easy one to do.”

Each state selects a group of athletes to represent them in the USSSA (United States Specialty Sports Association) Challenge Cup. Allison De Los Santos coaches Team Ohio.

“I love playing for her the last couple of years along with my teammates,” Shilt said. “It’s great that I got to experience that with her and teammates Kelvin, Quinn, Mike, Jordan, and Dallis. I got to play with Riley again who is on the other COED team that I play with for certain sanctions. Every one of them are very talented people and great human beings – that’s why I love playing with them.”

Justine Shilt cracks a hit for Team Ohio at USSSA Challenge Cup. (courtesy photo)

“I was lucky enough to be selected by Allison who played for Rio Grande and Bryce to represent Team Ohio.,” Shilt added.

Team Ohio went 2-0 defeating California and Utah to get the No. 1 seed.

“That doesn’t mean that much,” Shilt said. “It’s double elimination and that is where it counts.”

In the first game, Team Ohio unfortunately lost to New Jersey.

GHS alum, Justine Shilt stands waits for pitch in USSSA softball tournament in Florida. (courtesy photo)

“They were the better team at that moment,” Shilt stated. “Me being a competitive person, it’s frustrating when they were a very beatable team and we just didn’t play our best.”

Team Ohio had to battle through the loser’s bracket and came up short losing to Georgia by two runs to finish fourth overall.

“Unfortunately the two games we lost we did not play well overall a couple of innings, where we didn’t put any runs up or made some mistakes in the field. It’s all part of the game. No doubt in my mind, we could have won the whole thing, especially finding out New Jersey won it all.”

Now back in Ohio, Shilt will once again be playing for two Ohio softball teams.

Greenville’s Justine Shilt competes for Team Ohio at USSSA Challenge Cup. (courtesy photo)

“With my current COED teams, we’ve had a lot of success no doubt but I love playing with both of these groups because of the people,” said Shilt. ‘Allison is the coach for WAP sanctioned for USSSA, WSL and GSL.

“I’ve been with them for about three years now and in those three years we’ve finished in the top two double-digit times,” she said.

Shilt also plays for the Unity team coached by Rickie and John and is sanctioned One Nation.

“We had a very solid year in One Nation going 36-6 overall and winning six tournaments,” Shilt noted.

“Playing for WAP and Unity makes me enjoy it a lot,” Shilt added. “It’s a great group of people and a lot of success at tournaments. I know eventually I won’t get to do it anymore as my body won’t let me so I cherish every moment I do get to play.”

Justine Shilt steps in the box under the lights at USSSA softball tournament. (courtesy photo)

Justine Shilt, known as Coach Shilt in Greenville, returns to the Lady Wave Stadium at Stebbins Field to serve as a Lady Wave Softball assistant coach.

“Amazing student of the game and she now loves to give back,” Coach Newland said of Coach Shilt. “Her and Jeff Shilt have a vested interest in LWSB and the next few years of unprecedented success that is coming.”

“The Lady Wave Softball program 7-9 grades has more talent than ever,” Newland added. “Now to get talent to surround themselves with like-minded peers and coaches – going to be amazing.”