Whatever happened to former Springfield softball standout Carla Brookbank?
Bob Fortuna, The Plain Dealer, May 01, 2013 11 p.m.
Carla (Brookbank) Schaal says athletics helped her develop as a person. - (Special to The Plain Dealer)
GREEN, Ohio - Carla (Brookbank) Schaal helped lead Springfield to Division I state softball titles in 1988 and 1989 but was sidelined her senior year after tearing her ACL during basketball season.
She earned a bachelor's and master's degree in nursing from Kent State, where she was an All-Mid-American Conference selection for four seasons, and was named the conference's hitter and pitcher of the year and to the NCAA All-Region Team as a senior.
"I really feel I played softball during its best years,'' said Schaal, a nurse practitioner, Green resident, mother of four boys and the wife of Dr. Bob Schaal. "The popularity of the sport was growing and there was some very good talent in the area.''
She went on to play for the Durham Dragons and Virginia Roadsters in the Women's Professional Softball League before coming home to play for the Akron Racers from 1999-2000.
Schaal, 41, toured the country and competed in an International Softball Tournament in 2002 with Team Smith Nationals. She played for the California Sunbirds in 2004 and returned to the Racers for the 2011 season before retiring from the game.
"I really don't have time to miss (softball) because I'm so busy being a wife and mom,'' said Schaal, who had her No. 4 jersey retired by the Racers.
She accompanies her husband to his doctor and treatment appointments since two years ago when he was diagnosed with cancer.
"I've never asked why us and I never question my faith in God,'' said Schaal, who at one time ran Brookbank Fast Pitch. "I just put my head down and keep on going.''
She credits her never-quit attitude to a strong family support system, friends and her experiences as an athlete.
"Losing a game, to me, was always tough but it made me stronger,'' said Schaal, who also played high school volleyball. "Playing three sports, in general, made me a better person.
"Had I not been in sports I really don't think I'd be able to handle what's going on in our lives right now."
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