The late Sally Friend-Wentz is without question one of Ripley High School’s top softball players of all-time.
At Marietta College, her excellence on the diamond continued ultimately gaining her entry into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Recently another honor came her way as she was recognized as one of the best athletes in the history of Marietta College.
The winter issue of “Marietta,” the school’s quarterly magazine, featured the Top 100 athletes to ever don the Navy Blue.
And Friend-Wentz owned the 86th position.
While at Marietta, Friend-Wentz earned four varsity letters in the seasons of 1995-98. She was an all-Ohio Athletic Conference and All-Region Second Team selection in 1995.
As a sophomore in 1996, she had a season to remember. Producing 17 wins, striking out 68 and accumulating a 0.91 ERA – all school records at the time. She was an All-OAC First-team pick and First Team All-Regional that season.
She helped Marietta win its first-ever OAC championship and gain a berth in the NCAA Division III regionals.
Friend repeated as a First Team All-OAC pick in 1997.
A two-time team captain, she finished her days at MC as the all-time leader for wins (35), shutouts (10), no-hitters (2), strikeouts (190), ERA (1.51) and record (35-19).
Friend-Wentz was the recipient of the prestigious Betty Cleland Award in 1999. The award is given annually to the school's top female athlete.
She earned a degree in education in 1999. She was an assistant with the MC softball program in 2008.
She passed away much too young at the age of 38 on November 19, 2014.
At Ripley, Friend had 33 career wins from the seasons of 1991-1994.
She had five no-hitters and struck out 383 batters.
She earned Class AAA First Team All-State in 1994 and was a Second Team All-State selection in 1992 and 1993. She was also a Mountain State Athletic Conference First Team pick in 1994.
“She was right up there with one of the best we ever had,” said Tess Gump, who guided Ripley girls softball to outstanding success from the seasons of 1987-2003.
“She was an outstanding pitcher and a very good hitter,” Gump said. “She was just one of those who got better each year. She was just a good all-around kid."
And one of the greatest athletes ever at Marietta College.