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Kent State not in Franksen's future
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Meghan Franksen starred on the Ceres High varsity softball team for four years. The 2005 graduate signed with Kent State University on April 29.

Franksen was granted a full release from her national letter of intent on July 7.

"I wasn't really thrilled about going there," Meghan said. "I wanted to stay around here."

"It's a great deal for her," said Cliff Franksen, Meghan's father. "She gets to stay close to her family, boyfriend and friends. She's very happy. This is what she wanted."

Franksen received a scholarship to attend school and play softball at Cal State Stanislaus. She signed with the Warriors on July 15.

Jan Schefkowitz, Stanislaus' head coach, recruited Franksen during the 2004-05 school year.

"We're thrilled that she decided to stay home," Schefkowitz said. "I watched her play the last three years. She can do a variety of things. She's a good hitter, fast and strong."

Franksen toured the Cal State Stanislaus campus with her father, new coach and high school coach on July 18.

"It gives instant credibility to that program, having her and Omaira there," said Ceres High softball coach Mike Corsaut.

Omaira Estremera, a 2003 Ceres High graduate, will also play for the Warriors. Estremera, a pitcher, led the Modesto Junior College softball team to the Central Valley Conference title this past season.

"It's going to be awesome," Meghan said. "I hope we can do as good as we did in high school."

Added Cliff: "I'm going to go to every game I can get to."

Franksen will vie for the starting shortstop position.

"I hope I can play in the infield," she said. "If I have to play outfield that's okay. I'd rather play than sit the bench."

Added Schefkowitz: "Everyone has the opportunity to try out for any position that they want. Then they have to prove themselves."

Franksen worked out with several of her teammates during the summer, including Estremera and Oakdale's Alicia Guzman.

"We don't start practicing until the end of September," Franksen said.

"We're going to be better than they've been in the past. Hopefully, we can get over .500."

Franksen will major in business.

"I want to open my own salon one day," said Franksen, who accumulated a 3.5 GPA in high school.

Franksen was a three-sport athlete at Ceres High. She earned 12 varsity letters, including four in softball, basketball and volleyball. A four-year starter, Franksen guided the Bulldogs' softball program to three league titles, including the MMC championship last season, and four playoff appearances. She garnered first-team, all-league honors every season.

Franksen committed just seven errors at shortstop in three years. - By DALE BUTLER / Staff reporter of the Ceres (Calif.) Courier