The young Union softball team prepares for a promising 2018 season

February third marked the official start of the 2018 softball season and the Union team is ready to knock it out of the park with their new freshman players.

After a productive season in 2017 with an overall record of 24-27, the Union softball team is perfecting their play and ironing out wrinkles in the fabric of their performance to make the new season a successful one.

The lineup of players this season contains a lot of fresh new members and some returning veterans. Senior Emily Bennet is returning at center field. Also in the outfield are sophomore Peyton Mathis, freshman Abbie Page, sophomore Gabby Morris and sophomore Molly McKelvy.

Infielders include junior Haley Barnette on first base along with freshmen Myranda Bailiff and Taylor Manley and sophomore Ashley graves. Freshman Lexi Bates will play on second base. Freshmen Kendal Kelsh, Abbie Page and Taylor Manley will join as pitchers along with returning players junior Taylor Griffith, sophomore Ashley Graves, sophomore Parker Davis and sophomore Gabby Morris. Sophomore Kristen Pickens will be a catcher alongside freshman Rosie Red and freshman Ashten Petty.

This is a very young team, and with new members comes new potential for star players. These freshmen and sophomores must adapt to the game and meet the challenge of facing off against more experienced players. Seniors and juniors on the team are confident in their abilities to take the team to the next level.

“I’m excited because last year we had really good freshmen and they worked their way up throughout the season,” junior chemistry major Haley Barnette said. “And now they’re sophomore[s] so we have these freshmen that are really talented and they’ll be able to work their way up.”

Barnette has confidence that the freshmen and sophomores will push each other to bring their A-game this season while the junior and senior players use the new members as motivation to keep doing their best.

“I want them to have the best,” graduate student Emily Bennett, who is in her final year of eligibility, said. “I don’t want them to wait until next year, junior year, or senior year to get better at something. I want them to see it now.”

Bennett has one season with the new players, and she wants to influence the freshmen to improve as much as they can within the season.

The Union softball team sits at 3-3 this season and will play against the University of West Georgia in Montgomery Alabama at Lagoon Park on February 17.

Photo by Mattanah DeWitt

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