By Logan Arneson, Contributing Writer
The Hilltopper softball team will have plenty of game time on the field as they will be taking on Shepherd University and Fairmont State University this upcoming weekend. The softball team’s record currently stands at nine wins and nine losses as of March 26. They are hoping to boost their win count with the consecutive games being played this weekend.
Last year when the Hilltoppers met Fairmont State, they won three of the four games.
When the Hilltoppers played Shepherd last year, they were swept and lost all four games. This past failure will push the Hilltoppers to perform at their highest level to ensure victory. The commitment from the softball team to bounce back from last year and improve their play can be seen through senior shortstop Kelsi Johnson.
“We definitely owe Shepherd a sweep coming out of last season and I think that feeling will definitely be driving us through the weekend,” Johnson said.
Johnson identified that both Shepherd and Fairmont State are great rivals with the Hilltoppers; the level of rivalry will only improve their skills out on the field.
Johnson also stated that playing games on back-to-back days helps the team’s mindset and keeps them focused. Johnson said, “Playing back-to-back games has more of a positive effect since we have a lot of trouble with our mental game. It forces us to both make the smaller adjustments quicker and have a shorter memory.”
Another key player on the Hilltopper softball team is junior second basemen Sydney Bennington. Bennington is also confident in her and the team going into the weekend. She said, “I believe if we get two good team wins from the first doubleheader, then it will carry onto the next games.”
Bennington also commented on the team’s offensive play and believes that is the key aspect that will push them to success, “I know our team can hit the ball better than we have been as a whole. I would say it is a team goal for us to focus on the offensive side and get some more runs across the plate.”
Improving their hitting in practice has been essential to coming away with victories when it comes to game time.
All of this weekend’s games will be played here at West Liberty University at the Hilltopper Softball Complex. As of March 26, the Hilltoppers will play Shepherd on Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Fairmont State on Saturday at noon and 2 p.m.
Make sure to come out and support your fellow Hilltoppers! Also, be sure to grab next week’s Trumpet for more previews and follow along for updates at hilltoppersports.com.
Photo Credit: Hilltoppersports.com