Under the guidance of fifth-year head coach Betsy Hada, the 2013 Heidelberg University softball team looks to build off last year’s performance; a strong performance that was limited by injuries.
The 2013 team will feature just two upperclassmen. Pitcher Ali Sayre (Sylvania/Northview) will add experience to the pitching staff, while outfielder Jami Wagner (New Riegel) will provide leadership to the lineup. Sophomore utility player Ashley Kessler (North Olmsted), who saw action in the field and on the mound, will spend the season recovering from an injury.
Sayre led the 2012 pitching staff with a 2.60 ERA and finished with a 6-9 record. The senior recorded 62 strikeouts and yielded 28 walks. For her career, Sayre has been a key member of the pitching rotation for Hada.
Wagner, a junior, was second on the team in batting a year ago. Starting all 38 games, she hit .378 and stole 20 bases in 24 attempts. She was named All-OAC Second Team. With 38 career stolen bases, Wagner is second on the Heidelberg Softball career list.
Hada will look to a promising crop of freshmen to play a major role in 2013.
“Coach (Mandi) Fought and I are extremely excited about this group of incoming student-athletes,” said Hada. “With so many open positions, these freshmen have an opportunity to come in and make a huge impact right away.”
Hada will have to replace the production that pitcher Lexie Pinkelman and hitter Bessie Artino provided the team during their tenure at Heidelberg.
Despite the departures, Hada is excited about the 2013 season
“The players are not just dedicated to each other but to the success of the program,” said Hada. “We look to build on the challenges and success from the 2012 season and establish ourselves as a top tier team in the OAC.”
2012 NTC Spring Games Recap: The 2013 season kicks off at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla. starting on March 9. Heidelberg looks to improve upon last year’s performance at the tournament when it earned a 7-2 record. The two losses were by a combined 3 runs.
Special Events: Heidelberg softball will host seven doubleheaders at Jocko Huffman Field at Hedges-Boyer Park. The April 6 matchup with OAC foe Muskingum will be Community Day, with fun activities for the 'Berg and Tiffin community. April 27's doubleheader against John Carroll will serve as the StrikeOut Cancer game.
‘Berg Insider: The 2013 squad will look to maintain the academic commitment exhibited by the 2012 team. Last season, Heidelberg Softball had the seventh highest GPA among DIII schools across the country. Individually, eight players were named NFCA All-American Scholar Athletes in 2012.