STAUNTON, VA - After finishing last season 1-30, Mary Baldwin softball is looking to prove the doubters wrong this spring. The Fighting Squirrels begin their lengthy season with plenty of non-conference double-headers, warming up for their USA South Conference schedule beginning on March 20th.
The 2019 softball squad has 15 players, made up of two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores, and eight first-year players. "We have 15 players, with four returners; pretty much a whole new team. We have four pitchers on staff which will help us and we have depth where many people can play different positions," said veteran coach, Christy Shelton. "I think this team is really special and it is exciting to see where they are going to go this year. They are excited to start playing and in all honesty, this could be the best softball team Mary Baldwin has ever had and it's by far the most talented team," added Shelton.
The Fighting Squirrels are returning a top hitter and senior Alli Buscunan, who played every game for the Fighting Squirrels in 2018, with 20 hits, 10 RBI's, 5 runs scored, and 1 homerun. Buscunan had this to say about the upcoming season: "We have the most talent that I've seen in my years here. We can use every single person on the team and they are all capable of going out there and doing the job."
First-year Kendall Field is equally confident heading in to the season. "We are going to shock the upcoming teams and a lot of teams in the conference don't know what we have because they have seen our previous season records and they weren't the best," said the rookie outfielder. "I'm really excited because I know it's not going to be that way this season and if we do lose, we are going to go down trying, so I want to up the bar like basketball did."
Overall, Shelton believes this team has great potential to compete in the USA South and surprise a lot of teams. "If the pitchers can hit their spots and keep us in the ball game, allowing the defense to work, we will win some games. We just need to get the nerves out of their system the first couple games."
Mary Baldwin softball will be on the road for a few weekends, returning home just after spring break for a double-header on March 9th. Admission to MBU home games is free and parking is available on site.
Preview by Sean Redmond