Softball team ready for final GLIAC season

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AU Athletics

Members of the softball team pictured above.

Jordann Lopata, SPORTS EDITOR

The Ashland University softball team is ready to leave their mark in their final season in the Great lakes intercollegiate athletic conference.

The team, who before starting their season in February, were away from practices and games for almost a year due to the covid-19 pandemic.  

“Our hopes for the season are to have a really strong finish in the GLIAC, everyone is almost on an even playing field because everyone missed out on the last year. So, to see how we compete, we’re young, we’re a little inexperienced but we have a lot of enthusiasm in our freshman and sophomores and we have a lot of talent across the board, and so I am excited to see how all of our players rise up to the occasion,” said head softball coach Emlyn Knerem. 

The softball team traveled to Chicago in their opening weekend, went 2 and 2 and are determined to continue to get more wins. 

Senior second baseman Emma Lawson, talked about one of the goals that the team has for this season. 

“First of all we want to finish above .500, we have been stuck there for a while the past few years. Then eventually finish first in the conference, and then hopefully make it far in the tournament, and then make it to regionals. So one step at a time, and keep building,” she said. 

As far as how the team has adjusted because of the pandemic, and the guidelines that the University has used to ensure safety of athletic teams, the softball team has some of their own rules to make sure they are staying healthy. 

“We’ve just had to adjust to not going home as much, trying to stay here, be with only each other as much as possible, keep our circles small, which in doubt has made us a lot closer and we have that compatibility with each other,” said senior Alli Hylton. 

The eagles, a fairly young team with only five graduating seniors, and a strong freshman and sophomore class have seen great potential already in the start of their season.

“There’s a lot of young talent and they’re only going to keep getting better,” Emma Lawson said. 

As far as the future goes, Coach Knerem is very confident in her team, and in the classes coming in that will add to the success of the program. 

“They are invested in what we want to do and they want to come out and compete and they want to win. And we have a really strong class coming in next year, we’re really excited about them. So, adding those girls to the mix of who we already have, I just see us improving each and every year and I expect that we’re going to compete at the top of the GMAC every single season from here on out,” said Coach Knerem.