FAIRBORN — The five Wright State softball seniors were honored with a ceremony displaying their framed jerseys and oversized cutouts of their heads that were waved in the stands during the games during a doubleheader with Cleveland State May 5.
Four of the senior batters reflected on this season and what’s on their minds heading into this week’s Horizon League tournament hosted at UIC.
“We’re trying our best to live in the moment,” infielder Kelly Dillow said.
The Raiders road to the four seed in the conference has been a tumultuous one at times in terms of game results. This can still have its advantages.
“I think we’ve been through it all as players. With different coaches we’ve learned our strengths and weaknesses through the hardest times,” Dillow said. “Because we have faced that going into the tournament, we know that we have to fight every pitch and can’t take anyone lightly.”
The seniors went on to speak of the bond that has helped carry them through adverse moments.
“If you’re on the field and don’t trust the person next to you, you’re not going to play well together. I think that’s something we tried to tell our freshmen a lot,” infielder Jordan Kennaw said. “You play this game because you love it and the people you play it with.”
“Being together all the time through challenges you face outside of softball teaches you to communicate with one another. We’re not afraid to tell each other anything, which helps us be relentless on the field,” Dillow said.
“We truly are sisters,” outfielder Macey Gunther said.
Their ability to spur their teammates on from the dugout during games earned Kennaw and Gunther the moniker, “Juice Sisters.”
“It’s making sure we’re bringing energy to the team and everyone is up whether we’re scoring a bunch of runs or we’re down,” Kennaw said.
WSU coach Laura Matthews joined the team halfway through the fall. There are currently eight freshmen on the squad, which made instilling the right mindset was a pertinent task for the upperclassmen.
“We had to show them that this is hard work and we’re all on the same page,” Kennaw said.
“Being as young as we are, we’ve set a good tone for our underclassmen on how to keep a tough head,” outfielder Honnah Susor said.
The awareness of her softball career entering its final stages was noticeable from the emotion in Susor’s voice.
“My confidence level has definitely improved from the past,” Susor said. “Knowing that it’s my last season, I haven’t regretted anything and given it my all.”
The league tournament will begin Wednesday for WSU in a matchup with Northern Kentucky, and the Raiders are ready.
“We’ve got to execute and make the easy plays,” Gunther said.
“I think we’re on an uphill climb with hitting and starting to peak,” Susor said.
“You can’t play scared and you have to attack every game and inning with each other,” Dillow said.
“We are excited to head to Chicago and take on some strong opponents. I really like how we’ve played over the last week and think we can be successful if we continue that,” Matthews said. “Softball is funny in that it all comes down to getting hot and clicking over a four-day period of time. Why not us?”
Story courtesy of www.wsuraiders.com/.