Senior starters expected to steer Redskins softball season to success
Leadership and success follow hand-in-hand with the Hurricane softball program, and this year’s team figures to feature more of the same behind returning senior starters Katie Adams and Paige Scruggs.
The duo represent two of the squad’s most impactful players, leading the team statistically and emotionally.
“They’re good leaders,” Hurricane softball coach Josh Caldwell said. “They work hard all year long. They play all year. They love the game and they just work hard at it, and they’re rewarded with that hard work. They’re definitely good players and one of the reasons we’ve been successful.”
After back-to-back Class AAA state titles, the Redskins entered the season with high expectations, Adams said.
“We’re all really excited,” she said. “I think all of the seniors know this is a special year. We’re super excited for this season to kick off.”
Adams, named the 2016 state player of the year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association, began her Hurricane career as a catcher to fit the team’s needs. However, last season, she returned to her traditional position at pitcher. Adams learned a lot from her experiences, and said she’s ready to serve the team in any role.
“Mostly, I think I learned just how to be a teammate, to play wherever I’m needed,” she said. “My freshman and sophomore years, I had never really caught before. I was thrown back there and I kind of had to learn as I went. Last year, when I got to play the position I kind of grew up playing, it was really nice. I liked it. Wherever I play this year, I think it will be best for the team.”
Meanwhile, Scruggs, a former Nitro transfer, said her past experience also helped prepare her to become a team leader.
“My sophomore year, I was scared, because I was the newbie – I transferred – and I was actually a little timid at first, but the team made me feel a lot more comfortable with myself,” she said. “Into my junior year, I wanted to start my way up to making myself a leader, because, by my senior year, I knew I was going to have to lead the team.”
While Adams, a Marshall University signee, adapted her position to best suit the team, Scruggs, who committed to Morehead State University, said she’s dedicated herself to improving defensively as an outfielder, as well as improving her offensive capabilities.
“My defense has come a long way,” Scruggs said. “This year, I feel better defensively than I ever have been before. I’ve been working hard on it all through summer and my hitting has definitely come a long way. I’ve been training for it all year round, just because I knew I needed to get stronger.”
As each member of the team continues to hone their respective abilities, Scruggs said she feels the Redskins are in perfect position to defend their titles.
“Right now, we’re together as a team and I can already feel how much team chemistry we have going for us,” she said. “I feel like we’re going to be stronger than ever this year. I feel like we’ve been the best of the best for the last couple years. This year, I think we’re going to be just as good, if not better.”