Homegrown slugger leads college softball’s home runs race
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Off-season workouts consist of batting practice and training sessions in Beatrice, Nebraska for college softball’s home runs leader. Addie Barnard is back in her hometown after slugging a record-setting 33 homers during her sophomore season at Wichita State. Barnard’s total ranks third-best in NCAA history.
“I never pictured myself, a little girl from Beatrice, Nebraska, being among those names and even touching those kinds of records,” Barnard said. “ I was just trying to get on base and the home runs came along. I was like ‘Wow.’”
Barnard believes her success is a result of strategic training prior to the season. Following a fantastic freshman campaign, Barnard knew opponents would learn her hitting tendencies. Also, Barnard expected opponents to start pitching her fewer strikes.
“When season rolled around, I was ready to go,” Barnard said. “Its been awesome.”
The Beatrice native was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, while also earning All-American honors. Barnard guided Wichita State to the NCAA Tournament with a 34-18 record.
Barnard plans to keep her skills sharp over the summer months while in Beatrice. She may also start giving hitting lessons to young softball players in the area.
Barnard will leave later this month to play in an invite-only softball tournament in Canada. Barnard credits her parents and high school coaches for developing her power-hitting ability.
Barnard is the first player in college softball history to hit over 30 home runs and steal 25 bases in a season.
Copyright 2022 KOLN. All rights reserved.