Monday, October 19, 2020

MSU softball embracing leadership mentality as season heats up

April 3, 2017
Junior short stop and second baseman McKenzie Long (22) tosses the ball to freshman short stop and second baseman Melanie Baccay (21) during the game against Maryland on March 31, 2017 at Secchia Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Terrapins, 11-3.
Junior short stop and second baseman McKenzie Long (22) tosses the ball to freshman short stop and second baseman Melanie Baccay (21) during the game against Maryland on March 31, 2017 at Secchia Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Terrapins, 11-3. —
Photo by Jon Famurewa | and Jon Famurewa The State News

After kicking off Big Ten play in a three-game series versus the University of Maryland, MSU softball is focused on becoming a better team and building the program.

With only one senior on the roster this season, the Spartans are reliant on younger players taking on leadership roles.

Junior center fielder and leadoff hitter Lea Foerster said she’s focusing on the mental aspect of her game, especially in MSU’s leadoff slot.

“Just knowing in my head that I have to lead the team as leadoff batter,” Foerster said. “So just kind of keeping more of a team focus and trying to not elevate my own at bats, but just remembering I’m here for my team and I want the best for our team offense.”

MSU swept Maryland and won the first two games in different ways. The Spartans took game one, 11-3, after only six innings, then squeaked a game two win 2-0.

After game one, Foerster said she was happy with the way the team played all around.

“I just felt like hitting, pitching and defense (were) just really awesome today," Foerster said. "We worked really, really hard in practice this week just to get ready."

Sophomore outfielder Ebonee Echols said she's trying to help her team out in any way possible.

“I’m just trying to help my team and if I get a hit and we get rolling, that’s all I’ve got to do," Echols said after game one. "I’m just trying to get on base for my teammates and have them score me."

Freshman catcher and third baseman Kelsey Carrasco said having reliable teammates around her makes her feel comfortable in the lineup.

Foerster said she hopes to lead by example for her teammates and understand when to let another teammate step up.

“I’ve just been really trying to focus on, as a leader on the team just one, leading by example and then just really kind of opening up my horizon to what’s going on around me,” Foerster said. “And trying to figure out what’s the best way to meet the needs of my team. And through that … them seeing I’m always there for them and seeing my work ethic.”

Foerster said having a mindset instilled by the coaching staff helps out the entire team.

“I think having that really helps from a leadership standpoint, and Coach really encourages everyone to be a leader, so just we have a really good dynamic on the team,” Foerster said. "You know, some people are better at reacting to some situations and just knowing when it’s my time to step up and when it’s someone else’s time to fill in for me and knowing when to have someone else’s back.”

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