The Lady Rams softball team’s 2017 season consisted of securing Head Coach Shannon Gower’s 300th win and having nine Lady Ram’s named with academic and athletic honors. Five athletes were named to the SAC All-Conference team, three to the All-Region team, four NAIA Academic Scholar Athletes, one golden glove, and one All-American.
Gower said that although they did see an increase of individual achievements, many of the team’s goals were not met.
“With the competitiveness of our conference, a goal this upcoming year early on will be to put the funds aside to be a host site,” Gower said on plans to change preparation for the next season. “We will always be changing preparation if it doesn’t work. We will be grinding more, becoming more competitive, and become both physically and mentally stronger.”
For the next season, Gower expects a few key traits to be seen in every player.
“We will be relentless, scrappy, and a hard to beat ball club both mentally and physically,” Gower said. “We want to be nationally ranked, to set goals and see our kids break records, to win on and off the field, to win a championship, and most importantly to mold our student-athletes for the real world.”
Bailey Terry, junior third baseman and new record holder for most assists in a single season, said her favorite moment was sweeping St. Gregory University with a walk-off win and breaking a record.
“The preparation that helped me get there was being mentally strong and dealing with the highs and lows of the season, along with continuously working to improve,” Terry said.
Terry, entering just her third season with the Lady Rams, has already been named to the SAC first team All-Conference twice, second team All- Region, was rewarded the team Co-MVP, and received a conference golden glove. She, along with teammates Kayla Prachyl and Dani West, was also selected to play abroad June 2017 to represent the United States in an international tour.
Terry said she hopes to be a leader to younger players on the field and in the lineup.
“I am going to help them and the rest of the team understand that if we believe in one another and believe anything is possible, we will succeed in conference,” Terry said.
Lauren Wernet, senior and SAC second team All-Conference pitcher, said the greatest accomplishment from the last season was becoming a true family.
“This year as a team, we had each other’s back,” Wernet said. “We played as one, and that to me is a huge accomplishment. I think we reached those points trusting each other and ensuring we were there no matter what for every single person.”
Wernet said that entering next year she doesn’t plan to change anything. She will continue to lead by trusting herself and her teammates
“I’m going to be confident,” Wernet said. “I want to be a light for others and help them love the game every time they step on the field. I want the freshmen and returners to know that I will always be there through good and bad times, and I want everyone to be part of the ramily.”