As a Radford student, alum, faculty member, or citizen we know that we have incredible D1 athletics teams, such as our soccer and basketball teams. But not everyone knows a lot about our softball team, which is currently ranked fourth in the Big South’s yearly standings.
Our softball team is very close with one another; they’re together almost all the time. The Radford softball team practices range from 2-4 hours a time and are held six days a week. Did you know that they are finished with practice before any of RU’s students get up for class in the morning?
All of the athletes, including the first semester freshmen, have already made lifelong memories being on the team. “Once when we were practicing base running and we were struggling to do a drill, one of the girls did the drill almost exactly right, but then fell completely and wiped out. Everyone died laughing after we found out she was okay and it lightened the mood and we got the drill done,” said freshman Sofia Tapia.
The players do more than just play on our softball team, some are involved in the Honors Academy, in clubs, have internships, and are double majors. One of the main things that drew the athletes and coaches to Radford other than the team itself was how beautiful and welcoming Radford’s campus and community is.
The Radford Softball team and even their coaches have been playing the sport for a large portion of their lives. “I have played softball since I was 11. I fell in love with it because it is something that you can always work on and improve. It is an individual and team sport which made me constantly work hard to get better,” said senior Abby Morrow.
RU Softball’s head coach, Aileen Morales played softball at Georgia Tech before moving to the New River Valley to coach our Highlanders. “I truly enjoy everyone associated with our Radford Softball program. I have great assistant coaches; they have a real passion for teaching the game. We have a great time working together,” said Morales.
Did you know that one of the softball team’s assistant coaches, Hope Creasy, played on the softball team when she went to Radford until she graduated in 2010? Creasy coached for several teams across the country until she found herself back in the New River Valley in August of 2015.
We’ve all known that athletes tend to have superstitions or routines they have to do in preparation for a game, and our softball team has some pretty unique ones. “I can only wear my nice Nike headbands on Game Day…I can’t wear them for practice or any other time,” said Morrow. Coach Morales also has to prepare for each game the same way in order to feel fully prepared for the game.
The Radford Softball team do have some games they are especially looking forward to playing in their upcoming season in the spring. “I’m excited to play Campbell again and get some revenge as they were the ones who knocked us out of the tournament last season,” said Morrow. However, they are all mainly excited about competing with other colleges in the Big South.