Head coach Betsy Hada returns for her sixth year at the helm of the Berg softball program. Hada will reload for the 2014 season and the ever challenging Ohio Athletic Conference with a combination of new faces and veteran leadership.
On the diamond, the spry Heidelberg ladies will look to senior, center fielder Jami Wagner for direction.
"Jami is a special player," said Hada. "Her leadership both on and off the field is irreplaceable to our program. She has developed and matured to become one of the best outfielders in the region in her four years here at the Berg."
The already decorated Wager, an Alvada native, enters the 2014 season poised to make history. She enters her final year, third all-time in hits (147) and tied for third in career triples with eight. Wagner is tied atop the all-time steals list with 61 stolen bases and is fifth in runs with 87.
"We retained our core infield from last year but we have a young pitching staff with only Paige Atterholt returning," said Hada. "Offensively, I believe we will be solid and defensively, we will be able to hold our own with the experience our underclassmen gained last year."
As a freshman, Atterholt finished 2-3, striking out 27. The sophomore, DeGraff native will mentor freshmen pitchers Erin Chapman and McKenna Fisher as they embark on their first campaign in the Tricolor.
By the Numbers: Hada welcomes eleven freshmen six returning letter winners for the 2014 season. The sixth year head coach will navigate the 2014 schedule with three pitchers, 12 infielders and four outfielders.
2012 graduate and former 'Berg softball player, Bessie Artino joins Hada's coaching staff as a graduate assistant. In the Tricolor, Artino was a prolific hitter who established herself as one of the best players in program history. She climbed to first all-time in doubles (35), second all-time in home runs (19) and RBI's (101), third in all-time batting average (.412), and fourth all-time in hits (146).
Home Sweet Home: Although 'Berg softball is scheduled to play the 2014 season at their temporary home, Jocko Huffman Field, a permanent home for Hada's ladies is in the works. A project to construct a softball field in Peaceful Valley, the current home of Heidelberg baseball is underway and nearing its $300,000 goal.
For more information on the Peaceful Valley project and instructions on how to donate, check out the Heidelberg University Athletics website.
Road Trip: Hada's crew will begin the 2014 campaign in Clermont, Florida as they return to the Dot Richardson Spring Games for the third time. The Student Princes will begin competition with St. Lawrence (N.Y.) University followed by the University of Rochester (N.Y.) tomorrow beginning at 1 p.m. The Student Princes will take on ten opponents in five days, all in double-header action, before leaving Clermont.
The Student Princes will return to Tiffin to take on the Defiance College Yellow Jackets on Wednesday, March 19. The Heidelberg ladies will open OAC competition at Jocko Huffman Field with Ohio Northern University on March 22.