Illinois State Softball Prepares For Exciting 2022 Season
Written by Braden Bylak on February 8, 2022
NORMAL, Ill.- Illinois State University’s Women’s Softball team is ready to kick off their season on Feb. 10 in a tournament hosted by the University of South Florida.
Head coach Melinda Fischer is coming off her best season in four years as she had the best record in the Missouri Valley Conference last season and won the MVC regular-season title.
Coach Fisher is coming into the 2022 season with only two players who played and started all 41 games last year, but that does not diminish her excitement for the season.
“I’m very excited to get started. We have been practicing since January 3rd.”
Opening the season, they will face two pre-season ranked opponents Number 6. The University of Florida and Number 16. ranked Michigan. The team will travel to Tampa and will have to get the bats going early.
“We prepare to go play every day and it doesn’t matter the opponent at this point we have to find out a lot about ourselves.”
Helping the Redbirds this season will be the returning dynamic duo of Emma Olsen and Kaili Chavel who placed second and third on the team with the highest batting averages.
Not only are these the only two returning players to play all 41 games last year, but they are also returning captains.
“We are counting on those two to be leaders offensively. Both had great seasons last year and provide great leadership.”
The leadership of the three captains Emme Olsen, Michele Calabrese and Kaili Chavel will be vital as they have six incoming freshmen new to the roster this year. Coach Fisher knows how important the bond between teammates is.
“Our leadership has always been tremendous, and we really rely on a player-led team”
The Redbirds will begin their journey to the NCAA tournament on Feb. 10.