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Why Freshman Star Addison Barnard Chose Wichita State

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(Photo courtesy of Wichita State Athletics)

Addison Barnard has quickly made a significant impact as a freshman within the Wichita State softball program, including setting the home run (20) and RBI (54) records for a single season in program history.

Barnard has helped propel the Shockers to their current 37-11-1 record, and has them in a position to make a run in the postseason.

Read below for the full interview.

Softball America: What was your recruiting process like, and what went into your decision to come to Wichita State?

Addison Barnard: I think it was my sophomore year of high school. I came down here just for a camp, so I could get my name out there because I was really interested in going to the Division I level. I came down here for like a three-day camp and the coaches showed some interest. It was my first offer, and I decided to commit in the fall of my sophomore year because it is not that far away from home and I don’t want to be in a huge city where there are so many people.

I like a small-town feel, and the coaches were really personable and showed some interest in me when I was really young, so I knew it was legit. It was my first offer and I decided to commit because I really liked the school, and during club ball when there are all those recruiters, it is really stressful to play. I just wanted to play stress-free, knowing that I was already committed.

SA: Who did you look up to in softball as a kid?

AB: I looked up to Alicia Armstrong. She used to play in Beatrice, Neb., where I am from, and she went to Nebraska. She just really made a mark, and she was a true athlete. One time, she came to our practice and just talked to us about the higher-level stuff. That is a person that I really looked up to.

SA: Can you describe your relationship with Coach Bredbenner?

AB: I think I have a great relationship with coach (Kristi Bredbenner). I have known her for a while now and she just really cares about her players and takes the time to make us better, and I think she is so personable and so easy to communicate with.

SA: What has been your biggest adjustment in your transition to college softball, and who have you leaned on for support on and off the field during your freshman year?

AB: I think the biggest adjustment has been the pace, and when you get to the Division I level, everyone is as good as you. You have to accept that. In high school, you are always going to be the standout, but now, when you come to Division I, everybody is that good.

The upperclassmen on this team have just helped us and looked out for us, and I think that is who I have leaned on. Also, my mom. She has always been my biggest support system, just always being there for me all the time.

SA: What does it mean to you to have this type of impact as a freshman, including just now having your name in the record books?

AB: I never really expected this. I was just like, ‘You know what, whatever role I have for this team, that is what I am going to do to help us get better.’ I think it is awesome, but I am still just doing whatever is best for the team to help us win.

SA: What would you say that you still need to improve on to continue to evolve your game?

AB: I think I definitely still need to work on staying relaxed. Sometimes I still get nervous, and I get butterflies before every game. I also have to keep getting more comfortable in the outfield, just because it is not a position that I usually played (before college), so I just have to keep working at that.

SA: Wichita State has obviously had an unbelievable season, but what do you think the potential is for this team come postseason time?

AB: I think we have so much potential. We are right up there with all of those big-name teams. We just have a great connection on and off the field, which helps a bunch. We just got a huge win (against Oklahoma State), which really helps us moving forward, so I think if we just take it one day at a time, I think we can accomplish a lot.

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