Addison Barnard stands out in first season of her college career



Wichita State freshman Addison Barnard jogs to the dugout during the game against South Florida at Wilkins Stadium on April 25.

You have probably heard the name Addison Barnard if you have been following the Wichita State Women’s Softball team. Barnard recently broke the single season home run record recently at Wichita State. She broke the record with 18 home runs. 

Barnard is a freshman from a small town called Beatrice, Nebraska and plays right field for the Shockers. Barnard committed early on to Wichita State in the fall of her sophomore year of high school. 

Wichita State was Barnard’s first offer. She said she committed early so she could play stress free during summer ball. Barnard decided to go to a three day camp in the summer during her sophomore year of high school at Wichita State and from there she was sold. 

 “It just felt kind of like home because Kansas is not far away from Nebraska and I’m always like used to growing up on a farm [and] it’s not very busy so I liked the feel,” Barnard said.”I didn’t want to be in a place where there are so many people. It stuck out to me because the coach was really personable, and really communicated with me, and showed me an interest when I was really young.” 

Head Coach Kristi Bredbenner said she recognized Barnard’s talent before she got to Wichita State and was excited for what was to come in the future. 

“Well she was super fast, that was the first thing we noticed about her,” Bredbenner said. “She ran home to home in 10.2 seconds. Just worked hard, was very athletic, good arm, hit well you know she was young at that time. The stars aligned for me for somebody that was going to be a good athlete in our program for us.” 

Bredbenner and her coaching staff knew that Barnard was a talented player, but in the fall before the season started, they were surprised by how fast she swung the bat. 

“Her bat speed is tremendous and that was something that she came in with that I don’t think we necessarily recognized until she got here,” Bredbenner said.“When we saw that in the fall it was like oh this kids good, [and] we are going to have to figure out how to get her in the lineup consistently.” 

It was always Barnard’s dream of moving on to the next level but she felt like it was real when she started high school. 

“It started to become a reality when I was like oh, I can actually go on to a higher level when I was a freshman in high school because I started playing at a higher level of club ball, and I started getting into a bigger organization for going to the higher level,” Barnard said. 

Barnard said she was caught off guard with getting a lot of playing time this season due to the amount of upperclassmen the Shockers have. She thought at best she would just be a baserunner for her freshman season. However, Barnard proved herself wrong at the beginning of the season. In one of the teams first tournaments, Barnard’s coaches told her to be ready to play. 

“I definitely expected to get more playing time when I was older just because we have a lot of seniors coming back, and so I never really expected to play my freshman year,” Barnard said. The coaches were like just be ready because you are probably going to have to play the first game, and so after the first game I was really nervous but then I got settled in and I did pretty good.”