Softball excited to end final stages of 2022 season at home


Mia Hennen

After scoring a home run for the Shockers, junior Addison Barnard runs to home plate to meet the WSU softball team during the game against KU.

Only five of Shocker softball’s 38 games have come at home, but with the season winding down, the program will play six of the final nine games at Wilkins Stadium. 

The daunting road schedule was primarily by design in order to build a tournament resume as the team looks to make another trip to an NCAA Regional this summer. WSU has only hosted one home series since starting conference play, completing a sweep of Tulsa last month. 

“It seems like in this conference, we ended up starting off the season at home, then two on the road and then we’re back and forth, home and away,” Head Coach Kristi Bredbenner said. “We’re going to take advantage of it and we’re always excited to play in front of our fans.”

The Shockers have gone 9-10 on the road and 12-2 in neutral sites this spring but with the season winding down, players are excited to spend more of their weekends in Wichita. 

The opportunity to sleep in their own beds and play in front of their home fans, will give players a break from the constant travel that has come with much of the season.

“This year has kind of kicked my butt with all the traveling,” junior Sydney McKinney said. “This is the most I’ve ever traveled and this is my fourth year here. Being able to sleep in my own bed, getting to hang out with my dogs, being able to read a book in the morning when I wake up instead of traveling, stuff like that is really important and I can feel how different it is.”

The Shockers will host just their second conference series this weekend, when they take on Memphis starting on Friday. After playing the following weekend on the road against East Carolina, WSU will wrap up the regular season with a three-game series against Central Florida. 

Bredbenner said it’ll be key to taking advantage of the home games they have left and taking advantage of their home crowd. The Shockers are currently 3-1 in home games this season.

“I thought we had a really great crowd that opening weekend against Tulsa and we can take advantage of that kind of atmosphere here,” Bredbenner said. “I think people are excited about Shocker softball, they want to come out and watch it.”