Barnard sets single-season home run record in series-opening victory over Memphis


Thy Vo

Sophmore Addison Barnard celebrates after hitting a home run against Memphis on April 22.

Shocker softball showcased its depth in a convincing 10-1 victory on Friday to open up their three-game series against Memphis. 

Three different Shockers launched home runs in the win, including a late three-run homer from Jessica Garcia to help clinch the run-rule in five innings. Addison Barnard and Neleigh Herring also launched homers in the win. 

The Shockers’ displayed their power all season, as they lead the American with 78 home runs, 34 more than the next closest team. WSU is also second in the country in home runs per game. 

“Having a lineup like we do, anybody can go yard at any time, anybody can step up in that big moment,” Herring said. “It kind of takes that pressure off. If I don’t do it, the next person’s going to do it. It makes it a little bit easier just to sit in the middle of the lineup and go ‘Hey if I get a chance I’ll do it, if not someone else can do it then.’”

Barnard’s third inning two-run shot also set some history. The sophomore outfielder entered the game with 22 home runs, which tied the single season school record she set a year ago. On a slow changeup, Barnard hit one over the left field wall, setting a new school record with still eight season games left in the regular season. 

The Beatrice, Nebraska native’s 23 homers also lead the NCAA.

“Through that at-bat, I was just thinking, take your time, gotta wait back because I was feeling a little anxious the at-bat before,” Barnard said. “I was just trying to see a good pitch and get through it.”

WSU got another solid start from starting pitcher Caitlin Bingham, a consistent trend towards the end of the regular season. After surrendering a run in the opening frame, Bingham threw four scoreless innings to help extend the team’s winning streak to six games. 

Bingham only allowed six hits and struck out four batters, while receiving her 11th win on the season.

“Our pitchers have just been doing amazing, keeping us in low run games because if the other team scores six or seven it’s hard to score that, especially against good teams,” Barnard said. “I think that they’ve really found a groove and kept us in those games so that gives us more of a breath of air for our offense.”

WSU remains hopeful that Friday’s win can help maintain their momentum to end the season. The Shockers are 26-13 on the season and sit in second place in the American, only behind No. 18 UCF.

“It gives us a lot of momentum going into it,” Herring said. “We know that we still have to take care of business, every day’s a new day so we’re going to look at it just like that. Wipe this one away, celebrate a little bit of course tonight and come in tomorrow and try to do the same thing.”

The Shockers will continue their series against Memphis on Saturday at Wilkins Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.