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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

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Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State softball leader prepares for final season

Jacinda Hall
Senior outfielder Addison Barnard practices her hitting in the batting cage at Wilkins Stadium. Barnard and her younger sister, Avery Barnard, both play for the Wichita State softball team.

Entering her final season on Wichita State’s women’s softball team, senior outfielder Addison Barnard is actively working on being a more vocal leader for her team and her sister. 

“I’ve always kind of led by example,” Barnard said. “I’d like to be more vocal about it.”

This season, Barnard will be setting an example for someone closer to home. Avery Barnard, Barnard’s younger sister, will play for the women’s softball team as a freshman utility player this season.

Barnard said she feels her sister can come to her for support as a teammate. The two moved to Wichita from their home state of Nebraska. 

“I expect a lot out of her,” Barnard said. “But also, I don’t want to be too hard on her. It’s been really reassuring because I have a piece of home here with me.”

Avery Barnard, Barnard’s younger sister and freshman on the softball team, said that having her sister on the team is a reassurance. 

“She had her freshman year, and she knows how hard it was,” Avery Barnard said “She’s just someone I can always talk to obviously because it’s my sister. She’s going to put pressure on me and she wants me to be the best I possibly can be.” 

One of the elder Barnard’s priorities is stealing bases, a skill she has worked to master over the course of her softball career.

“Getting around those bases and being in positions to score has been (what) I’m really confident and proud of,” Barnard said.

Another accomplishment of Barnard’s is ranking 32nd on the D1 Softball Preseason D100 pre-season rank. Barnard said athletic success is a two-front effort.

“I think a lot of determination and just having a really good work ethic goes into it,” Barnard said. “But also just working on the mental side. Being able to know when it’s really good to put in those hours, but when there’s also a time where you can step back and work on your mental side.”

Kristi Bredbenner, softball’s head coach, looks forward to watching Barnard develop her leadership skills for one more season.

“She’s never going to be an in-the-face type (of) leader, but an encourager, somebody that can lead by example and perform by example,” Bredbenner said.

Bredbenner attested to Barnard’s work ethic.

“Nobody works harder than her,” Bredbenner said. “She gives you 110% in everything that she does, whether that’s academics, athletics, weight room. To me, it’s just maturity.”

Barnard plans to apply her leadership skills beyond the pitch after graduation. She said she plans to apply to nursing school in March to pursue a career in medicine.

“Being a teammate, it’s going to help me a lot in the long run, as well in my career,” Barnard said.

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About the Contributors
Salsabila Attaria
Salsabila Attaria, Arts and Culture Editor
Salsabila Attaria is the arts and culture editor for The Sunflower. Attaria is a health science major.  She previously worked as a reporter and assistant news editor. She uses she/her pronouns.
Jacinda Hall
Jacinda Hall, Podcast Editor
Jacinda Hall is the podcast editor for The Sunflower. Hall is a junior majoring in communications with an emphasis in journalism and minoring in English literature. Her favorite quote is by Kurt Cobain: “I’d rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not.” In her free time, Hall likes to go to the gym, crochet and make fancy beverages. Hall's pronouns are she/her.

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