GROUNDOUT: Senior shortstop Natalie McGuire fields a ball on the Foresters’ home field. (photo provided by HU Athletics)

Following spring break, the softball team was one month into their season. The Foresters have accumulated a record of 9-8-1 overall.

Senior shortstop Natalie McGuire said the team is hoping to return to Nationals this season. Despite being the lone senior on the roster, McGuire said she and her teammates feel they are capable of achieving this goal.

“We know that we have to take it one game at a time and focus on getting better every day,” McGuire said. “We focus on doing the little things right and staying positive through our mistakes. We know that we have to set smaller goals and focus on reaching those small goals before we can jump right to our overall goal of making it to Nationals.”

The success that the team has been able to accomplish so far has been largely attributed to community. Freshman catcher/infielder Abby Keaffaber said the team has been able to become close throughout the offseason and during the beginning of the spring season, which translated to wins on the field.

“There is not one clique on our team, and I think that is because there aren’t a lot of returners,” Keaffaber said, “The upperclassmen have really helped us become so close by including us in every way they can.”

The squad this season consists of a number of young players. 70 percent of the roster consists of freshman talent. McGuire explained that this can work in the teams favor in future seasons.

“Having this many freshmen means that they will get plenty of playing time this year, which will only better them for years to come,” McGuire said, “They will learn to play together so well and grow as a team without having to lose so many people each year.”

Keaffaber said that another positive to the number of freshman on the team is that it has made the team closer, and they have been able to stay on the same page with each other when working to achieve their goals.

Audra Klopfenstein is leading the Foresters in doubles, hits and runs, while Casey Leham and Camille Furrow have tallied a team-high 12 RBIs apiece. On the mound, Furrow has recorded 5 wins in 59 innings, boasting a 3.92 ERA.