Trail product Mead off to blistering start for Washburn softball
By RICK PETERSON
A year ago at this time, Marrit Mead was a senior at Santa Fe Trail waiting for her chance to play softball after her final high school season was wiped out by COVID-19.
Washburn University has given Mead that opportunity from Day 1 and the third baseman has responded with a monster freshman season for the Ichabods, who took a 21-6 record into Monday's home MIAA twinbill against Lincoln.
Mead, who had a team-high .484 batting average through Sunday, said that it was difficult having her senior season canceled, but said she had to concentrate on her future at Washburn.
“It definitely took some time to adjust because it was sad at first, but then you look at all the things coming forward and you can’t be sad anymore and you just have to move on,'' Mead said Sunday after going 5 for 7 with a double and two home runs in WU's doubleheader sweep over Newman.
Mead admitted she was surprised when veteran Washburn coach Brenda Holaday inserted her into the Ichabods' lineup for the season-opener in early February, but she has delivered ever since, leading WU in most offensive categories.
“It was a shock at first, but as soon as I was given my opportunity, I knew I had to take it and run with it and do the best I could for my team,'' Mead said. “It’s not something I was expecting, but every day everyone works hard at practice and everyone makes each other better.
"Each and every day the lineup could be different because everyone is good enough to play on the field.’’
After missing two straight weekend series due to COVID protocols, Mead and her Ichabod teammates showed some rustiness in Saturday's twinbill loss to nationally-ranked Central Oklahoma. But after going 0 for 4 in the first game against the Bronchos, Mead, WU's leadoff hitter, had a pair of hits in the second game to get back on track before raising her average 18 points on Sunday.
“I was trying do stuff that wasn’t myself, but I got back in my groove and now I’m back,'' Mead said.
Mead said that Sunday's sweep against Newman was good for the Ichabod team as a whole.
“I think it was good just to stay fresh in our minds that we do have something to work for and no team’s going to just roll over and die for us,'' she said. "We have to keep working each and every game.’’
Mead said the fact that she gets the opportunity to play her college softball right down the road from her home in Overbook is an added bonus.
“I can go home whenever I want and some girls can’t, but each day here it feels like home.’’