Austin’s Ball hoping to finish strong in the circlePublished 6:46pm Wednesday, March 26, 2014
As Austin senior Abbey Ball enters her fourth season with the Packers softball team, she can’t help but feel a little nostalgic. She also feels the need to make sure she finishes her Packer career on a strong note.
“I want to leave it all out there,” Ball said. “I want to give it my all and give my team all I’ve got so I can walk away without any regrets.”
Ball gave Austin a boost with her arm and her bat last season. She struck out 84 and held an ERA of 3.47 and she hit .344 with eight extra base hits and 14 RBIs.
Austin head coach Cindy Owen is hoping Ball can lift the Packers to knew levels this season.
“We’re going to ask Abbey to do a lot,” Owen said. “She works very hard, she sets a good example for the kids and she’s not afraid to push others. She’s not just a good pitcher and a good hitter, she’s also a good leader.”
Ball can also play loose since she know that she will play softball again after high school. Ball plans on playing for University of Wisconsin-Stout next season. She’s unlikely to pitch for the Blue Devils, who are 10-6 this spring, but she’ll get a chance to hit and is ready to play wherever they put her.
“I’m going to into business and Stout is good in that and my brother, Marcus, went there,” Ball said. “It’s really nice knowing that I’m going to continue my career playing softball. It’s bittersweet knowing it’s my last high school season. It went by faster than I expected.”
Austin is scheduled to open its season April 8 at home against Rochester John Marshall, but that will depend on how the weather cooperates. No matter what, Ball is hoping to leave the softball program in better shape that what it was in when she arrived.
“We’re a young team this year. We’re going to rebuild and hopefully we create a foundation where they can be strong for the next couple of years,” Ball said. “We’ve got to get our bats going and we’ve got to play solid defense. We lost a lot of low scoring games last year and we want to put some runs on the board.”