CWU teammates create lifelong bond
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Most student-athletes get a chance to play with teammates for four years at the most. For the four CWU softball seniors they have had the opportunity to play together for eight years.
“We were on a really successful team and had really good coaches that knew how to have fun,” infielder Kailyn Campbell said about their former select softball team, the Washington Hustle.
Once they found out that outfielder Sammy Morris had attended a camp here at CWU, followed by her committing to play softball at CWU, the rest followed; starting with infielder Taylor Ferleman, Campbell and pitcher Kiana Wood last to follow the other three.
“It’s a pretty cool feeling to know that the four seniors get to play together one last year together,” Ferleman said.
Ferleman understands that this year will be an even better year knowing that she will be playing with her best friends.
The seniors: Campbell, Ferleman, Morris and Wood have been through it all together, even living with one another.
“Sammy and I live together right now and I don’t think we would be as close as we are if we didn’t live together,” Campbell said.
It isn’t every day that you find teammates that are so close, committed and dedicated to one another as these four are.
“We know we all have each other’s backs on and off the field, and that’s a really great feeling to have.” Ferleman said.
In their four years at CWU, the seniors went through one of their largest changes: the leaving of head coach Mallory Holtman-Fletcher and the gain of head coach Mike Larabee halfway through their college careers.
The switch in coaching staff had no effect on these seniors; it made their bond stronger knowing that they had to face this challenge head-on, and that’s exactly what they did.
In Larabee’s first year at CWU the four seniors, who were juniors at the time, all started. Together they helped break an uncountable amount of school records, including Campbell’s highest career RBI record she broke halfway through last year along with Wood earning GNAC Pitcher of the Year Honors.
“We’ve gotten really close over the years, and we’ve gotten to know the other one’s families really well and I think that has helped up get so close,” senior outfielder Sammy Morris said.
All four started out as infielders their freshman year. All but one has stayed in the infield, giving the infield an advantage on most teams they face
“It’s really nice having that trust with your teammates,” Ferleman said. “I just know where [Kiana] will be or where Kailyn will be and I can just flip the ball to them.”
Morris is the senior that the outfielders look up to. The remaining seniors lead from the infield with Wood on the mound, Campbell at second and Ferleman at shortstop.
“We have Taylor and Kailyn in the infield and Sammy in the outfield and they do a really good job at talking and being vocal when they are on the field,” junior infielder Jacie McDaniels said.
With their last season upon them, each girl said the same thing, “it’s going to be emotional but I can’t wait for this season with them.”
With the Wildcats breaking many records last season the four seniors look to go out on a high notes by having a successful season, while breaking many records in the process.
“It started out freshmen year, just spending all this time together and having all this fun was probably my favorite part,” Campbell said.
After eight years of playing together, these girls are gearing up for their eighth and final season as a group before graduating and going their own ways.