Ashland University’s Softball team prepares for 2023 season with strength and excitement

The team looks forward to this season bringing in ten freshman


Submitted by Scott Mayberry

The team gears up for the 2022-2023 season.

As the 2023 spring season begins, AU softball has started preparing to come in stronger in the 2023 season. The team is ready to bring excitement to the new Deb Miller Field with a healthy squad.

A couple of players recovering from injuries are Kayla Ruperto and Kaitlyn Carney. Ruperto is back from labrum surgery and Carney is also recovering from the same surgery. Josie Duncan, a senior pitcher, is excited about the recovery of these injuries.

“When they completed a phase in their recovery program practice blew up in excitement, and celebration for our teammates,” said Duncan.

The team is excited to have them back for the season and is ready to play with the other solid freshmen group of girls added to the roster. Coach Knerem is expecting the team to compete for every game this year.

“With our returners in addition to some fresh faces, we will have a strong lineup from top to bottom and a deep pitching staff to keep our opponents off balance,” Coach Knerem said.

Just like Coach Knerem, Duncan is eager to see what this season holds for them.
“At times the game didn’t swing in our favor, not for a lack of fight and heart,” she said. “I am excited about this upcoming season to grow on our fight and determination, play for our girl next to you, and show the love we have for the game. Everyone needs to buy into the process, and I think during the preseason we have done exactly that.”

Ashley Veldheer, one of the ten new freshmen on the team is preparing for their first upcoming season.
“The practices are going very well to help us to prepare for the season. Every single girl on this team is coming in and working hard to get better every single day. We all put in so much work in the offseason through conditioning, weightlifting, individual work, and team practices,” she said. “We are getting better every day and I cannot wait to see how we are going to compete when the season comes, I have a really good feeling with this group of girls.”

As the team prepares for the upcoming season, they are looking forward to playing on the new Deb Miller Field. This is the first season getting to play on the field and are excited to be a part of the new legacy that will be built on the field.

“The field is more than you could ever imagine, it’s beautiful, and I cannot wait to play with my teammates for the first year at Deb Miller Field at Archer Ballpark. I personally want to thank all of the donors for their generosity on behalf of AUSB,” said Duncan. “The donors have given AUSB a home, I cannot wait to look up into the stands and see the Army of Alumni. Let the memories begin!”