After sweeping Stockton University in a doubleheader this past weekend, Rowan’s softball team will play six games this week. They will face William Paterson University, New Jersey City University (NJCU) and Kean University, and will play doubleheaders in each matchup.
Over the weekend, freshman shortstop Payton MacNair totaled three hits and an RBI against Stockton. MacNair, who earned New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) Player of the Week two weeks ago, has seen some time at both third base and shortstop this season for the Profs. She has also consistently batted in the leadoff spot.
MacNair reflected on the pressure of batting first in the lineup.
“Being a lead-off batter has more responsibilities than most people think,” MacNair said. “I have to take more pitches and relay them down the lineup and ultimately [make] sure I get on base a lot.”
This season, she collected three hits in their first game against Muhlenberg College and totaled three RBIs, which have been her game highs this season. She has 14 hits and seven RBIs this season in 42 at-bats with a .333 batting average.
Coach Kim Wilson described what MacNair has brought to the Profs this season.
“Just consistency, working hard to get better,” Wilson said. “She’s played a lot of different positions for us, and is a good athlete, so right now she’s settling in at shortstop.”
Although the Profs are heavily rostered with freshmen who have been producing for them, MacNair described how she has learned from her older teammates who have more experience playing college softball.
“One of many things I learned from my older teammates is being a good teammate,” MacNair said. “I really admire their positivity and dedication because it makes playing even more fun and exciting.”
In the four games that Rowan faced off against Stockton, Rowan has dominated, partly due to MacNair’s success at the plate. She explained how she puts in extra effort to ensure productive at-bats.
“I made sure I went and hit on my own the night before the game,” MacNair said. “I also was making sure that I was focusing in on deck and in the dugout when the pitchers were warming up. Staying dialed in the entire time definitely helped me out in making sure I was doing everything I was supposed to.”
Wilson continued about MacNair’s ability to produce this season.
“There’s a lot of different positions she’s able to play,” Wilson said. “At the plate she’s been a great lead-off for us, so everything’s been positive.”
Her versatility on the field, and her ability to produce at the plate has been a huge key to the Prof’s success this season. Although statistically she has had a successful season, MacNair believes there are factors that she could still improve on.
“I’m my own biggest critic, so I always say I can improve on something,” MacNair said. “I really want my hitting to improve and [make] sure I’m staying consistent with my form. With this, I need to be a better lead-off hitter, whether it be getting on base more, or sacrificing my at-bat to move runners.”
Although the Profs have a winning record, there are always things to improve on, as Wilson pointed out.
“Just get better every game,” Wilson said. “Continue to keep driving the ball, continue with our power numbers and just be consistent, and defensively play together as a team.”
On Tuesday night, Rowan swept another doubleheader when they defeated William Paterson 12-0 in five innings in the first game, and 6-1 in the second game. The Profs have now put up 34 runs in their last four games and are heading into a conference doubleheader again this weekend against NJCU.
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