Shippensburg University’s softball team holds a record of 19-13 a little more than halfway through the season, but they wouldn’t be there without the bat of junior standout Hannah Marsteller.
Marsteller is currently batting .479 with 45 hits, 17 home runs and a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) leading 53 RBIS.
Marsteller also has a PSAC leading slugging percentage of 1.128% and started the 2021 season with an 18-game hitting streak.
Hitting might be coming easy at this point for Marsteller because she’s had a bat in her hand for 16 years now. “I started playing softball when I was five years old because I was inspired by my older sister to play. I aspired to follow in her footsteps as well as create my own path in the sport,” marsteller said.
Orignially born in North Carolina, Marsteller now resides in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Her father serves in the military so Marsteller says she is used to moving around.
However, she is not used to not being able to play softball when she wants but those are the exact problems Marsteller faced this offseason while trying to train.
“Due to the pandemic, training facilities and access to equipment was extremely limited. There was a point where I was unable to workout or play for almost three months. Knowing that the pandemic was preventing me from playing a sport I felt so passionately for was emotionally draining,” she said.
Before the 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID-19 coronavirus the SU softball team had a 10-4 record and Marsteller was batting .404 with 19 RBIs and two home runs. She felt that the team did not get a chance to prove themselves last season.
“We had worked so hard in the offseason and we were ready to compete and show our PSAC competitors who Ship softball was,” Marsteller said. “After the season was over and we were all sent home all meetings were virtual which created the struggle of creating new relationships and maintaining old ones.”
Slowly but surely things started to open back up and Marsteller was eager to get back outside and train for the next season.
“Once things started to open back up, I didn’t take one opportunity for granted. I lifted almost five times a week and was taking every opportunity to swing my bat or find someone to throw with,” Marsteller said. “I feel stronger, faster and healthier due to everything that took place and I have noticed it in my performance on the field.”
Others have quickly taken notice of Marsteller’s on field performance as well, especially after she set the Shippensburg school season record for home runs against Kutztown University.
“Breaking the home run record for my school has always been a career goal of mine. When I achieved it I was ultimately shocked, it was never something I expected to happen so soon,” Marsteller said. “I am very happy to hold this record and represent Shippensburg softball.”
With four more doubleheaders to go in the season Marsteller and her team are laser focused on securing a spot in the PSAC tournament.
“Our priority is winning our final eight conference games. We have peaked at the perfect time as a team and our final few games are crucial to obtaining a spot in the PSAC tournament,” she said.
Marsteller also said that she hopes to increase her current batting average and continue to get stronger and faster in her strength and conditioning training. She wants to do all this while becoming a team leader and set a positive example for her teammates.
The end goal of a PSAC championship remains the same however, and Marsteller believes her team can do it.
“My team is full of resilience and competitive edge and we are ready for any challenge thrown our way,” she said.