Softball: Anderson makes early impact

Junior+Ashley+Anderson+practices+pitching+at+Austin+E.+Knowlton+Athletic+Complex.%0APhoto+byLinnea+Ritchie.

Junior Ashley Anderson practices pitching at Austin E. Knowlton Athletic Complex. Photo byLinnea Ritchie.

Junior Ashley Anderson practices pitching at Austin E. Knowlton Athletic Complex. Photo byLinnea Ritchie.
Junior Ashley Anderson practices pitching at Austin E. Knowlton Athletic Complex.
Photo byLinnea Ritchie.

Junior Ashley Anderson has been one of the most impactful players for Augustana’s softball team, and has used her parents and coaches’ influence to fuel her success.

The team has won all five games she has started in, throwing three complete games and one combined no hitter.

Anderson’s father is the hitting coach, and her pitching coach is John Brokaw, who has coached Anderson for 15 years. She credits some of her success to their familiarity with her as an athlete and a person.

“My dad has been my hitting coach since I was very young, and he taught me how to swing the bat,” said Anderson. “He has helped me approach the game both physically and mentally, so having him in the dugout is a different dynamic and very beneficial for me.”

Anderson has the second-highest batting average this season and is the team’s top starting pitcher. According to Anderson, her familiarity with both of her coaches has helped her start out strong this year.

“It’s like I have two dads in the dugout,” said Anderson.

Growing up, Anderson’s parents pushed her to play sports, and when Anderson’s father signed her brother up for baseball, he signed her up too.

One of the reasons why she chose Augustana is its proximity to home, where Anderson commutes from every day. Anderson believes softball has been an important bonding factor between herself and her parents.

“My parents play a very large role in sports, and I’m very close to my parents,” Anderson said. “My dad spends a lot of time in the yard with me catching pitches, and I think that and sports in general is how I built such a close relationship with my parents.”

Anderson also said her mother has been a strong source of support at games.

Anderson, an accounting major, intends to find an accounting job or get her CPA certification when she graduates. She has also contemplated going to law school and even becoming a pitching coach herself.

Before she graduates, Anderson wants to improve her batting average and keep the same goals she has had in the past for the team. One of those is getting to the conference tournament, in hopes of qualifying for the NCAA tournament.

“I haven’t missed an NCAA tournament yet, and if I can help lead the team there, that would be great,” said Anderson.

The NCAA tournament is at the end of the season after the CCIW tournament in May.

For now, the team’s next game is Saturday against Washington in St. Louis, MO.