By Matt Bradshaw —
Softball steps into 2018 with an underclass-loaded team, fielding six seniors and four juniors.
One of these juniors, 2016 All-ACC selection Megan Hensley, is poised for a standout season as one of Louisville’s most versatile athletes.
“We have a lot of new people on the team this year,” Hensley said. “I think everyone has filled their roles and we’ve really come together.”
Hensley was hindered last season by injuries that affected her performance as both a pitcher and hitter. She has fully recovered for the 2018 season.
“We’re ready to go,” Hensley said. “We’re ready to compete and put it all together.”
As a sophomore, Hensley had the fourth-highest slugging percentage and hits on the team. She had the third-most RBIs (28) and hit three home runs, including one grand slam.
On the mound, Hensley posted a 9-9 record with a 3.09 ERA and 62 strikeouts. She threw a career-high 10 inning, nine strikeout game against FSU and finished a complete game, one-hit shutout of WKU.
Softball’s pitching staff this season is much deeper than the last. This should give Hensley more opportunities at the plate and on the field, as well as allow her extra time between games to rest as a pitcher.
“Each pitcher brings something different to the table,” Hensley said. “If a pitcher isn’t on one day, we have depth that will really help us this year.”
With the potential for more time at the plate, Hensley has the chance to improve her bat and best her numbers from previous seasons.
As a freshman, Hensley exploded onto the scene for the Cardinals. She led the team in home runs (13), was second in RBIs (52) and put together a 10-game hitting streak.
Following a tough loss in the final game of the season on senior day last year, Hensley says the team is ready to move forward and get this season started.
“We’ve kept our rankings up in the locker room so we can see those every day,” Hensley said. “It’s a reminder for what we’re striving for, and that that’s not where we want to be this year.”
You can follow Matt Bradshaw on Twitter @bradmatt8
Photo by Dalton Ray / The Louisville Cardinal