Written and Media by: Brianna Anderson [divide]
The Greenville Lady Panthers are already preparing for the season with 7 a.m. workouts and three-hour practices. The Lady Panthers had a record last year of 24-17, 13-5 SLIAC. This year, five seniors lead the team. Laney Thacker, Shannon Elbe, Danielle Helms, Bryn McKie, and Andrea Martin plan to finish this season and their college career with a bang.
Introducing the Seniors
As a senior, Laney Thacker wants to live every moment to the fullest, hit .400, hit 10 home runs and have 50 RBI’s. After graduation, she plans to hopefully play slow-pitch or coach softball.
Shannon Elbe also looks forward to making memories this season. “I have one season left and then I’m done. I want to look back at it and smile,” stated Elbe. After graduation, she hopes to obtain a job teaching at a middle school and she plans on playing slow-pitch and coaching.
Bryn Mckie wants to get know the freshmen and transfers while helping the team excel. Her goal this season is to not get injured so she can play to the best of her ability. After graduation, she hopes to become a manager at PF Changs or find a management position elsewhere. As for softball in Mckie’s future, she may play either slow-pitch or at the annual GC Alumni Game.
Danielle Helms hopes to win all of the conference games as a team. “As a senior, I hope my love for the game only gets stronger and I end this season with a smile.” Helms loves game day and looks forward to every game. Helms said, “each game from this point on is bittersweet, and because of this, game days are that much better.” Helms is not sure what she will end up doing after graduation, but she hopes to coach one day.
Andrea Martin looks forward to finishing her softball career after playing since the young age of five. “To finish with Shannon, Bryn, Danielle, and Laney by my side is something I’m going to truly cherish”, Martin stated. This season she hopes to beat Fontbonne for the first time in her four years. After graduation, Martin plans to move to St. Louis and apply for the St. Louis University’s Nursing program. She hopes to find a slow-pitch league, but coaching interests her as well.
The seniors answered this question: “What advice would you give to the freshmen?” Elbe, Thacker, and Martin all responded saying, “enjoy the time you have to play, live in the moment, and play every game as though it is your last.” McKie responded, “Don’t stop trying, go out there and do your best at every practice and every game.” Helms said, “Do not give up on yourself or this game. These last four years of softball are all you will remember when it is all over.”
Five returning All-Conference players
Not only do the Lady Panthers have five great leaders, they also have five All-Conference players returning: Tiffany Samsoe 3rd team All-Conference, Shannon Elbe 3rd team All-Conference, Bryn McKie 1st team All-Conference, Anaya Tobiason 2nd team All-Conference, and Andrea Martin 2nd team All-Conference.
Other members of the Lady Panthers Softball team include Nicole Geissberger, Caitie Opp, Cayla Speaks, Brianna Anderson, Hannah Frerker, Amanda Atteberry, Karissa Woody, Shelby Cash and Cassandra Leuking. They have all been working very hard day in and day out. Their goal as a team is to win first in conference and win the conference championship.
When asked,“What is your biggest goal for the Lady Panthers?”, Cait Santefort replied, “besides having success on and off the field, my biggest goal for the team is to uphold our core covenants: for our team to be unified as a family, to honor God and to compete with class.” John Barnes said his biggest goals for the team were continuity, teamwork and patience amid failure. Head coach Tracy Cromer stated, “I want our team to stay focused on the process, not the outcomes. The outcomes will come if we focus the process of getting better every day.”
The coaches also provided advice for the seniors. Santefort said, “Stay on track with schoolwork, but don’s stress about the future. Be in the moment, and make the most out of the season and time with your teammates.” Barnes exclaimed, “Leave with NO REGRETS!” Cromer replied, “Think about what you want to be remembered for and the reason why you continue to play the game.”
The Lady Panthers begin their 2015-2016 season Friday, Feb. 19 at Rhodes, TN. Their home opener is Friday, March 11 against Milliken, game times are 2 and 4 pm. They hope to see you all there cheering them on. They will also be playing in Florida during Spring Break.