Expectations are high for Marshall’s softball team, higher than they have been for a long time, at least according to senior Elizabeth Palmer.
“I think we’re going to be a real contender for the district championship because we have worked really, really hard,” Palmer said entering Tuesday night’s district opener against John Tyler. “I don’t think we’ve gone into district for a very long time with a winning record. So that was a really big deal since we have 16 and we’re almost to 20. I think we’ve just worked really hard and that this district season is going to be really good for us.”
Palmer and the Lady Mavs added their 17th win of the season with a commanding 15-0 win over the Lady Lions to start off district at 1-0. So far on the year, Palmer has 15 hits, seven runs, four RBI, a batting average of .417 and an on-base percentage of .604. Of course, being hit by 14 pitches doesn’t hurt that on-base percentage.
“I think the weight room has really helped us,” Palmer said when asked how her game has improved. “I have hit harder and more to the wall and I’ve gotten a lot of faster too, so I feel like my individual game has been helped a lot by coach Rob (Phillips).”
Palmer has officially been accepted to Baylor where she’ll study next season. Until then, she plans to make the most of her high school softball career.
“It’s our last go at it and I think we have a really good district to do some damage in,” she said. “We’ve really worked hard on our game together and each individual has bought into what coach Shepperd is asking us to do. I think that’s a big reason as to why we’re so successful. Going into district with that motivation and that momentum has really helped us and I feel like we’re going to do really well.”
“Liz has grown so much, both developmentally and emotionally,” head softball coach Alli Shepperd said. “She has always been the hardest worker that I’ve ever had since she was a freshman. She’ll do whatever you want, whenever you want, with enthusiasm and you pray for kids like that. To watch her grow into such a great softball player has been great. She’s one of those kids who you would be OK with if they couldn’t play ball she can play ball and she’s a go-getter.
“We are blessed to have her on our team. She really makes a positive impact on the rest of her teammates.”
“I want to be remembered as one of the selfless people on the team who would do anything four our team to be successful and a really loud person, which I think is how people know me now,” Palmer added.
Don’t expect Palmer to be forgotten anytime soon as she has already left her mark on not just the team, but Marshall ISD.
“She’s a salutatorian,” Shepperd said of Palmer. “Cate (Truelove) is valedictorian and Maycee (Griffin) is No. 3. They’ve been battling since like the sixth grade.”
Palmer said she also gains motivation to win for the community.
“We’ve had a lot more fan support this year and it’s really helped to know that a lot of people are behind us,” she offered. “We’ve had a lot of people in the community when we go out to eat afterwards when we’re in our jerseys, come up to us and ask us when our next game is. It’s very encouraging to know other people besides our grandparents and stuff are coming and that they want to see us succeed.”
Throughout her years of playing softball, Palmer said she has learned valuable life lessons through the game.
“A lot of it is that you can’t let one mistake affect the rest of your game,” she said. “So if you’re having a night at the plate, you can’t let that affect how you’re going to do in the field.
“I was taught by coach (Kayla) Green last year, ‘If you’re having a bad night, you’ve got to contribute in other areas.’ So that was something that we’ve worked on a lot.”