Sydney Hames bounces back for UNO softball


April 29th, 2016


Sydney Hames is batting .480 (12-for-25) over her last seven games. (Courtesy UNO Athletics)

Things have always clicked for Sydney Hames on the softball diamond. She was an all-state pitcher at Bennington high school, and then came on as a true freshman for the University of Nebraska at Omaha softball team to give added depth. But she hit a big slump her junior year – KVNO’s Brandon McDermott takes a look at what she worked on to turn the corner for her senior season.

Syndey Hames came to the University of Nebraska at Omaha after building a relationship with coaches during the recruiting process in high school. She had some success playing early on for the Mavericks, batting .256 as a freshman and .292 as a sophomore. But during her junior year, Hames hit a bit of a slump.

Her batting average dropped down to .156 and, after starting all 49 games as a sophomore she only started 22-of-35 games as a junior. Hames thinks she might have gotten into her own head a little bit, so she focused on the basics during the offseason.

“Going into my senior year it was kind of a clean slate. I mean obviously junior season didn’t go as planned or, as well as I wanted it to. But, I really took the summer to regroup and refocus on the fundamentals and playing the game that I loved again,” Hames said.

Maverick head coach Jeanne Scarpello says fighting off slumps is part of being an athlete.

“There was some things you need to keep working on and when you’re good you have to keep focused on those little things and you have to stay with those you never can go away from the process. And so this year I think she made sure as soon as that junior was over that she was going to stay with the process.”

Scarpello says coaches wanted Hames to focus on the crucial parts of the game.

“Don’t think mechanics first; think was it a good pitch, look at that was your approach right? Was your mental game right? Was your timing on,” Scarpello said.

That offseason hard work has paid off for Hames. She is batting a team high .374, which is the third highest batting average in the Summit League.

“You know she’s just a spark in our batting order, we can always count on her to put the ball in play to put the ball in play hard.”

Hames says returning to the basics really helped her focus on each swing. She thanked coach Scarpello for the instruction.

“It’s a lot of fun. She keeps us on our toes for sure. She’s very intense but. It’s all for the right reasons.”

With only two more series remaining in the regular season, Hames knows it’s her time to shine.

“It’s definitely played a little bit of a role. Just knowing that this is the last go round. I mean everything weighs a little more but every victory is that much sweeter.”

Scarpello says with the post season approaching, the team will be counting on Hames as a senior leader to come through.

“(To) want to be up in the batter’s box when the game’s on the line. If there’s anyone in our lineup that we want in there. It would be her.”

Scarpello says Hames is one of UNO’s top players, one she expects big things from the remainder of the season. If UNO finishes in the top two of the summit league—which is a distinct possibility—the team will be guaranteed a first round bye in the conference tourney.

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