Seton Hall softball has begun its 2017 campaign in fashion, and as it dives into conference play midway through the season, the Pirates currently lead the nation in doubles per game.
With 73 doubles in 38 games, the Pirates’ 1.92 doubles per game have opened eyes nationally and are known as the strength of Seton Hall. Minnesota and Tennessee are the only two other teams who have put more runners on second, but the Pirates’ efficiency in a number of games they’ve played is what has them ranked at the top of the NCAA.
Alexis Walkden, Darby Pandolfo and Sara Foster each have put up double digit doubles. Destini Peck and Hailey Arteaga currently each come up just short with nine each, as of Wednesday. In addition, all but one of Seton Hall’s usual starters have recorded multiple doubles, which has put them where they are ranked nationally.
Walkden’s 14 doubles also have her tied for first in doubles in the conference as an individual milestone. Her impact on the Pirates has been felt in various different areas and she is a well-known face at the top of the Big East leaderboards. She currently leads the conference in runs scored, home runs and total bases along with her doubles, and is also top five in runs batted in and on-base percentage.
Walkden however, is humble when it comes to her success, and gives a lot of her credit to her teammates and their confidence in her.
“Knowing that my teammates are really confident in me and that I’m really confident and my coaches are really confident, it really helps you to be successful in anything,” Walkden said.
The junior from Texas didn’t start making her impact this year, however. Walkden was the first ever Seton Hall player to be named Big East Rookie of the Year and was named to the first-team All-Big East as she led the conference in home runs, RBIs, runs scores and total bases. In her sophomore season, she continued on the same path as she led the Pirates in slugging percentage, home runs and tied for first in runs, earning a second team All-Big East selection.
As Walkden continues to rake, the Pirates currently sit in the middle of the Big East standings and will work to make their way into the Big East Tournament with three more conference series left.
Walkden feels that confidence is key in the Pirates’ pursuit for the postseason.
“Everyone just has to be confident every time they go up to the plate,” Walkden said. “All the teams we’re facing we can definitely do great things against and knowing we can do that is going to help us win.”
That is what the Pirates will try to do in their final series against Providence on April 22, Butler on April 29 and St. John’s on May 6.
Keith Egan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Keith_egan10.