Justin Whitner | Staff Writer
Hampton University’s softball team jumped out to a 15-5 record during nonconference play.
After posting a 24-28 record in 2018, HU posted its best pre-conference start in 12 years.
Then Hampton’s inaugural season in the Big South Conference began, and HU got a taste of the challenge ahead of them.
Hampton lost three straight to new conference rival Campbell University.
In a conversation with Daniella Milloy, an HU senior shortstop/third baseman from Murrieta, California, she discussed the journey in improving, the change to the Big South and the goals for the rest of the season.
The Hampton Script: What is the biggest difference maker in improvement from last season to this season?
Milloy: “This season is almost a completely new team. We have a big gap with eight seniors and the nine freshmen. We’ve worked really hard to bridge that gap. We have a lot of talent this year, and us upperclassmen have tried to hand down our mental game and knowledge to our freshmen. Speed and learning to execute on time have been a huge factor in how we’ve begun this season so successfully.”
THS: How has the change to the Big South impacted the way you guys play and prepare for games?
Milloy: “Well, we have had the biggest jump of all the sports teams, conference wise. Softball is a fast pace, and the Big South is filled with good competition for us. We’ve began to understand that these bigger conferences will take an advantage of any mistakes we make, therefore, we’ve had to step up our game not only physically, but more so mentally. So overall, we have become a faster team and started to play the game with more urgency than we did before. We always try to stay three steps ahead of our opponents.”
THS: What is the end goal for this Pirates softball team when the season is all said and done?
Milloy: “In the preseason conference polls, we’re predicated to end second-to-last in the conference. So, the overall goal right now is to prove everyone wrong. Obviously, everyone’s end goal is to get a conference championship. We are not here to just go through the motions of the game, we are here to compete and to make an imprint in this conference. We know it is going to be hard, but we have been diligently working to make a name for Hampton moving forward.”