WEST TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A friendly bit of advice, if you’re going to a West Vigo softball game make sure to get there early or you might miss Alex Barnaby hitting another home run. On Thursday she hit her state leading 12th of the season against North Putnam. It came in her 12th game of the season, pretty good when you’re averaging a home run per game. So what does she think about the power surge in 2021.
“I was thankful that I hit it after last night’s performance but I was glad to be back in the swing of things and getting back into my normal hitting the ball,” she said.
But that’s not all she does well. Alex is a good 3rd baseman, reliable defense is something that helps pitcher Kenzie Rice. “When we get ahead in the score like it takes so much relief off the pitcher it’s so much nicer to go out on the mound and have a lead against a good team,” Rice said.
A good team might be an understatement for these Vikings. They’re 12-3 so far and are glad to be back on the field after losing the 2020 season. “I was going to lose my junior year anyway that’s when I tore my ACL beginning of my basketball season I was going to be out so COVID actually like did me a solid I didn’t miss any more than anybody else did but missing my junior year kind of sucked because like I would have been able to put more home runs. I’m still coming out and I’m still doing well right now so I mean I guess just kind of make the best out of what I got,” Barnaby said.
Those sentiments are echoed by Kenzie who says sometimes losing something makes you appreciate it more when it returns. “Losing the season last year made it even more exciting to come out and play especially as a senior like you definitely want to dominate your senior year and we’re doing a great job of that. It’s so much fun these girls are like my family and we just have a blast together we have a great bond as well so it’s just great,” she said.
Head coach Chris Nidiffer is in his 3rd year with the Vikings and senses they have what all coaches wan: team chemistry. “It’s a special group this group here you know of course we have some long bus rides and me and the other coaches talk and you know this is a special group and I feel like you know if we keep playing the way we’re playing now you know we can make a run and kind of pick up where we left off two years ago hopefully,” he said.
Two years ago the Vikings made it to the sectional championship game. They’d like to get back there this year.