Wichita State softball coach Kristi Bredbenner takes fans through the roster, which positions she is watching closely as opening day approaches, and how the revamped pitching staff might look. We talk about the recent reveal of plans to improve Wilkins Stadium, why those efforts are important and how the rise in softball’s popularity is helping. A discussion of the home schedule is also included, highlighted by the story behind Stanford’s visit to Wilkins Stadium in March.
Shocker softball seniors Zoe Jones and Sydney McKinney are on the mic to discuss their first impressions of each other, how Jones keeps the mood light in the locker room with her chatter and how she is trying to improve her ability to read the room. We talk about bamboo pillows, bus-trip candy, books and the team’s “culture of weirdos.” They reveal their most anticipated non-conference opponents, break down the rivalry with UCF and why they think Caroline Tallent is ready for a breakout season.
Wichita State softball coach Kristi Bredbenner updates us at Wilkins Stadium over a bucket of Hi-Chew candy. We talk about the recent facility improvements and lessons from fall scrimmages against Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma State. Bredbenner discusses the rebuilt pitching staff, highlighted by fall performances from freshman Alex Aguilar and newcomer Lauren Howell. Freshman Sami Hood is playing second base and Bredbenner talks about a defensive comparison that should excite fans.
Episode description: In this episode of Wichita State University’s “Forward Together” podcast, President Rick Muma talks with Kevin Saal, who was hired as director of athletics at Wichita State University in June. Kevin is leading Shocker athletics during a time of significant change – name, image and likeness, the transfer portal and conference realignment top the list.
The “Forward Together” podcast celebrates the vision and mission of Wichita State University. In each episode, President Rick Muma will talk with guests from throughout Shocker Nation to highlight the people and priorities that guide WSU on its road to becoming an essential educational, cultural, and economic driver for Kansas and the greater good.
Wichita State softball’s dinner and auction is Saturday and the Shockers open their fall schedule with a scrimmage on Sunday. Associate head coach Elizabeth Economon is here to update fans on newcomers making a good impression this fall, how the program’s success changes recruiting and how the coaches challenge returners such as Addison Barnard and Sydney McKinney. We also discuss the opening at first base, Jessica Garcia’s career arc and the new batting cages built next to Wilkins Stadium. We wrap up by breaking down the accuracy of the “Coach E impressions” video directed by McKinney and featuring her teammates, sunglasses and a bucket hat.
ESPN+ broadcaster Steve Strain previews this weekend’s UCF-Wichita State softball clash at Wilkins Stadium. We talk about how the Knights use their speed and pitching, how the Shockers counter with power hitting and what this series means to the big picture. We also discuss the improvement in the Shockers pitching staff and how hitters such as Neleigh Herring. Zoe Jones and Lauren Lucas are crucial to the success. Steve talks about his impressions of Wichita State’s dynamic top-of-the-order hitters Sydney McKinney and Addison Barnard.
Wichita State softball coach Kristi Bredbenner joins us after win No. 300 brings her within 11 wins of passing Jim Maynard as the program’s winningest coach. We get nostalgic over the 2014 team that won the team’s first MVC title, weird injuries and first baseman Cacy Williams’ influence on those early years. Bredbenner tells us how former Wichita State senior associate athletic director Becky Endicott sent a secret emissary to gauge her interest in the job in 2011. We also talk about how advice from her father helped during tough times and detail her biggest wins and two regrets.
First baseman Neleigh Herring and infielder Madyson Espinosa join the podcast to talk about the start of softball season, pets and candy. We discuss their roles in team chemistry, what they learned from fall scrimmages and newcomers to watch. We also dive into Espinosa’s “Shocks” tattoo and her affection for the team, how Hank the guinea pig helped win an important series last season and the whys of shortstop Sydney McKinney’s talents. And, of course, we talk about Hi-Chew candy and Espinosa’s role in that part of Shocker softball.
Wichita State softball assistant Presley Bell joins the podcast to discuss fall practices. She breaks down her pitching staff and talks about some of the position players who caught her eye. Bell also talks about her coaching influences, how team chemistry works for the Shockers and how often last season’s NCAA regional success is mentioned. We wrap up with Christmas talk – presents for her dogs, favorite song and favorite foods.
Associate head coach Elizabeth Economon returns to the podcast to set up fall practices for the Shockers. We talk about recruiting with the momentum of 2021 behind the program, replacing key infield spots and how two transfers might fit in. We also discuss why shortstop Sydney McKinney hits all kind of pitches all over the field, pets of the Shockers and which softball player might offer the most interesting conversation at the softball dinner and auction on Sept. 25.