Entering her senior year, Alicia Hansen improved her base-running

first_img Published on April 10, 2019 at 10:29 pm Contact Adam: [email protected] | @_adamhillman Facebook Twitter Google+ When Syracuse head coach Shannon Doepking first looked at the statistics from the 2018 season, she was stunned. Then-junior Alicia Hansen had only 10 stolen base-attempts. In 2019, Hansen’s last for the Orange, Doepking decided to make Hansen’s speed a priority.So, after a practice at Skytop Softball Stadium in the fall of 2018, Doepking and assistant coaches Vanessa Shippy and Miranda Kramer asked Hansen to improve her base running. She needed to attempt more steals.“I think when you get a player like Alicia, who can do it on both sides of the ball… what you get is someone who buys in really, really quickly,” Doepking said.Through 37 games this year for Syracuse, Hansen has stolen 16 bases. Four away from her season-goal of 20. Doepking noticed Hansen’s speed and athleticism, and it’s paid off. The senior is first on the team by six steals for Syracuse (17-20, 6-6 Atlantic Coast) after being third on the team with nine last year. Hansen has benefited from a team-wide mindset that promotes aggressive play.“It was just a whole new mindset for me because the team prides itself on if you’re aggressive and make a mistake, we’ll talk about it,” Hansen said. “If you don’t make the mistake, you can’t get better.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textEntering the season, Doepking and Shippy pushed Hansen to take more bases compared to last year. In 2018, Hansen totaled just 10 steal attempts in 50 games. She’s nearly doubled her total to 19 attempts in 13 fewer contests. Whether stealing second base or trying to score on a shallow single, Hansen knew she had to be faster, she said.Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorHansen has tried to time her steals better by running as the pitcher turns to pitch, junior Toni Martin said. In practice, Hansen will stand on first base with one of the Syracuse pitchers on the mound. Just as they release the ball, either Kramer or Shippy will clap, signaling Hansen when to run. This builds in muscle memory — to time her jump as soon as the pitcher ends her windup.“She comes with this aggressive and competitive approach that forces teams to be on their A game to be able to throw her out,” senior outfielder Bryce Holmgren said. “I just think it really plays into her personality well.”The senior’s work has paid off and Doepking said Hansen has become one of the best base runners on the team. In the first inning against Notre Dame on March 30, Hansen’s speed made an impact. She dropped a bunt just as UND pitcher Payton Tidd shifted her gaze toward another runner headed to third. Hansen reached first with ease, changed direction and dashed to second. Before third baseman Melissa Rochford’s throw reached the bag, Hansen was ruled safe.“It all just comes back to the aggressive mindset,” Hansen said. “If I was out there, I know coach wouldn’t have been mad at me for trying.” Commentslast_img

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