MSU's Softball Class of 2014 Seniors

Sam Lenahan

The Mississippi State softball seniors talk about what playing for Mississippi State has meant to them. And MSU head coach Vann Stuedeman talks about how important the seven seniors have been to her and her program.


Prior to this Sunday's game against Arkansas, Mississippi State will honor its seven seniors - Logan Foulks, Sam Lenahan, Alison Owen, Heidi Shape, Shana Sherrod, Jessica Offutt and Rachael Zdeb. Each senior answered one question about their time at Mississippi State.


I know there have been many special moments for you and for this program but how special was it to win back-to-back series against top-five programs such as Alabama and Tennessee the past two weekends?
Logan Foulks - "Words can't explain what it has done for this program. I think it is a large stepping stone for this program. To be a part of that big of a stepping stone is huge. You have goals for yourself and one of my goals was to go (to Tennessee) and win and show out for my family. I didn't exactly show out but as a team we did show out (by winning the series). It was a great team win and I couldn't more proud of the way this group of girls played."

What are your thought about this senior class?
Alison Owen - "Oh man, this senior group has been a special group. Every person is so unique and from a different background. You can tell that when we are on the field. We are completely different but have come together as a team. We really are like a family. I know that I will be able to call any of them at any point in my life and I know that they will have my back. It's really sad that this weekend is going to be the last weekend we will be together on our field but there is a ton of memories and experiences that we have shared and that will never be taken away."

What have the fans meant to you and to this team? I know you always here that this softball team is Starkville's team. So, I know the team feels there is a special bond between the program and the people of Starkville.
Heidi Shape - "We play the game because we love it but we also play for the fans because we want to give them enjoyment, entertainment. Then, when they get rowdy it motivates us to do even better. They have been as much a part of our success as anything else."

What special moments will you remember about playing for Mississippi State?
Rachael Zdeb - "Probably the special relationships that I have made while playing with the other girls and seeing the growth in everybody over the past four years, especially with the girls that I have been with the last four years. We've matured a lot as a team and being under Vann and Coach (Tyler) Bratton and Coach (Beth) Mullins the last three years has made the years fly by."

What has Mississippi State meant to you while playing at MSU?
Shana Sherrod - "It has been an incredible experience. I've just fallen in love with the program. And having Vann (Stuedeman) come along and change everything has made it more exciting and fun to play . And all of the girls are great and I love spending time with them. You have to love it because you spend 24/7 with the girls. It's just meant the world to me and it is going to be really bitter-sweet when it's over."

What has been your favorite moment while playing for Mississippi State?
Jessica Offutt - "There have been so many moments that I can't really pinpoint it to just one game. But one thing that I will take from it is the growth as a person by going through this program. Vann does a really good job of making you a better person and really preparing you for your future life out of softball. That is what I am really going to take from my four years here."

What has Vann Stuedeman meant to you as a person and player?
Sam Lenahan - "Honestly, she has helped me out tremendously. She is definitely one of the best coaches that I have played for. She has helped me to become the player that I wanted to become. She has gotten things out of my me that other coaches haven't been able to get out of me. She really pushes you and makes you love the game. When she got here she brought the love of the game back to all of us. It has been awesome being able to play for her."

What have these seven seniors meant to your program?
Head Coach Vann Stuedeman - "Five of them were sophomores when I first got here. And what they have done is help me lay the foundation for the future of this program. The other two transferred to here. And AO (Alison Owen) was here the first year in January but sat out that spring. So, she has been here almost as long as I have. I think their belief in me and my coaching staff and what we are trying to accomplish has been great for this program. They have completely bought into what we are trying to do here. They have become secondary coaches. We have a coaching staff, then we have another coaching staff in them. We have such a huge freshman class that they have been a very important part of teaching the freshmen what is expected of them."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on the Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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