2017 Kansas Softball Season Outlook: Sophomore Class

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Just days away from the start of the 2017 season, Kansas softball will preview each class in a four-part series. The second installment of the 2017 season outlook includes Kansas’ sophomore class.
Head coach Megan Smith’s smallest class is her sophomores, which is made up of pitcher/utility Alexis Reid and outfielders Jennifer Marwitz and Emily Bermel. All three members of the sophomore class saw action during their freshman campaign varying from role players to starting in the circle.
A 2016 Big 12 Conference All-Freshman Team selection, Reid started out her rookie season slow, but hit her stride by the time league play rolled around. One of Reid’s five victories in the circle came against defending national champion Oklahoma on the road. Reid went 5-6 as a freshman with a 3.88 ERA and 33 strikeouts.
“No question, Alexis has worked the hardest of anyone on our team over the summer and this fall,” said Smith. “I don’t think she was pleased with her season last year, she ended well, but she wasn’t pleased with her overall season as a freshman. We’ve seen her drive and determination to make this season different. She’s got the potential to do great things for us and we need to see that in games. She’s put the work in and has her mind in a good place to do well. If she can stay consistent and work through the process because the season is tough and it’s a roller coaster ride, but if she can keep working, she’s going to be a big force for us in the circle.”2017 sophomore class
Another member of the sophomore class is Marwitz, a product of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Marwitz appeared in four games during her rookie season before making a bigger impact in the 2016 fall season. Marwitz recorded an RBI and a walk in 2016.
“Offensively, she has power. The reason that we wanted Jenn to come here was her power,” Smith said. “She’s got it and this fall working with Coach Rittman was helpful for her. She showed a lot of progress offensively and defensively – she has a great arm in the outfield. She’s been battling injuries, so it’s questionable what we are going to be able to see from her this year.”
The final member of the sophomore squad is Bermel, a local product out of Free State High School. Bermel saw action in 24 games during her freshman campaign, primarily as a pinch runner. She registered 11 runs scored and recorded a stolen base.
“Emily is a hard worker and she cares a lot about improving,” said Smith. “I think she has done that in her time here. She was a role player last year and we used her speed on the bases. She’s a smart base runner, so she got a lot of base running opportunities and that’s going to be there again this year.”
In the next installment of the 2017 class previews, the junior class enters the spotlight. In 2017, KU returns six starters and 13 letterwinners from last season, while welcoming nine newcomers, including a pair of transfers. Among those returning is All-Big 12 Freshman Team member Alexis Reid, who posted a victory in the circle over nationally-ranked Oklahoma on the road last spring.
Up Next
Kansas softball opens its 2017 campaign in Florida at the Stetson Tournament, Feb. 10-12. The Jayhawks will play a total of five games during the first weekend of the year against Akron, Savannah State and Stetson.

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