Noland out for the year

Josh Worden Senior Beat Reporter

OSU softball catcher will miss this season with an elbow injury

The Oregon State softball received both good and bad news this week about senior catcher Sammi Noland, who injured her right elbow in a practice earlier this year.

Noland will miss the rest of the season, meaning OSU (16-4-1) will attempt to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years without her. On the positive side, Noland should be able to redshirt this season and come back for a fifth year of eligibility next year.

Noland transferred to OSU last year from Nebraska, batting .312 in her first year with the Beavers with a team-leading 40 runs batted in. She played mainly in right field last season but moved to her preferred position of catcher after teammate Hannah Akamine graduated.

This year, Noland has split time with freshman catcher Kayleen Shafer, Noland spending more time behind the plate when Beverly Miller has been pitching. Miller is also a senior and is roommates with Noland.

Though Noland is out for the year, head coach Laura Berg has noticed her still in good spirits.

“At first, (she had) that initial shock of ‘crap, I’ve got to redshirt,’” Berg said. “But you put it in perspective and know you’ve got another year to grow, get stronger and do what you need to do and finish on a great senior year.”

With Noland returning, next year’s senior class will include her, infielder Madison Anthony, pitcher Taylor Cotton, first baseman Natalie Hampton and infielder Christie Langlois.

“That’s a heck of a senior class,” Berg said.

For Noland in particular, she’ll finally get her second year of softball at OSU next season, adding depth to a team that hopes to be coming off a postseason berth this season.

“We get her for another year, so I’m excited about that,” Berg said.

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