Campbell looks forward to stellar sophomore season

Published 8:00 pm Friday, January 5, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Laci Campbell collected all kinds of hardware and accolades after her senior class led the Washington High School softball team to the 2A state championship series in Chapel Hill just before graduation.

Not content with high school success, Campbell took full advantage of an opportunity to play for Division III powerhouse, Virginia Wesylan in Virginia Beach.

The Chesapeake Bay air certainly agreed with her as she started at second base in all 52 games for the Marlins, hit .398 with six triples, 31 runs batted in and stole 25 bases on the way to first team All-Conference, All-Region and Old Dominion Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year honors.

Her sophomore season begins next month and she’s already preparing.

“I had a really fun freshman year and our team did well (39-13), but there is still plenty to accomplish,” Campbell said. “Our school has won the national championship three times recently (2017, 18 & 21) and we want to get at least one for our group. We lost to Christopher Newport in the super regional, so we’d like to get back to the World Series this spring.”

After leading off most of her Pam Pack career, Campbell started last season at the bottom of the order, then moved up to the second spot midway through the season.

“I’ve learned to love batting second because it’s taught me how to think every time I’m up. Where do I have to hit the ball to help us score? It’s sharpened my approach every time up and helped me to really lock in on the pitcher.”

Campbell has used her holiday break to catch up with family and improve her strength and conditioning for the upcoming season.

“I feel very comfortable being away from home now, as opposed to last year and I’m ready to help the new players settle in,” Campbell said. “I’ve also been in the gym trying to get stronger so I can hit the ball harder and farther. Small ball is still a big part of my game, but I want to improve my power this spring.”

She reflects fondly on her time at WHS and is proud of being part of an Eastern championship team.

“What comes to mind first is our bus ride around town on the way to Chapel Hill for the finals,” she said. “It was so cool that a lot of people came out with signs and balloons to see us off. We saw friends, former teachers and other people who were really excited for us. I felt well-prepared when I got to college and I felt like I could contribute right away. I’m looking forward to getting back on the field this spring to try to do even better.”

Campbell is a double major in Sociology and Criminal Justice with an eye towards a career with the State Bureau of Investigations after graduation.