“Come on, guys, she’s throwin’ meatballs. Mmmmm, she’s makin’ me hungry.”
Elana Meyers’ GW softball teammates hear these words of encouragement from the mouth of their captain on a regular basis.
Described by assistant coach Keri Kubala as “intense on the field and exuberant in the locker room,” the freshman phenom is a bright spot for the GW softball team as the Colonials struggle through their inaugural season.
From her teammates and coaches, one would think Meyers is a seasoned veteran. But the first varsity softball captain in GW history is only a freshman, even though she doesn’t act like one. Her intensity has lifted the team on many occasions, leading to individual success on the field, on the mound and at the plate.
In addition to leadership in the locker room, Meyers is a five-tool player who can pitch, hit, run, play defense and score. She is a leadoff hitter and a jaguar on the base paths, leading the team in nine offensive categories, including batting average (.260), runs scored (nine) and stolen bases (five-of-five).
In the field, Meyers is a shortstop and a pitcher who claimed her team’s only two victories, leading GW in strikeouts (85) and innings pitched (82.2).
But Meyers insists one of her most important numbers is 4.0, her grade point average.
“She is the ultimate student-athlete,” Lissa Moses said of her teammate. “(She’s) really smart.”
But above all her individual statistics, it is Meyers’ dedication to her team and to the game that has made her a role model this season. A natural shortstop, Meyers was not used to pitching, but when asked to take the mound for the Colonials, she answered the call.
“I am just ready to go out there and do whatever is asked of me by the team,” she said.
Her teammates realize the importance of their captain’s “all for one” attitude.
“Elana is extremely important to our team because, being the only recruit, she has a lot of pressure to deal with, and watching how she deals with her pressure inspires us all,” Moses said.
Meyers faces pressure from a team that is winless in the Atlantic 10 and heading toward the end of a season, when victories were few and far between. She also faces the pressure of being the leader and captain of teammates older and more experienced than she.
But Meyers not only deals with the pressure, she attacks it. Her teammates describe her as “vicious” on the field.
“You need to be in a vicious mind frame, because opposing hitters will see your weakness otherwise,” Meyers said. “I don’t think losing takes away from my success, it only motivates me. (Losing) helps competitiveness, with enough losing you finally get an urge to just win so badly.”
And with Meyers in the picture for the next three years, there is plenty of potential for the team to improve. Coach Kubala summed up Meyers’ impact on the team’s future.
“Meyers is important to us most as a leader.”