Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wise Gives St. Louis U. a Power Boost

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Wise Gives St. Louis U. a Power Boost

Article excerpt

Hitting home runs never has been something that Sadie Wise considered a significant part of her contributions as a softball player.

She has no recollection of the first one she hit and asked how many she had as a senior at Kirkwood High, Wise could only offer "Not very many, I don't think."

St. Louis University coach Christy Connoyer says her freshman right fielder undersells her power. She recalls a player who she saw on the summer circuit often coming through at the end of games with "gap shots as well as walk-off home runs."

The truth of Wise's power before arriving at SLU lies somewhere in between.

But she unquestionably has surprised this season by breaking the school single-season mark with 16 homers through 50 games to place among the nation's leaders and leading the team in many more offensive categories.

"I've always been a base hit, doubles type of hitter," she said. "It has surprised me how many home runs I've hit, but my main focus is to put the ball in play. Home runs weren't my thing in high school."

Wise never hit more than five homers in a season at Kirkwood and finished with 10 in four seasons as a starter. She hit one every 39 plate appearances. She has started her college career with one homer every 11 plate appearances. Before Sunday, when she hit her 16th, she was tied for 15th nationally in Division I.

"Her bat speed is where she generates her power," Connoyer said. "She has a compact swing and quick hands. I would not have classified her as a power kid, but you could see the potential for power."

Extended time in the weight room probably has helped as well. Wise said she had increased her dead lift to 300 pounds.

Wise's arrival has given the Billikens a powerful combination in the lineup with senior Allie Macfarlane, the program's all-time RBI leader. SLU swept a series at La Salle over the weekend and sits in fifth place in the Atlantic 10, in solid position to earn its sixth consecutive appearance in the conference tournament.

Macfarlane will finish her career among the top 10 in numerous categories. Wise figures to finish high on those lists as well. …

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