Josh Falcone – General Assignment Reporter –
Southern Owls infielder Kaley Marden has always had a deep passion for the sport of softball and is looking to help Southern continue the success the team found last year.
The junior who originally hails from Fremont, Calif. has been playing and watching the game for as long as she can remember, Marden said.
“All three of my brothers played it, so I was always at their games,” she said. “I’ve had a bat for as long as I can remember.”
Before transferring to Southern prior to this season, Marden played softball at Ohlone College in her native Calif. In her sophomore season at Ohlone College, Marden garnered an All-America selection. As well as being an All-California honored player last year.
Before her college career Marden attended Washington High School, where along with excelling in softball, she was also part of the water polo and basketball teams.
Marden was named softball team captain her junior and senior seasons at Washington High School, in addition to being selected as an All-Conference honored player. Marden said this was where she has had her most memorable moment so far in her playing career.
“We made it to the state playoffs and no one expected us to do it,” she said. “We were the 16th seeded team and we played the number one team and we took them into extra innings, we ended up losing by one. That was a pretty fun experience.”
Marden has been really productive right out of the gate in her first season with the Owls and was named to the Northeast-10 Conference Honor Roll due to her strong performance in Claremont, Fla. two weeks ago.
Marden was 13 for 23, leading the team in batting with .565, as well as having two RBIs, four walks, and scoring three runs.
This was not a surprise to softball coach Lisa Barbaro and the other coaches. Barbaro said they had a good understanding of what Marden could bring to the team.
“We knew when recruiting her she was going to be a big asset right away, seeing that we lost some power hitters,” Barbaro said.
Barbaro said the coaches saw that Marden could come in and continue to contribute both offensively and defensively and the coaches couldn’t be happier.
“She is just kind of one of those players, she has a lot of functions, she can play a corner, she can play middle infield,” Barbaro said, “she’s got a great bat, and she’s a great kid.”
Marden’s ability to play various positions has been important with the injuries and illnesses that have befallen the Owls early in their season, Barbaro said, and that Marden is doing an extraordinary job for the team thus far.
Marden said she wants to see the Owls have continued success, and hopes to help bring that success.
“I definitely want to repeat the conference,” Marden said, “and go to regionals, go through regionals and then the World Series, hopefully.”
The Owls currently are on a 12 game home stand, and Marden’s main concern is the teams continued victory.
Marden said she just wants the team to be successful in every aspect of their game, pitching, defense, and offense.
“I just want to keep working hard,” she said. “Keep doing whatever I can to make sure the team wins.”