Unless you are a diehard North Greenville Crusaders softball fan you may have not heard of the name Shayna Finley. But what if I told you the 5 foot 5 inch senior middle infielder, leadoff hitter for the Crusaders is turning heads with her power numbers on the season. Finley is currently leading all of NCAA DII in homeruns this season sending 11 over the fence a North Greenville single season record.
“Shayna gets our offense going every game,” said North Greenville, Head Coach, Sarah Hall. “She (Finley) has produced our only run in a game or has started the rally for our offense. Her success gives our offense confidence.”
Coming into the season Finley was a career .257 hitter with a total of 9 career homeruns in her previous 3 years of play. But already in this season she has hit more homeruns and set new career highs in runs batted in, and total bases. She is currently 8 hits away from tying her season high 38 hits and 4 runs away from season high 26 runs in her freshman season.
When we asked Finley what was the most surprising thing about this season she said, “All of the homeruns I have hit.” But when talking to Coach Hall we find out why.
“Even though she has a little body, she is very strong and uses everything in her swing,” stated Coach Hall. “She takes hacks and hits it hard. She has hit a few homeruns every year so we knew she could, but everything has come together this year. It is neat to see her be more comfortable and confident on the field, which has only made her better.”
And everything has come together for Finley this season who’s next closest rival in the southeast region homerun race sits with 8. When asked what she accredits this years numbers to Finley stated, “I prepared this past summer by working out, playing and conditioning which has helped me to be more focused mentally this season.” While Coach Hall says, “Shayna puts in extra work on the field and off. She always plays summer ball which helps her and is always in the weight room.”
The senior season is always tough for the college softball player, the light at the end of the tunnel keeps getting closer and closer but when a player can do something special with their last chance it’s time to take note. Finley is leaving her impact on not only North Greenville but the entire southeast softball scene this season.
“Shayna is what every coach wants, she practices and plays hard,” said Coach Hall. “She gives it her all and plays with heart. She is respectful and good teammate. Can you tell I like her?” We like her too coach and can’t wait to see how she puts the exclamation point on this season.
You can get your chance to see Finley and the entire North Greenville Crusader team play at home this weekend as they play conference foes Mount Olive in a doubleheader on Friday starting at 1:00pm and then Barton at 12:00pm on Saturday.