SALEM, Va. (WFXR) — After two below average seasons on the softball diamonds, the Roanoke College Maroons this year is having a bounce back year. One of the reasons for the turn around is thanks to sophomore pitcher Jada Karnes. Jada has the lowest earned run average in the ODAC at 1.21. The former William Byrd Terrier’s love for the game of softball started at the age of 6 while playing coach pitch softball. “I kinda of just grew up with just playing the game with a bat and ball in my hand at an early age just coming up through elementary school, middle school and high school. I just loved playing the game of softball it is fast paced. The relationships I have formed with my teammates former and current I just loved the game of softball,” said Karnes.
The biggest highlights for Jada in her softball career came 2 years ago in her senior year at William Byrd as they won the Class 4 state softball title. “They thought we were the underdog. No one thought we were going to do it that year. They thought we were going to do it the year before we came out with some younger girls we all believed we could do it. With our team, I feel we proved everyone wrong and we just went on a roll we competed in every game not to look ahead God gave us the gift to get to a state championship and we did it it was awesome I will never forget that,” said Karnes.
For years, Jada had her eyes to play softball at Roanoke College from the time she was a little girl. “It was Roanoke, I went to my first camp here when I was a little girl. I have been in the program for a while I guess just knowing the coaches I have had some offers from other schools but I wanted to stay close to home to play in front of my friends and family. So Roanoke, I love the campus growing up here. I never knew what the campus was like until I came then I loved it and this is where I am supposed to be,” said Karnes.
Another asset for Karnes going to Roanoke College is the teams home field of Moyer Softball Complex. “It is local. I can have people come out and it feels different to be on Roanoke’s team than to be on a travel ball team. It is a different feel. When I am on the field in a Roanoke uniform versus when I was in previous uniforms I love Moyer. It is a nice field it is a plus to have a grounds crew so we don’t have to tarp pull all of the time,” said Karnes.
Karnes credits her teammates with her successful sophomore season. “It has been a grind we are in the ODAC one of the toughest conferences in the nation. So I take it game by game. I know I am going to face good hitters and trust my defense and rely on what I can do and I am thankful God gave me the talent to be a pitcher so I just take that and roll with it,” said Karnes.
Jada and the Roanoke College Maroons open up ODAC tournament play at Moyer Softball Complex on Friday in a best of three series against Bridgewater.