GALESBURG — Those who know former Rochelle softball standout Britney Salinas have likely seen her get struck by opposing pitchers from time to time. Salinas continued to be a softball magnet during her freshman season at Knox College this past year, so much so that she found her way into the program’s record books.
Salinas drew eight hit-by-pitches for the Prairie Fire her freshman season, putting her second on the single-season all-time list. While Salinas reached base plenty of times, she also scored 30 runs for Knox College, tying with teammate Katy Coseglia for the school’s single-season runs record. Salinas currently ranks sixth on the Midwest Conference’s all-time hit-by-pitch list.
“I never imagined I would break any records during my time here at Knox,” Salinas said. “The upperclassmen have been so supportive of me, especially since this was my first year… I hope I can continue to grow as a player and be the best I can be for the team.”
A former All-Conference First Team honoree and two-time batting champion for the Lady Hubs, Salinas appeared in 38 games for the Prairie Fire, logging 114 at-bats and hitting .289 with 33 hits, seven walks, four doubles and 10 RBIs. Her batting average reached as high as .353 after going 3-for-4 with three runs in Knox’s win over MacMurray College on March 23. Salinas started in left field and hit first for most of her freshman campaign.
“I believe I did a good job getting on base and being a consistent fielder for the team,” Salinas said. “I hope to become a stronger hitter in the future, increase my speed and agility in the outfield and strengthen my arm more. I’ve really enjoyed my experience with Knox softball so far. I’ve met so many new people and made some of my best friends through the team.”
Salinas was one of three Rochelle softball players who continued playing beyond high school this past season, joining Faith Roush and Jessie Meyers who both took the diamond for the Kishwaukee College program. Salinas, who helped Knox win six games this year, said she’s looking to continue improving on both offense and defense as she prepares for her sophomore season with the Prairie Fire.
“I felt I did well reading the ball off the bat defensively,” Salinas said. “I worked on that a lot during my Express Fastpitch and my high school seasons. I need to improve on being less anxious offensively, and I need more practice with judging moving pitches like changeups or riseballs. Something I need to work on defensively is finishing the catch and firing the ball home.”