Meghin Palmer begins her senior season of collegiate softball for Marywood University next week in Clermont, Fla.
When Meghin Palmer begins her senior season of collegiate softball next week in Clermont, Fla. she will have already accomplished much more than most student-athletes. That should make the season of the Greencastle-Antrim alumnus at Marywood University all that much more sweet.
Palmer has a state championship medal and a couple of district titles, along with a number of off the field accolades that went with it, from her days as a Blue Devil on the diamond. The outfielder didn’t slow down once she arrived at Marywood. A three-time First Team All-Conference player at Marywood, last spring Palmer was named a Capital One/Cosida Division III and All-District IV First Team Academic All-American while leading the team in numerous categories. She has also picked up numerous academic honors while a Pacer.
“I’ve found that softball, like most sports, was able to teach something beyond how to catch a fly ball and get a hit,” Palmer, the daughter of Scott and Dawn Palmer of Greencastle, said of her collegiate career.
“I learned a lot about trust, determination, competitive spirit, sportsmanship and motivation over the years and I’m lucky to have learned these lessons while having fun."
The college game
The 2010 G-AHS grad is majoring in speech pathology at the Scranton school. The Pacers are a Division III program playing in the Colonial States Athletic Conference.
"Playing for Marywood was definitely an adjustment from playing high school softball because I found myself on a team with girls from all different areas and states," she said.
"Our state championship team had excellent chemistry and I truly believe that was part of the reason why we were successful. But on a college team, it can be a little harder to build chemistry, especially with Division III schools, because your education is the priority, not the sport."
Palmer has been named a captain for her Pacer team for the second year in a row. The team will open its season next week with a series of game at the National Training Center softball complex. Conference play starts March 16.
Palmer said that the experience of playing for Marywood has helped her grow as a person and as a softball player. "I was lucky enough to be named one of the captains of the team the last two years and it has definitely forced me to take on more of a leadership role than what I would have in the past.
“I’ve learned that being on a softball team is like being part of a family in some regards. You don’t always have to be best of friends with every one of your teammates, as long as you know that when you step out on that field, you’re all working together to be the best team you can be. Sometimes you’re the best team on the field, and sometimes you’re not, but the family part of being a team is knowing that you have someone to pick up when you have a bad game and believe in you the next time you step up to the plate.”
The record books
As a junior Palmer set a new team record with 71 hits and was one of three players to start and play in all 42 games, a new school record in both categories (games played and games started). She also led team with a .464 batting average.
As if those numbers aren’t eye-popping enough, Palmer is the current Marywood record holder for highest career batting average with a .472 over three seasons (2010-present).
"Overall, the experience of playing softball at Marywood has been a very positive and rewarding one,” Palmer said. “Though playing a sport while in college is challenging at points because of the time management skills it requires, it has definitely been worth it for me and often a welcome, and healthy distraction from my studies.
“As a person who has been involved in sports since the age of 4, I could not even imagine my life without some level of competitive sport in it."