NSA anticipates strong season

Published 6:36 pm Saturday, March 11, 2017

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy’s softball season be start Tuesday, and the Lady Saints are looking forward to building on a strong season from last year.

After last year’s season, when they finished second in Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools and the runner-up in the TCIS tournament, the Lady Saints are looking to build on that. NSA also was a game out of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association’s Division II state championship, losing in the semifinals last year.

“I think this is the most talented group of girls that I’ve ever coached at NSA,” coach Brittany Thornburg said. “The key for us is going to be playing as one cohesive unit this year. I think if we can do that, the future is really bright for us.”

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Thornburg says her girls know how good they can be and that they are working to be a strong unit.

Returning for the Lady Saints is Delaney Taylor, a Guilford College commit who is expected to contribute a lot for the Lady Saints in her senior year. Madison Currin and Madi Wilson also round out a solid three players from whom NSA expects a lot of production this season.

“All of the girls on the team work hard and are very competitive,” Wilson said. “Both of those are important to being successful. I think we have what it takes to be very good this year, but it will take everything in us to be successful this year.”

NSA is expected to be a strong unit this year, and Thornburg believes her team is ready to live up to those high standards. The Lady Saints have some young players on the team this year, so Thornburg’s teaching has largely been about making sure her team is confident in everything that they do.

“I try to put as much pressure as I can on them at practice,” she said. “That way, when the game-time situations come, they’ve already been prepared for it. That way, they have that confidence going into the situation.”

NSA will start their season off with a scrimmage against Southampton on Tuesday, and then on Thursday they will officially start their season against Hampton Roads Academy at home at 4 p.m.

From there the Lady Saints will play in a tournament March 18 against two tough opponents, St. Margaret’s School and Kenston Forest Academy.

“I told my girls you get better by playing tougher competition, and that’s what we are aiming for,” Thornburg said. “So hopefully when we play tougher teams in the postseason we can come out on top.”

Considering how the season ended for NSA last year, Thornburg believes there is a chip on the players’ shoulders to be even better this year than they were last year.

“I think they’ve gotten a taste of what it feels like to be that successful, and they want more,” she said.