This was Heather Lazer’s year to cement herself as Ursinus Softball royalty. The junior infielder was on pace to sit on the Mount Rushmore of Ursinus Softballers.
Lazer had already earned her place in the Ursinus College softball lineup as an everyday starter. Coming in as a freshman with no promise of playing time, she shined in 26 of the team’s 36 games, batting .328 with 5 doubles in only 58 at bats. After that season, Lazer knew there was work to be done. “I just tried to focus on being consistent,” she said, adding, “I knew if I stayed true to our approach, I could be a real threat at the plate.”
Softball head coach Samantha Campo knew Lazer would be an impact player as soon as she stepped foot on campus. “We could see it the moment she stepped in the cage and just in her work ethic alone.” She was proven correct by Lazer’s freshman year. Campo felt strongly that Heather would be a leader on this team following the 2018 season. “I think she led as a sophomore and you could see her confidence level just bloom throughout that season.” Campo added, “She was able to become really comfortable at second base and know who she is and what she’s good at.”
In Lazer’s sophomore year, she played in all 40 games as the team’s sure-handed second basemen. She batted a solid .298 while leading the team in runs with 29. She solidified herself as a captain for the following season by being such an integral part of a team that made the playoffs.
Lazer was officially voted a captain by her teammates in May after her sophomore. She considered team chemistry to be the biggest thing the team needed to work on. “We lost six seniors last season, five out of six were starters, we had huge shoes to fill. We started from the bottom, we worked on building friendships with the freshmen and began to build a foundation for our team.” She was confident that this would help the underclassmen be confident because “the upperclassmen had a chip on our shoulder, and we were determined to do anything it took to make a run this year.”
Lazer was off to an amazing start in her junior year, boasting a .409 batting average and leading the team in doubles with 3. However, the most eye-opening stat was that she had 15 RBI in her first seven games! Sadly, she pulled her hamstring and she was sidelined for the next few games (and still had 9 more RBI than the person behind her!). She would have been ready to return to play following the spring break trip.
Campo has seen Heather grow over her three years into a trustworthy part of the team. “She has become extremely self-aware of who she wants to be and how she wants to get there.” Campo further explained, “The team relies on her ‘can’t shake’ energy because she always gives her best while always being happy and excited.”
Lazer’s extraordinary start to her season was cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic. This was an athlete that was on track to possibly beat the Ursinus softball single season RBI record of 43 that has stood since 1997. She was ranked sixth in the nation in RBI per game with 2.31. The global virus outbreak stopped the season in its tracks, thus preventing Lazer from bulking up any of her statistics and breaking records. Was this the season Heather Lazer was going to become the best softball player in Ursinus History? With 22 games left on the schedule, we will never know.
Heather will look to lead her team to the playoffs in her last season along with six fellow seniors. She is sure the Bears will be contenders in the conference next year, “Next season, if we continue to bring the same energy and dedication we had in Florida this season, we will be unstoppable next season.” She hopes to capitalize on the extended off-season to ensure she leaves it all on the field next spring.