Rachel Rousseau grew up\u00a0 around\u00a0 softball.\r\n\r\n\u201cBoth of my parents played slow-pitch down at BOPARC so I grew up at the ball fields and naturally began to fall in love with the sport,\u201d she said. \u201cAround 7 or 8 was when I started tee-ball down in Westover.\u201d\r\n\r\nA Morgantown native, Rousseau is a 2017 graduate of University High and a sophomore at Marshall University.\r\n\r\nRousseau had an outstanding freshman season, playing in\u00a0 41 games, including five starts. She finished with five hits, four doubles, five RBIs, eight runs and five stolen bases.\r\n\r\nShe is looking forward to the upcoming season.\r\n\r\n\u201cI\u2019m extremely excited for this spring,\u201d she said. \u201cWe have some really great competition and I look forward to competing with my teammates and new coaches.\u201d\r\n\r\nAs a Hawk, Rousseau played both softball and volleyball, something she is glad she did.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt was a very enjoyable experience that kept me busy and in shape,\u201d she said. \u201cVolleyball was a break from softball that gave my body a break and time to heal from playing softball all year-round.\u201d\r\n\r\nRousseau was named an OVAC All-Conference selection three straight years (2015, 2016, and 2017). She was named The Dominion Post Player of the Year in 2015 and 2016. She was named All-State Honorable Mention in 2014 and 2016. She was named First Team All-State in 2015, and Second Team All-State in 2017.\r\n\r\nRousseau said playing softball at Marshall is a lot different than at UHS.\r\n\r\n\u201cPlaying softball at Marshall is a whole different level compared to high school,\u201d she said. \u201cThe competition is completely different and so is the overall atmosphere of the team. We\u2019re all very committed to each other and to the same goal.\u201d\r\n\r\nRousseau said growing up she idolized Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch.\r\n\r\n\u201cJennie Finch was a really big influence when I was younger because she was such and amazing pitcher, and she was playing for the Olympics so I absolutely adored her,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nMarshall\u2019s history is what made Rousseau decide to go there.\r\n\r\n\u201cWhen I went on my unofficial visit to Marshall, there was a memorial [service] for [those killed in] the  plane crash that was taking place at the fountain on campus,\u201d she said. \u201cI was amazed by the impressive number of students that all came together in remembrance of the school\u2019s history.\r\n\r\n\u201cBeing a part of something bigger than myself was something that I fell in love with immediately. No matter where I went afterwards all I could think was, \u2018This isn\u2019t Marshall. This isn\u2019t where I want to be.\u2019 And that was the deciding factor.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut that isn\u2019t the only thing that drew Rousseau to Marshall.\r\n\r\n\u201cI like how small everything is and how personal everyone can be,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\n\u201cHuntington is a very small and close-knit community that is very welcoming to all students,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nRousseau excels academically. She was named to the 2018 Conference USA Commissioner\u2019s Honor Role as well as being named a 2018 Conference USA Academic Medalist. She is majoring in exercise science.\r\n\r\n\u201cI plan on attending nursing school and then being a pediatric nurse,\u201d she said.\r\n\r\nRousseau is the daughter of Vicky and Greg Rousseau. She has two older siblings, Emily Rousseau and Bryan Willard.\r\n\r\nIn her spare time, Rousseau enjoys the outdoors.\r\n\r\n\u201cI love being outdoors as much as possible, like camping and hiking and I also love reading whenever I have the chance.\u201d\r\n\r\nEmail firstname.lastname@example.org.