Rachel Rousseau grew up around softball.
“Both 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,” she said. “Around 7 or 8 was when I started tee-ball down in Westover.”
A Morgantown native, Rousseau is a 2017 graduate of University High and a sophomore at Marshall University.
Rousseau had an outstanding freshman season, playing in 41 games, including five starts. She finished with five hits, four doubles, five RBIs, eight runs and five stolen bases.
She is looking forward to the upcoming season.
“I’m extremely excited for this spring,” she said. “We have some really great competition and I look forward to competing with my teammates and new coaches.”
As a Hawk, Rousseau played both softball and volleyball, something she is glad she did.
“It was a very enjoyable experience that kept me busy and in shape,” she said. “Volleyball was a break from softball that gave my body a break and time to heal from playing softball all year-round.”
Rousseau 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.
Rousseau said playing softball at Marshall is a lot different than at UHS.
“Playing softball at Marshall is a whole different level compared to high school,” she said. “The competition is completely different and so is the overall atmosphere of the team. We’re all very committed to each other and to the same goal.”
Rousseau said growing up she idolized Olympic Gold Medalist Jennie Finch.
“Jennie 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,” she said.
Marshall’s history is what made Rousseau decide to go there.
“When 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,” she said. “I was amazed by the impressive number of students that all came together in remembrance of the school’s history.
“Being 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, ‘This isn’t Marshall. This isn’t where I want to be.’ And that was the deciding factor.”
But that isn’t the only thing that drew Rousseau to Marshall.
“I like how small everything is and how personal everyone can be,” she said.
“Huntington is a very small and close-knit community that is very welcoming to all students,” she said.
Rousseau excels academically. She was named to the 2018 Conference USA Commissioner’s Honor Role as well as being named a 2018 Conference USA Academic Medalist. She is majoring in exercise science.
“I plan on attending nursing school and then being a pediatric nurse,” she said.
Rousseau is the daughter of Vicky and Greg Rousseau. She has two older siblings, Emily Rousseau and Bryan Willard.
In her spare time, Rousseau enjoys the outdoors.
“I love being outdoors as much as possible, like camping and hiking and I also love reading whenever I have the chance.”