A hard worker and a leader on the mound, junior pitcher Jaelen Hull has become the ace pitcher for the Bradley softball team.
“She has a lot of pride in herself and who she is and what she does, and I think that’s just the basis to any good team,” softball coach Amy Hayes said. “You have to get kids who care about what they do and who they are and how that relates to a bigger picture of being on a team. And that’s why I think she’s such a great example.”
Those are encouraging words coming from Hayes on Hull.
A Clifton, Illinois native, Hull started playing tee-ball at the age of three and began pitching competitively around the age of 10. Hull said she just loved the grit and passion of the game and was drawn to Bradley because of the overall experience the school provided.
“Bradley stuck out to me the most, not only for the program and the coaches and the girls, because they really are my family away from my family back at home, but also because of the school,” Hull said. “I love that Bradley is smaller, and that you can have that close relationship with your professors, but also have a great academic experience … It had the whole package.”
Her decision has helped the softball team as she brought leadership and a great demeanor to the team.
This season, Hull has appeared in 19 games, and although she has a 3-8 record, she has a respectable 3.94 ERA and has struck out 48 batters.
“She’s a hard-throwing lefty, so that’s always beneficial,” said Hayes. “She can go in hard to righties and she’s done a really good job of getting another pitch on the other half of the plate to a right and that’s really helped her game this year.”
On March 26 Hull threw a complete game shutout against Missouri State in which she gave up two hits and struck out five. This past weekend against Missouri Vallet Conference (MVC) rival Evansville, she struggled a bit giving up six runs through 4.2 innings.
However, Hull said she is never satisfied with the way she pitches. She knows that even when she pitches well, there’s always something she can improve on. And when she has a tough game, it pushes her even more to come out with a great start next game.
Hull and the Braves look to continue their great start to conference play, as they have won all three conference series to start MVC play. Hull says she knows that her team has the ability to continue to play at this high level and wants her team to keep working hard as the season goes on.
The Braves have a home series against Northern Iowa this weekend and will feature a double-header on Saturday at 12 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. The final game of the series will take place at 12 p.m. Sunday.