Lake grad Glanden, Hens were on a roll

Lake Forest High grad Brooke Glanden was batting .457 for Delaware when the spring season ended. Delaware sports information/Mark Campbell

NEWARK — Having patience always seems to be a little tougher when you’re young.

For former Lake Forest High softball standout Brooke Glanden, even having just one season of college under her belt seemed to make a big difference.

The Delaware sophomore first baseman said she just felt more relaxed at the plate this spring.

“It’s a lot different than being a freshman,” said Glanden. “Freshman year you just come into it and you don’t really know what’s going to happen. Sophomore year you have a better idea.

“Sometimes as a freshman, you get antsy and you start swinging at stuff that’s not a strike. I just grew more mature as a batter this year.”

The results were pretty impressive.

Brooke Glanden

Not only was Glanden tied for the team lead in homeruns (4) and RBI (24) but her team-leading batting average of .457 was over 100 points better than anyone else on the Blue Hens’ squad. The left-handed hitter had an on-base percentage of .537 and an OPS of 1.251.

Better yet for Glanden, Delaware was 19-4 when the season was stopped by the cononavirus pandemic. It was the best start in the program’s 44-year history.

“Brooke is really naturally gifted,” UD coach Jen Steele said earlier in the spring. “She’s big, she’s strong, she has incredible reach, she can hit a lot of pitches, she can drive a lot of pitches out of the park.

A third baseman at Lake Forest, Glanden switched to first base for the Blue Hens last year.

“She continues to gain confidence by having good at-bats. Even when she’s not getting hits, she’s having a lot of quality at-bats, she’s picking good pitches to swing at.”

“Obviously when you’re having success, it makes it a lot more fun,” said Glanden.

A year ago, Glanden was named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Rookie Team. While she was still only a sophomore this spring, she was ready to take on more responsibility.

“Even though I was having a pretty good year, there’s still way more that I could do,” said Glanden, who has 11 career homers. “I would like to get my homerun numbers up a little more and help the team out. I know my coaches push me every day to be a great hitter and a good defender.”

In the field, Glanden switched from third base to first last season. She’s taken to the new position since making the move across the diamond.

“First base is a little different just because you know you’re involved in every play,” said Glanden. “You’re always getting the ball thrown at you so you always have to make sure you’re paying attention. … It’s also a different side of the field so you have to read everything a little bit differently.

Brooke Glanden has hit 11 homeruns so far in her college career with 24 RBI this spring.

“I’ve grown to like first base a little bit more, I think. I just feel more comfortable over there.”

With her season over, all Glanden can do is keep up with her on-line classes from home in Felton. She hits off a tee, has a catch and hopes to be able to play in some travel-ball tournaments this summer.

An elementary-education major, this season won’t count against Glanden’s eligibility if she wants to come back for a fifth year of college.

“I don’t even remember the last time that I haven’t been playing softball during this time,” she said. “Ever since sixth grade I’ve always been playing softball this time of year. It’s weird.”

Delaware’s softball players still have virtual meetings a couple times a week. Everybody gets a chance to stay in touch and keep each other motivated.

It was difficult for the Hens to see their season canceled just when they were playing so well. Delaware won its last seven games before everything was called off.

The Hens hadn’t finished with a winning record since 2016. Their biggest goal was to qualify for the CAA Tournament for the first time since 2017.

“With the great start we were having, we were 19-4, this program has never really been used to that kind of success,” said Glanden. “We were really on a roll. So just having everything happen like this has been devastating for all of us.

“It was definitely a positive environment, more than it has been in the past. We were doing really well. Everybody was just feeding off of each other and feeding off our success.

”Once we first got back to school in the fall, we had set a goal for ourselves that were going to be in the top-five in our conference,” she said. “We just stuck with that goal and worked towards it every single day. We knew what we wanted to do from the beginning and we were out to get it. We were really hungry.”