Faile seeks to make the most of college career


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Tim Laurent, Sports Writer

Coming from a small high school usually doesn’t give an athlete much exposure to play in college but, for Tristan Faile, it was no hindrance at all.

The junior third baseman and Biology major from Charlotte, N.C. graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in Lancaster, S.C., a 2A school with a current enrollment of just over 600 students.

For Faile, the fact that Francis Marion is a relatively small university played a part in her decision to come here.

“I didn’t want to go somewhere especially huge,” Faile said.

The size of the school was not the only factor in Faile coming to FMU, though.

“I liked how close the athletes seemed to be, and I liked the softball players that took me on my visit. I felt like I’d enjoy my time here,” Faile said.

Faile must be enjoying her time here, because this season, she leads the entire FMU softball team with a .399 batting average, 55 hits and 11 doubles. Faile is tied with teammate second baseman Ashley Jaramillo with six homeruns; and she is tied with teammate middle-infielder Lindsey Brown in games started/played with 42 (all of the Patriots’ season contests).

Faile is productive in many different ways for her team. She is tied for second on the club in both runs (25) and triples (1). Faile has not failed in any of her four stolen base attempts this year, reaching safely each time. Faile also leads the team in slugging percentage at .623 and on-base percentage at .421.

Faile began playing softball at the age of eight, but it’s not the only sport she played growing up. She played basketball and soccer recreationally, and at Andrew Jackson, she took to the volleyball court as well as the softball diamond. Faile was ten when she began playing travel softball; she also played recreational softball, coach pitch softball and t-ball.

While many look forward to playing sports beyond their college careers, Faile recognizes that her softball career may be coming to an end after college.

“There aren’t as many chances in my sport to go pro, so to play at this kind of level you only get until your senior year of college. Past that, it’s just slow pitch or maybe going into coaching,” Faile said.

Faile is making the most of her final softball seasons, though. The softball team is currently 29-13, winning practically 70 percent of its games.

“Honestly, we practice all the time,” Faile said. “We get up in the mornings and come to weights/running at 6:45; we practice three to four days out of the week, and we have games on pretty much all the other days.”

The heavy practice and hard work has paid off and is sure to continue paying off as the Patriots wrap up their 2012 campaign. The team has eight games left in the regular season, and they seem poised and anxious to make the playoffs.

“I just want to do as well as I can until my time for playing is up; I don’t want to have any regrets about how hard I tried or what I put into it,” Faile said.

Faile said that a key to her team this season is the great chemistry they share.

“This is the closest the team has been since I’ve been here,” Faile said. “We have a lot of chemistry on the field, and we enjoy playing softball with each other. When we put that together with the time that we put into the sport, we really are unstoppable.”

Francis Marion’s softball team currently sits sixth out of eleven Peach Belt teams with a 6-6 conference record. They’ll close the regular season out on April 18 at North Georgia.

As the Patriots do their best to go far in the playoffs and pursue a national championship, Tristan Faile is sure to be one of the players expected to produce at a high level.