If anyone can do it, her teammates have no doubt Ericson is the one.
“She gives 100 percent to everything she does,” said Conway. “She works harder than anyone to be a good captain. She can help us surprise a few people.”
For Leary, this season has been a reversal of roles for herself and her friend.
“Last year I broke my hand after getting hit by a pitch and missed about six weeks of the season,” said Leary. “Every day Nicole was out there to supporting me. Before a lot of at-bats she would look at me and say, ‘This one is for you! I’m going to hit this one out. Nicole is my best friend, and we want to deliver something special.”
Leary, the team’s starting shortstop and No. 3 hitter, has also established herself as the voice of authority on and off the field.
“Meg is really the tough one,” said Conway with a laugh. “She is always the one that starts the cheers. If something needs to be done she will yell at you, but in a motivating way. She knows how to help people and get them to do their best.”
Conway, the starting first baseman who has also missed time due to a concussion, meanwhile is the most reserved of the three leaders.
“Allison is amazing,” said Leary. “She is just the most positive person you will ever meet. She always has your back. She is just the person you go to when you have a problem. She will find a way to help. She also catches everything I throw at her.”
As for Ericson — who was left on her couch for a week following surgery — she has no doubt she will be able to enforce her leadership once she is allowed to attend practice again, on crutches or not.