|When and how did you start playing softball?
I started when I was 10 in our town rec league. My dad was a fast-pitch pitcher. I was actually in the elementary school band and I played the flute and I realized that that got too girly. And so I decided I really wanted to start playing sports because my dad played sports forever and mom was a tennis player. My dad was a pitcher and I watched and thought that could be fun. It all started from there.
Did you play other positions before starting to pitch?
Pretty much the first day at practice I decided I wanted to be a pitcher. If I wasn't pitching I was playing first base and moved over to third base. I stuck with pitching because I like the challenge of it, getting through the frustration and everything is really rewarding. When you win games it all on you and when you lose games it all you but I think I just really liked the challenge and learning new things and trying out new things.
What other sports did you play in high school?
I played basketball, too. I played on JV my freshman year and then started on varsity my sophomore year and senior year of high school I was captain. It was mostly to stay in shape for softball actually but I love it, too.
strong>Why did you choose NC State?
I played my freshman year at Questa College which was a junior college in California and after that I got asked to play on a travel team out of north LA and we got to nationals. That's when Coach Navas saw me and she needed a pitcher for the next three years. I knew about UNC and Duke but that's pretty much all I knew about from the ACC and so I asked my travel coach what he thought about NC State and he said "go there". He said they were a big school, prestigious academic wise and that's the place you want to go. And I took his word for it, researched it more and figured out that it was definitely the place for me.
What has been the biggest adjustment from California to Raleigh?
The humidity and the southern drawl. We were talking about it today, it must be 90% humidity out there and it's only 70 degrees and we are all dying sweating. But it's very similar (to where I am from). I live kind of out in the country in California, not in a city at all and Raleigh is kind of like that too, it's not LA or anything. People here are definitely a lot nicer; the southern hospitality is definitely here.
What is your most memorable moment in sports?
I would have to say the ACC Tournament last year. I one-hit Georgia Tech and that was the most fun thing ever and Navas jumped off her bucket, which was crazy because she doesn't get really all that excited about stuff so to see her jump off the bucket was kind of fun. And then beating UNC and putting them out of the tournament. Making that run when people didn't think we would do much last year and getting the championship game was amazing, something I will never forget.
The one thing I will never forget is when we were playing Virginia Tech in the championship game. It was the top of the first and they got bases loaded and it was a full count. I was thinking "I can't walk this girl in, this could be the only run. It's me and Angela Tincher, we are going to score maybe one run off of her." I ended up throwing it pretty much down the middle but it was a drop ball and it broke so hard and the girl swung right over it and we struck her out and ended the inning. I will never forget that all long as I live.
What do you do when you're not playing softball?
When I am at school, usually just relax since I don't have a lot of free time. But I love the summer, so when I'm home I love being outside near the pool or we have a couple of lakes around and my parents have a boat so we go out on it. The lake is my getaway.
What was the best advice you ever received from a coach?
The things that I can really think of that have gotten me through high school and through college and to where I am now, there are two things my dad always says: keep the ball down because that's what keeps it in the park and he always says, rotation and location.
What are your expectations for your team and yourself as you finish this season?
We have been struggling a little bit just to find out where we want to be and to find something works for us but we are practicing hard and we are getting ready for the tournament. We are ready for the tournament. Last month is over and we have the mindset that the tournament is the time to start fresh and we are definitely going to go out and attack, we are not going to take any prisoners or anything. We're going to get them.
Favorite place on campus: Locker Room
Favorite Movie: Remember the Titans
Favorite pro athlete: David Eckstein
(when he played for the Angels)
|When and how did you start playing softball?
I think I was 5 years old. I had an older brother and I wanted to do everything he did. He played baseball and soccer and did all these things. From the time I was really little I couldn't wait for the time when I got to do those things, too. When I first got put into rec t-ball, hated it and so I wanted to play baseball. It was about that time that coach asked me to play on a tournament or travel team during the summer which was more than the rec leagues. Soon after that they switched to fast pitch so I kind of got the best of both worlds with both baseball and softball.
What other sports did you play in high school? Or before?
In high school I ran cross country and played basketball. And then my last year I focused on softball because I really wanted to get a scholarship. I loved basketball but hated cross country at the time but it did a lot of good for my body. It's always been softball that I excelled at the most and had the most fun with on the field.
Why did you choose Maryland?
I was looking to study engineering so I was looking for good softball programs that, obviously were interested in me, but that also had good engineering programs as well. Maryland had great engineering programs and when I came on my visit I fell in love with the school and what it looked like and the atmosphere and the girls on the team were awesome. The coaches I was recruited by were different coaches than I have now but if I had to do it all over again I would still make the choice to come here.
What is the biggest difference between playing softball in high school and in college?
I think it's the level of competition and your devotion to it. The competition is obviously much greater, the pitching is better, the hitting is better and the fielding… people are making those awesome plays that in high school you see every once in a while but people are making them in every game here. Everything is just incredibly higher, in terms of skill level. But also the amount of devotion people put into it, they spend extra hours and they are required at practice to hit and to field. It becomes your life, you have school and softball and that's your life.
What has it meant to you to be captain this year?
I have taken on a bigger role, Sarah Dooley, Breanna Shaw and I have all stepped to take charge of the team. Breanna is definitely a great leader and Sarah is a silent leader who leads by example. But it's meant a lot, I can tell that the girls look up to me and I hope that I have earned their respect not just demanded it. It's a nice way to end your four years.
What do you do when you're not playing softball?
Well I have been very fortunate this last semester because I have only had two classes since I'm graduating so I have had a lot of free time, well not a lot but more than I have had before. As much as we are around each other, when you do have free time you still want to hang out with the girls on your team because its kind of nice to just hang around, watch TV and relax when you don't have to worry about softball practice or homework.
What are your plans for after graduation?
I plan on going to law school, not sure where yet but its up in the air between Campbell, NC State and UNC. That's been my plan throughout college so in August I will more than likely start law school. What was the best advice you ever received from a coach?
In the middle of this season I went through a rough slump. I was hitting extra one day with Coach Scott and she stopped me and she said, "It's all in your head", it's all mental, your swing looks great, you're doing everything right, all you need to do is just swing." And as a player I definitely over think, especially in the box so, her telling me that it was all in my head and that everything was fine, I just needed to swing, really helped me. It got me thinking well if my coach things my swing is ok, then it is ok. I think a game later I hit a double to get out of my slump and I really appreciated that. If I am having trouble, she'll just say keep swinging, just keep swinging.
What are your expectations for your team this season?
I think we all have high expectations for ourselves, the coaches and the seniors definitely do. I really want to see us get a bid to regionals and then do well. In the four years I have been here and under Coach Watten we have not gotten a bid to regionals so I would love to end my career with a postseason. And the ACC Tournament is next weekend and its single elimination this year so we just have to be on our game for three games there and hopefully pull out at a win at the ACC Tournament.
Favorite Favorite Movie: Anything Adam Sandler
Favorite Pro Athlete: ickey Mantle
(I've always worn #7)
Favorite Place on Campus: The Mall