1. Describe how you first learned to play softball and when you made the decision to play competitively.
I first learned how to play softball growing up watching my older sister and brother play softball and baseball. My dad has also been a high school baseball coach my whole life, and we grew up at the baseball field watching and wanting to be just like the boys. I made the decision to play competitively at 13 when I chose to play for a travel organization, and from then on, I loved getting to travel around the country to play some of the best teams in the nation.
2. As one of the few seniors on your team, how do you find yourself being a leader?
I think that as a senior class of five, we all have our own ways in which we lead best, but we are all well-rounded leaders. I find myself being a leader in the classroom the most. As a nursing major, I hope that I am showing my teammates the amount of hard work that I have been putting into my education here at AU, that way they will continue to work hard in the classroom, as well. The past three years I have been here, we have been ranked for having one of the highest team GPAs in the nation, and one of the highest on campus, as well. The culture of our team academically has always been to strive for excellence, and I am hoping that I have shown my teammates this legacy throughout my time here.
3. What are your goals for this season?
My first goal for this season includes taking each opponent game-by-game and not getting ahead of what is right in front of us. Our team has a lot of talent and is driven to do well, and keeping the game at our pace is what we want to do. My second goal is to strive to make this season one to remember, not only because of our success but because of the memories made off of the field as well. As most people already know, this is coach (Sheilah) Gulas’ last year, and she is currently only one win away from 900 career wins. I think that the memories made this year are going to last us a lifetime. Being able to go out this year with coach is an honor, and as a senior, I feel very blessed to be the last group that was able to experience her overwhelming joy and absolute love for the game throughout my entire college career.
4. How have your coaches and teammates helped you grow during your time at AU?
I think that my coaches and teammates have helped push me to become an all-around better person. I have not only seen my athletic abilities grow since I have been at AU, but I feel as though my personality and character has been touched by them as well. I know that when I leave here, I have made friends that will last me a lifetime, which is more than I could have ever asked for. One of my favorite things about our coaching staff is the fact that they do not only look at me as an athlete but as a student, and as a woman as well. I think that having such powerful female role models has helped me to grow and know just how much potential I have to succeed as an athlete, and as a professional coming up soon in my life. Coach Gulas and Shannon (Schaub) have always shown such respect for us girls, and the addition of coach (Bob) Lance this year has brought a new genuinely fun personality to be around. The coaches are well respected by us girls because of the overwhelming amount of respect we feel from all three of them.
5. What are your plans after graduation?
My plans for after graduation include working at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, where I have accepted a nursing position in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. It has been my dream job for a while now, and I am excited to be able to start working with some of the best pediatric staff and researchers in the world.