11 NCAA Div. III national team championships
(What you won't find on Facebook...even if you are approved as a friend)
Hometown: Johnston, Iowa
High School: Johnston
The only way I can describe it is that Central just felt like the right place for me to be. From an academic standpoint, I knew that I would benefit from the small class sizes and close interaction with professors and classmates. I also visited several other schools in the Iowa Conference, as I knew I wanted to play softball. Needless to say, no other program seemed to compare to the Central Softball program. I wanted to play for a team with a history of success that valued each and every one of their players. Looking back on it now, I didn’t understand completely then what Coach meant when he said I would have the chance to play for a program that would teach me not only about softball, but about many important life lessons as well, about playing for something bigger than myself, about loving your teammates like sisters, and about believing in something even if no one else does. Since that time, I have understood all of these things and thank God for giving me the opportunity to be a part of something so amazing. I have truly had the time of my life here and wouldn’t trade my time at Central for anything.
Your favorite professor and why
I’ve always liked Dr. Peterson. He makes his classes interesting and shows a deep respect for all students. Mindy Graham-Hinners was really fun as well. I actually looked forward to going to her class. She was personable and made learning fun.
In your IPod
Sadly, my iPod stopped working recently and all of the songs on it are somewhat outdated. If my iPod DID work, though, I would be listening to all different kinds of music depending on my mood. I’ll admit, I’ve recently gotten into country. I also enjoy pop, some rap, and some rock. Some of my favorite songs are from bands like Creed, Staind, Three Doors Down, Daughtry, etc.
Favorite Central memory
Coming from behind in the eighth inning to beat Wisconsin-Whitewater 5-2 in the Regional Tournament last year…hands down. This game showed our fight, heart, determination, and refusal to let our season end. I get goose bumps every time I think about it. I’ll never forget that game.
You’re majoring in business management and minoring in French because
I chose business because, upon first entering college, I wasn’t 100% sure what I wanted to do with my life and business offered several different types of job opportunities. I chose to have a Marketing emphasis that goes along with my major and ideally would like to start my career in this field. I mostly decided to complete my French minor because I took AP French in high school and only needed a couple of French classes at Central to complete my minor. Not to mention, it might look good on a resume and can be used as a tool to differentiate myself from other job applicants.
Favorite team trip
They’ve all been a blast, but I’d have to say my favorite was our Tucson, Arizona trip my junior year. We all meshed well together as a team and made many memories that I’ll never forget.
Softball-related ritual or habit
Where to start? Collectively as a team, we probably have more rituals than any team I’ve ever seen. Rachel Whiteside and I always used to wear game day tattoos (temporary, of course) that were aimed at intimidating the opposition J and giving us extra strength. We had some interesting ones (fierce animals, pirates, and skulls, just to name a few). This year, Heidi Reburn, Whitney Sowers, and I have continued the tat tradition. Another thing I do frequently is pick up grass when I’m in the outfield. I started doing this in high school to see which direction the wind was blowing, but it has become a habit now, not to mention that I’m paranoid about the wind changing direction on me. Our team also does signs after every out when we’re on defense. Some refer to it as dancing, but it does, in fact, serve a purpose. For example, every sign that I have is shared with someone else on the team. The idea behind this is that it keeps us all connected.
Why the visor you wear looks like it was used in the D-Day invasion
Good question. I’ve worn this visor since my freshman year and you could say I’m attached to it. I was actually debating getting a new one this year, but everyone assured me that the faded, dirty look makes it more authentic. My visor and I have gone through a lot together. I wear it for practically every game, even if the sun isn’t out. Rest assured, it has been washed several times.
The coolest thing about competing in the NCAA tournament
I’d say the best thing about competing in the NCAA tournament is that we have another chance to play together as a team. It gives us more time to play and to be with one another. We see Regionals as another step along the way to achieving our ultimate prize of a National Championship.
Your favorite websites
I wouldn’t say I have a favorite, but the websites I visit most often are Facebook, myCentral, Pinterest, Google, and Weather.com (lame, I know).
Most entertaining player on the team
Whitney Sowers is a riot. She is full of surprises and I’ve never met anyone quite like her. She always gives everyone a good laugh. Rhianna Fleetwood would be a close second. She just says the darndest things!
Best advice you’ve ever received from a coach
Playing softball is about so much more than just playing softball.
Brand of softball glove you have and how long you’ve had it
My glove is a TPS Louisville Slugger. I’ve only had it a little over a year. I probably waited too long to get a new one, but I wanted one that I was familiar with and that was comfortable to me, so I got the same brand of glove as my old one. Where most girls get roses and chocolates, I received my glove as a Valentine’s Day gift from my boyfriend. He must know me well!
Your favorite softball travel misadventure: A flat tire in Florida in the middle of the night and having to leave the luggage behind until the next day, the charter bus dying in Waterloo and getting kicked out of a Burger King while waiting 5 hours for a new bus, or getting locked out of your van in Arizona because the dork scorekeeper left the keys inside.
How can I pick just one? Although it may not be my favorite, because it was one of the most uncomfortable car rides I’ve experienced, the most memorable misadventure is the popped tire in Florida. All I remember is jolting awake to the sound of a popped tire on the van in front of us and simultaneously seeing Coach Wares pull the van to the side of the road like a champ. We all had to squish into one 12 passenger van and a car, leaving our luggage behind for the night. Then there was Rhianna using me as a pillow and Afton sleeping on the floor by my feet because there was literally no other place to sit. Talk about team bonding!
Person past or present you’d like to have lunch with
Probably either one of my parents’ fathers. My mom’s dad passed away before I was born and my dad’s dad passed away when I was very young. I’d like to get to know the people who raised my parents and see what they were like.
Teammate who could be a reality show star
Abbey Strajack. The camera would be on her the entire time because she is always doing crazy things.
The thing you love most about Central Softball
Not only do we win, but we do it the right way. I love that I have the opportunity to work hard every day towards achieving a National Championship with the best friends, teammates, and coaching staff in the country. What more could a girl ask for?
What most people don’t know about Coach Wares
He believes in his players even more than they believe in themselves.
Win a National Championship
Visit another country
Find a job/career that I love going to everyday
Swim with dolphins
Never grow up
Marry the love of my life
Start a family
Live happily ever after
See previous close-ups.