My experience as a Valparaiso University softball player has been nothing short of amazing. Although it is only my second year here, I’ve learned so much about myself and have grown tremendously as a person.
Last year was filled with adjustments and learning more about what it takes to play at the division one level. This year has been about creating my weaknesses into strengths. Because of the program's culture, my love for the game has only grown stronger.
The softball program has developed me into a smarter and stronger player. I have learned more aspects of the game that has increased my game IQ through different drills, as well as watching film.
The coaches do a great job of challenging the players so we are able to reach our full potential. They push us to be open minded and comfortable with being uncomfortable. Coach Stake this year has emphasized the word mettle, which is coping with hardships in a spirited way. Mettle is something that has improved my mindset and I will always carry with me throughout difficult situations.
One of the best parts of being a part of Valpo softball are my teammates. The women I’m surrounded by are the most supportive and loving people I know. They’ve helped me throughout the hardest times, both on and off the field.
My teammates push me to work harder because they want each player to reach their full potential. They make every practice, workout, and game something to look forward to because of the positive energy they have. They’ve influenced me to be a better teammate and player because I do not want to let them down.
The coaching staff is everything I could ever ask for. Coach Stake knows the game from the inside and out. She always comes to practice and is excited to watch us grow and get better. I have learned more about how to move on from mistakes and take them as learning opportunities to improve.
Also, to own my game and be confident in what I do. Coach Monica is always there for me when I need advice or someone to talk to. She has helped me through difficult times and taught me that it is okay to struggle, but it is important to find ways to bounce back from the hardships.
The graduate assistants, Kayti Grable and Eryn McCarver, go above and beyond for Valpo softball. They put in so much time and effort to help the coaches and players. I have considered maybe one day becoming a graduate assistant because of their commitment to the program.
Jorgi Calombaris, our volunteer coach, is a role model for me. She is currently a fourth grade teacher and played for Valpo softball a couple years back. Not only do we have the same number, but we also have the same major. I look up to Jorgi because of her passion and her dedication to help others.
Our season opener is at the University of Houston on Friday, February 7. I’m looking forward to having fun playing the game I love with my teammates. We have a lot of potential to reach our goals, and I am excited to see what the future holds this season.