The senior shortstop and captain, a first team All-Main Line softball selection last spring, is batting .824 (as of April 20) with four home runs, 23 RBI’s, nine stolen bases, a slugging percentage of 2.000, an OPS of 2.870, and zero strikeouts. A versatile performer, she has an ERA of 1.40 as a pitcher, which includes a complete-game two hitter with nine strikeouts and a save. She has also caught two games. Last spring, she received first team All-Main Line softball honors, batting .556 and posted a sparkling 1.31 ERA on the mound while receiving first team All-Friends Schools League honors.
Q: Describe how you see your on-field leadership role as a shortstop.
A: As a shortstop and captain it’s my job to make sure my teammates know how many outs there are, where to play their position and where to make the outs. However, it’s also really important to remember that the rest of the team is always looking at me as an example. If I make an error and let my frustration be easily seen, the team is going to feed off of that negative energy. Instead, I work hard to always stay positive and pick my teammates up when they’re down.
Q: You’ve played shortstop, pitcher and catcher for Shipley this season. What is your favorite position, and why?
A: This is always one of the toughest questions for me to answer. Softball is my biggest passion and as a utility player, I’m happy playing any position on the field. Wherever the coach needs me!
Q: What do you think is the strongest part of your game? What part of your game are you working on the most currently?
A: Right now my hitting is really awesome. I have my school coach Dave Baron to thank for that because whenever I have a bad at bat, he can tell me exactly what I did wrong and then help me fix it. Recently I’ve been working a lot on my fielding mechanics.
Q: Who have been your biggest softball mentors, and what was the most important thing each of them taught you?
A: I’ve been blessed with many great coaches so it’s really hard to choose but Shawn Atkinson, Erik Needles and Jim Della Guardia are my top three. Shawn coached me when I was very young and he taught me that in order to be successful you have to be confident but also humble when necessary. Erik was my coach when I was 14 and he taught me that repetition and never forgetting basic fundamentals are key to being a great softball player. Jim is my coach now and has been for the past two years. He has taught me how to work hard and have fun at the same time. I owe my love for the game to these coaches and many others. I wouldn’t be the player I am today without them.
Q: What is your favorite ballpark, and why?
A: My favorite ballpark is Caln Park. This is where I grew up playing softball and it holds some of my favorite memories.
Q: Tell us a little about your pre-game preparation the day of a game.
A: On game days I always make sure to drink a ton of water and send out a “get hyped” sort of text to my teammates. On the way to the game is usually when I start to get serious and focused, so I like to listen to music or just talk with the team.
Q: Where do you usually bat in the lineup? Does your batting approach change when you are moved up or down in the lineup order?
A: For Shipley I usually bat fourth in the lineup but for my travel team (Sting 18U Gold) I bat somewhere in the beginning of the lineup. My mindset for hitting never really changes no matter where I am in the order. I always do my best to get on base and score the other runners.
Q: You wear uniform No. 16 for Shipley – is there a reason you picked that number – does it have any significance to you?
A: I’ve worn No. 16 since I was 9 years old and just decided to stick with it.
Q: What has been your most memorable experience in your softball career, at Shipley, and outside of Shipley? Can you share them with us?
A: For Shipley, it was definitely our 9-7 win against Friends’ Central last year. FCS is our biggest rival and a team we struggled to beat. We were playing our best game of the season and were tied in the last inning. Liz Durham made a really smart base running decision and stole home to put us ahead. Then Aly Rubenstein hit a double and scored another to seal the deal. It was a great feeling and I loved seeing how excited everyone was.
For travel ball it was last summer during a huge college showcase. During one of our games against a really good team I came up to bat and hit a home run. It was in front of ton of college coaches and it boosted my team’s energy so it was just awesome all around. We ended up winning the game!
Q: Why did you choose Ursinus? What other schools were in the running? What do you think you might like to major in at Ursinus? Is there a particular career path that interests you at the present time?
A: Ursinus is the perfect place for me for so many reasons. The campus is beautiful, it’s a small liberal arts school and everyone there is incredibly friendly. Franklin and Marshall was also at the top of my list for awhile but when I visited Ursinus I knew that was exactly where I wanted to spend the next four years. I plan on majoring in chemistry at UC but I’m not exactly sure what I’d want to do with my degree yet.
Q: Do you participate in any other extracurricular activities at Shipley other than softball?
A: Since I live 45 minutes away from school and work part time, it’s really hard to be involved with any other activities but when I can I love to go watch our school plays or the other sports games.
Fun facts – Chrissy Wentz
Favorite book: The Art of Fielding.
Favorite TV show: The Walking Dead.
Favorite movie: Deadpool.
Favorite pre-game pump-up song: Without Me by Eminem.
Favorite team: Phillies, Eagles.
Favorite athlete: Mike Trout.
Favorite pre-game meal: Chicken parm.
Favorite color: Blue.
Person I most admire: “I’ve always looked up to my two siblings because I am so much younger and I’ve gotten to watch them go through high school and college and face so many challenges, but they’ve overcome them no matter what. They’ve both turned out to be amazing people and I hope to follow in their footsteps.”
Family members: mom Cathy, stepdad Bob, sister Becky, brother Michael.
(To be selected as Main Line Girls Athlete of the Week, a student-athlete must first be nominated by her coach.)