Meet The Cardinal: Erin Howe

March 26, 2008

Erin Howe is a senior from Missouri City, Texas. Currently Stanford's primary designated player, Erin has played a variety of roles for Stanford in her four years on the Farm, including catcher and first base. So far this season, Erin is hitting .295 with six doubles, including the game-winner against Long Beach State last month. Last weekend, she blasted her first homerun of the season against East Carolina.

What did you do over the summer?

Last summer, I completed an investment banking internship at Seven Hills Partners in San Francisco. It was an amazing opportunity that I feel so lucky to have experienced. I really did learn something new about financial banking everyday and got to work with incredibly smart people, many of whom were Stanford alumni. Living in the city for ten weeks was a blast. I had an apartment in the Marina district and would take the bus to rehab and work. The most challenging part of the summer was definitely managing physical therapy for my knee and the long hours at work while on crutches for six weeks. I would rehab in the mornings and then hop (well, more like crutch) on a bus to work afterwards. Every day was very long, but yet the hours seemed to fly by since I was so busy. I wouldn't say it was a 'relaxing' summer, but I truly had an amazing time during those few months. The week I was cleared to get off crutches by my doctor was the same week as the annual Seven Hills croquet tournament, and surprisingly I ended up winning! It was fun to be active in a competitive setting again; however, I might have taken the game a bit too seriously - whatever.

Describe your experience coming back from an injury last year.

When I tore my ACL and MCL during Regionals last year I was heart-broken. We all work so hard year-round to be able to compete at this level, and when that's taken away from you because of an injury, it's hard not to get down about it. It definitely took a few days for me to realize the whole situation would be manageable, and will probably, at the end of the day, make me a stronger player and person. It definitely made my summer more challenging, but I figured out ways to overcome the craziness of it all. Some little things I once took for granted were some of my biggest difficulties during the summer. For instance, figuring out how to climb flights of stairs everyday to my apartment when I am on non-weight-bearing crutches, having cabs drive me through fast food joints just to get food because I couldn't crutch to the grocery store and didn't have my car, showering with one leg out of the bathtub, trying to professionally dress for work with a big brace on my right leg, wearing heels!, and so on. During the six weeks I was on non-weight-bearing crutches, I had to figure out alternatives to a lot of basic everyday actions. Yet, looking back, it all seems sort of comical. My mom would call me sometimes on Saturday afternoons when I was in my apartment and ask if I had eaten anything that day, and when I told her 'not really' because it was just too hard to try and get to the kitchen to make anything, she would actually call some random food delivery places in San Francisco so her baby could eat! :) So although my parents and close friends weren't around this summer, they seemed to still take care of me even if they were 2000 miles away. After going through rehab last summer and this past fall, I really appreciate the game of softball even more. I never thought I took the game for granted before, but this experience showed me even more how much I love this sport and am going to miss it when I graduate in June. I really believe it makes me a better person and just feel completely lucky to have played it at Stanford the past four years with amazing coaches and incredible teammates.

What is something most people don't know about you?

One thing people might not know about me is that I danced for 13 years while growing up. I took tap, ballet, and jazz lessons from a local dance studio every week. I really enjoyed it since it was a graceful break from the aggression of softball. I would sometimes have to go straight from softball practice to dance lessons, and would show up probably a little dirty and smelly and somehow have to be elegant and graceful. I absolutely loved every second of it though. I was probably one of the least prepared dancers at every recital when it came to costumes, makeup, and hair. I really didn't have the time to care too much about all that excess stuff - I just wanted to go out there and perform the dances we had learned. Eventually I gave it up to focus more on softball, but I'm taking a jazz dance class next quarter, which I'm super excited about!!

What's your first memory playing softball?

My first memory of softball was playing tee-ball with a bunch of boys at the age of five. Our team name was the Indians, so I guess I was destined to play at Stanford! When I turned seven is when I think I started playing softball. Some of my best friends I still have today were on those first softball teams of mine. In fact, many of them are starting to get married, which is a little scary. :)

What do you miss most about Texas?

I'm from Missouri City, Texas, which is about 20 miles southwest of Houston. I am definitely a Texan at heart. I miss the Rodeos, the southern hospitality, and most of all, the great Mexican food! However, I have fallen in love with Bay Area over the past four years. I do plan on staying out here for at least a few years after graduation.

What are you plans for when you graduate?

I already have a job lined up with the same firm I worked for last summer, so I'll be in San Francisco after graduation working as an investment banking analyst. I am really excited to start this part of my life. It is a bit intimidating to be entering the real world, but more than anything, I just feel blessed with the opportunities I have been fortunate enough to receive. I already can't wait for the softball alumni game next fall! You can bet that I'll be at lots of games next season too.

Erin's outlook on the rest of the 2008 season:

I believe our team will be successful this weekend as long as we have a plan of attack for every game. Our team chemistry is at an all-time high right now, and everyone seems to be swinging a hot bat and playing sharp defense. With the success our pitchers have had, Stanford softball should be fun to watch this weekend when we play Arizona and Arizona State!!

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