Inside Scoop: Melisa Koutz

March 11, 2009

First baseman Melisa Koutz is a sophomore from Valencia, Calif. who has been a key part of Stanford's lineup since arriving on The Farm last year. As a freshman, Melisa started 60 games, recorded three game-winning hits in Pac-10 play and earned a spot on the Pac-10's all-rookie team. Defensively, she carried the highest fielding percentage of any infielder in the Pac-10 (.997). This year, Melisa is hitting .313, is second on the team with eight doubles and has tallied 13 RBI.

Describe something that you're NOT good at.

I personally think I am an okay singer/rapper, but according to other people I am not. I love rapping or singing any song I hear while I am in the car, especially by myself. However, I was in the car once with one of my good guy friends and as I was rapping 'Palmdale' by Afroman I did not realize he was recording it. A few days later he thought it would be funny to show our other friends and as I watched I realized that maybe I should keep my dream of being a rapper and touring with Kanye West to myself.

Is there anything you're 'addicted to' or spend a lot of time doing?

I am addicted to a few things, but there is one thing I will admit I am absolutely obsessed with. My biggest obsession is the TV show 'One Tree Hill'. I have watched every episode, from the first one ever aired to the episodes being aired now. I got hooked after watching the first episode because of Chad Michael Murray and James Lafferty. Plus it is an amazing show all around! I used to have One Tree Hill posters all over my room, bought every single season DVD, own the shows soundtracks, and can talk forever about the show. And to this day I swear I am going to marry James Lafferty.

Describe your hometown. If you were to take someone on a tour of the area, where would you go?

It was not until I left my hometown that I realized how much I miss it. I grew up in the Santa Clarita Valley, and more specifically Valencia/Saugus area. If I was showing someone my hometown I would take them to Six Flags Magic Mountain, the mall, Saugus High School, Lombardi's Ranch, Golden Spoon and Pinkberry. But the necessary spots to go are probably Magic Mountain and Golden Spoon!

Is there one particular story or event that has affected who you are today?

I cannot really remember one event that affected who I am today, but I know it was all the occurrences with my parents and I involving sports, specifically playing for my dad, listening to his stories about his experiences growing up, and hanging out with my dad learning baseball, football and basketball. Also playing soccer as competitively as I played softball until I was 14, meaning playing travel softball and club soccer at the same time, helped mold me into the person I am today, especially with my aggressiveness.

What's the best vacation you've ever taken or favorite vacation spot?

The best vacation spot I have ever been to is not really for a vacation but somewhere I went for a softball tournament. We were playing in Normal, Illinois, but after the tournament we went to Chicago. I fell in love with that city. My dad and I went to Navy Pier, Soldier Field, Wrigleyville and to a Cubs' game. We took the L train around there too which I thought was awesome because until then I have never been on a train...I am from Southern California! I think I was about 14 and even though I loved every part of Chicago, I fell in love with Wrigleyville. The whole experience was straight from an old baseball movie. It was special because I got to go to experience the whole thing with my dad and my grandpa has always been a huge Cubs fan. Also it was the last tournament that my dad coached me at for travel ball.

What is the most interesting project/field trip you've done for a class?

I do not really remember an interesting field trip, but the best field trip I have ever been on was senior year when I went to the Long Beach Aquarium. It was awesome because I got to be with my best friend and my best guy friends for the entire day. Also when we got down there we pretty much did whatever we want which included petting the sea animals and going to lunch at the boardwalk down there. The trip was just all around memorable from the bus ride, to hanging out down there, and then it also happened to be where the prom was held a couple months later, which was one of my all-time favorite memories from high school, along with powderpuff football.

How did you start playing softball?

I started playing softball because of my dad. I just remember being very active with numerous sports when I was younger and my dad always coaching me with softball. Specifically I remember hitting a wiffle ball off the tee in my backyard and always trying to hit it in my neighbor's yard over the fence to show I was better than my sister....which I always was! I was a pitcher for about 5-6 years. I started off as a catcher because my favorite player was Mike Piazza and he was the catcher for the Dodgers at the time. But I would always get frustrated with the pitchers so I decided to try that, and was a pitcher/SS /third baseman for a long time. I loved pitching and was always the pitcher for the Hart tournament teams. I remember my dad and I having an interesting relationship when I pitched though. Being a pitcher was also how I got my nickname Riss because he would sometimes get frustrated with me when he called pitches that somehow that name slipped out and has stuck ever since. I think one of my favorite stories from when I was younger was when I was like 9 pitching for the Dodgers (my dad's team) at our local softball/baseball league, and of course I was always young for the league I played in. But I remember the opening game for the season was warming up, throwing with my dad, and I could not throw a strike if my life depended on it. I kept launching the ball over his head and he was getting rather mad at me. That continued through the entire warm up. But then once I got in a game I think I threw a no hitter and pitched really well, striking out many. That is definitely one of my favorite memories because, as a pitcher, that was typical of me. I never did well in practice or warm ups, but in a game I pitched well. I used to drive my dad crazy! Plus that was also the season we went 19-1, which hadn't been done for a long time in that league, and the tournament team for that summer was one of my favorite teams I have ever been a part of.

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