Everyday Champion -- Kelly Dyer
May 11, 2009
Growing up in Eugene, Ore., around the University of Oregon and its athletics, junior Kelly Dyer made a decision to pitch for its biggest rival on the softball team. But being from there and choosing Oregon State didn't faze Dyer, who didn't have a loyalty to either program.
'We really have never been a true Beaver or Duck family, so I was involved a lot in Duck sports and camps just because it was so close, but it wasn't like I was a true Duck fan,' Dyer said. 'I didn't really care.'
But the Beavers are grateful to have gotten Dyer, whose five saves during the 2009 season ranked in the top three in the nation. She has been the go-to pitcher for the last pair of seasons, throwing most of the 2008 season, earning All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors. She held off the No. 4 Washington Huskies this season for eight innings and the No. 1 Arizona State Sun Devils last season for 11 innings.
Dyer has been as solid in the classroom as in the circle for the Beavers, earning CoSIDA Academic All-District Second Team accolades in 2009 and being named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team, the only Oregon State player to do so.
Continue reading more about Kelly Dyer below...
Q: So you were able to get on this three year plan because of what you did in high school, talk about that a little bit.
A: In high school my school offered college credits through Lane Community College so I could take a bunch of credits for free. I came in with about 30 credits, and I also did the Bridge Program, so I got more credits through that. I pretty much came in as a sophomore.
Q: Did the Bridge Program help you a lot?
A: I really liked the Bridge Program, and it gave me a chance to hang out with my freshmen teammates. We had fun and learned about campus like where our classes were going to be. We weren't even doing softball yet, but our schedule was jam-packed already, so it was a taste of what was ahead.
Q: Had you been on campus a few times before?
A: I had. I have gone to camps since I was 10 here, so I was familiar with campus.
Q: Being from Eugene, did you take any grief going to Oregon State?
A: It wasn't really deciding to go to OSU. We really have never been a true Beaver or Duck family, so I was involved a lot in Duck sports and camps just because it was so close, but it wasn't like I was a true Duck fan. I didn't really care.
Q: Do you have any friends or ex-teammates that play at Oregon? Is there a good rivalry there now?
A: I have some people that I know there, but no friends that I grew up with. It is a good rivalry regardless if I know them or not. It means a lot to beat the Ducks just because it is my home town. And I remember my freshman year going there, and I was just in the bullpen because I didn't pitch a lot my freshman year, and they were just heckling me from the sidelines saying, `Oh you're from Eugene, why did you go to Oregon State?' I felt like I got my first true taste of it there.
Q: What would you tell a prospective student that was considering Oregon State?
A: I love Oregon State, and I love the campus and the feel of the university. Football games are amazing and our team is a true family.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a pitcher?
A: My favorite thing about being a pitcher is probably the fact that I get the ball all the time, and I have the opportunity to be involved in almost every play.
Q: Do you have a favorite memory or game that sticks out in your mind?
A: One of my favorite memories is the ASU game last year when we went 12 innings and almost beat them. It has kind of a sad ending, but they ended up being the National Champions and that was pretty exciting to know we went 12 innings with them and truly competed and should had ended up beating them.
Q: Is there a time when your pitching when you think, `I have good stuff today?'
A: There are definitely times like that where I feel like I have my stuff. Hopefully it happens more and more often. Against Washington this year we went nine innings with them, and I felt really effective against them and that is a great feeling.
Q: Do you have a favorite pitch?
A: My favorite pitch is probably my curve ball.
Q: How did you learn how to throw that?
A: I actually learned it at an Oregon camp one time. She [Amy Hayes] was the Portland State head coach and she was like, `you don't have a curve ball?' She taught it to me right there on the spot. It was probably about four or five years ago. I have always been a rise ball pitcher, and she told me you just come across your body with the same grip.
Q: What did you do to appear in the Sports Illustrated Faces in the Crowd?
A: I don't remember exactly what it said I was doing when I was in Faces in the Crowd. I think I had thrown two perfect games in a week and hit a few home runs, so they called me up and said they were Sports Illustrated. I thought it was some sort of joke because they couldn't really be calling me about this. Then they told me I was in Faces in the Crowd and a guy came and took my picture at my house. It was crazy. I have a little trophy cup thing that says I was in Faces in the Crowd, and I'm pretty sure I still have the magazine somewhere.
Q: Have you had to autograph a bunch of copies for your teammates?
A: No, not my teammates here. In high school kids thought it was so cool so they would bring copies to school so I could autograph it.
Q: Was it weird when you saw it?
A: Yeah, it didn't even seem real. Looking back, or looking at Sports Illustrated now, I think, `I was right there, people around the nation were looking at me in this magazine.'
Q: You're a Human Development and Family Sciences major? What's your goal?
A: I am a Human Development and Family Sciences major. My ultimate goal is to work with youth and to be a social worker. I work at the Jackson Street Youth Shelter, so I have had an opportunity to work with kids who are either in respite from their parents or have done something like juvenile delinquency and have been picked up by the cops and have no place to go. That has been a really neat experience, and I have been able to mentor some kids through that.
Q: How did you get interested in that?
A: I'm not really sure how I got interested in it. I have always liked to help people, and I knew when I was in middle school and high school that I wanted to be a nurse. Then I decided nursing wasn't what I was into so once I got into this program, it really allowed me to realize what I could do with it. I got an internship last fall at Jackson Street, and then they hired me later that winter.
Q: Is volunteering something you find fulfilling?
A: I love volunteering, and it is so great to give back and to be able to participate in community activities. Last term I volunteered at Mary's Place Community Outreach with the little kids. That was a really fun experience. They think it is so great that I play softball, and they made me a big sign that is in our locker room, actually, that is all painted and it says `Go Beavers.'
Q: Have any of the kids been out to your games?
A: Yeah the kids at Jackson Street, I think they donate tickets to Jackson Street, so they come out and watch. I don't know if they went to any this year, but they came to quite a few last year.
Q: Do you have a role model?
A: I would have to say my role model is my mom and my sisters. We are pretty much all best friends.
Q: What are you expectations for the team next year?
A: I am really excited about next year. I will be a senior, which is really exciting. We are trying to work on rebuilding and changing because for the last two years we haven't made it to the post season, so we are really working on a way to build a better team structure so we can make it to post season.