From the Stands to the Field: Hillary Bach Returns for an Even Stronger Sophomore Season

Sept. 28, 2009

by Alec Boyle

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Growing up, Hillary Bach spent her summers watching teams battle to win the title of softball national champions in Oklahoma City, just down the road from her hometown of Tulsa, Okla. This past spring, Bach continued her long-running tradition of attending the Women’s College World Series, only this time, she came to compete.


“[The players] looked so old to me then, and it’s amazing to realize that now that I am one of them,” Bach said.


The 19 year-old Bach’s competitive edge came at an early age when she told her father that she wanted to play competitive kickball at school. She wanted to “compete with the boys,” but her father convinced her to play softball. Bach’s father, Dave Bach, preceded to coach Bach in travel ball from the age of 7 to 14, as well as in high school.


While playing Select Softball, Bach became noticed as a powerful force in the circle as college coaches grew a steady interest in her. Bach looked to attend Baylor University, Michigan University, University of Georgia, University of Oklahoma and Arizona State University. Bach decided upon ASU for the opportunity to compete at one of softball’s highest levels.


“I fell in love with the coaches and the warm weather is a plus,” Bach said. “Also, I am a business marketing major and the business school [at ASU] is top 20 in the nation.”


As a freshman, Bach experienced a “whirlwind of emotions” when the opportunity to compete as a Division I athlete became reality.


“What I was working for my whole life was finally here,” Bach said. “It really was surreal.”


Bach’s pitching efforts lead the Sun Devils to a 47-19 final record in the 2009 season. Her 31-11 record was the best freshman record in the history of ASU softball. Bach was also named to the Pacific Region All-American squad.


Now that Bach has the experience of contending for the NCAA national title under her belt, she is using it as “fire” for this coming up season. Beyond the pitchers circle, Bach is supported by a strong lineup of exceptional players, including “three very talented freshman” and many returners.


“I think our team will have better communication this year as a result of the many players returning,” Bach said.


Bach and the Sun Devils set the bar high for this coming up spring season and Bach said her team “will not settle for less.”


“We are a bunch of goofballs, me probably being the biggest one,” Bach said. “But, we have a lot of promise this year.”


Bach said her biggest challenge will be to void out distractions on the mound and remember that she is an athlete who has “done this a thousand times.”


“I need to focus on just doing my job and do what I have been practicing,” Bach said.


With training for spring season underway, Bach and her team are focused and determined to make it known that they are a force to be reckoned with.


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