The Future of Sun Devil Softball
Dec. 2, 2009
By Alec Boyle
The transition from high school to a 4-year university, especially one as large as Arizona State University, is a drastic change. Throw softball practices, a regular lifting schedule and a demanding school schedule in there and you’ve got a whirlwind of new surprises.
Freshman softball players, Kayla Ketchum, MacKenzie Popescue, Sam Parliach and Lucy Aubrecht are at a new chapter in their lives. They have big shoes to fill with ASU Softball’s impressive record of 47-19 at the close of the 2009 spring season, but are also adapting to life away from home.
Ketchum is from the small town of Gary, Ind. where she says, “everything is different back home.”
“Being out here, I learn something new everyday,” Ketchum said.
Ketchum is juggling life as an athlete while majoring in Biology-Chemistry. She said it is a lot of hard work but that support from her older teammates and head coach, Clint Myers, has made life easier.
Popescue said the older girls are a support system on and off the field.
“I learn from them at practice, but I can also go to them about grades and school,” Popescue said.
Popescue is an Arizona native from Scottsdale who is studying to become a kinesiology major. Having come off labrum surgery in May and having just recently been medically released to start practicing again, Popescue is looking forward to the spring season.
As a pitcher, Popescue is taking full advantage of watching and learning from Hillary Bach, who finished the 2009 season with the best freshman pitching record in the history of ASU softball. The two have become close friends.
“I think the hardest thing about college softball is that coming out of 18 Gold you think you know everything, but we are constantly learning new techniques and strategies here,” Popescue said.
Parliach, also an Arizona native from Chandler, said college softball is a completely different game and atmosphere, but loves the competition. She is eager for the spring season to get underway and is especially looking forward to playing the University of Arizona.
“I know some of the girls on U of A’s team so I want to beat them even more,” Parliach said.
Parliach is still exploring her options in deciding what to major in and is enjoying dorm life with roommate and freshman teammate, Aubrecht.
Aubrecht, born and raised in Mesa, Ariz., plays catcher, but has had to sit out of practices so far this year due to an ACL injury last December.
Although Aubrecht’s injury has kept her off the field, her and Popescue have enjoyed spending time with the older girls off the field.
The team’s chemistry among the newcomers and old players, as well as Coach Myer’s family-oriented attitude, makes for a season with a lot of potential.
The chance to compete at the highest level in Oklahoma and at the NCAA Women’s College World Series is a dream for all four freshmen, but they know their responsibilities as students must also be at the top of their priority list.