Everyday Champion - Tarah Black
March 9, 2010
Senior Tarah Black has played a number of positions on the field during her four years before finally settling down as one of the Oregon State softball team’s two catchers that share time behind the plate during her senior season. She currently boasts a 1.000 fielding percentage with 60 putouts and seven assists, and has tallied a pair of doubles and home run out of her eight hits.
As a freshman, Black quickly found success at the plate, hitting the game-winning home run in her first career at bat before finishing the season with a grand slam and three-run homer in limited playing time. And she has continued to contribute to the team whether creating the offense or scoring runs.
In the classroom, Black is a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention selection and serves as a study facilitator for other student-athletes. She continues to help the team maintain its goal of a 3.0 GPA or higher every term, by herself earning at least that since she’s been at Oregon State.
Read more about Tarah Black:
Q: How do you balance being a student and an athlete?
A: I balance being a student-athlete by prioritizing my time and doing things when I have time to get them done. I’ve always been very busy, growing up playing lot of sports and doing school, so I’m used to taking that free time and using it for academics.
Q: Why did you choose to come to Oregon State?
A: I chose to come to Oregon State because when I visited, I fell in love with the campus, coaches and team. It was just a family oriented atmosphere, and I felt welcome already even before I was a freshman. And so I knew right then that’s where I wanted to spend my four years of college.
Q: Did you always plan on attending Oregon State?
I didn’t always plan on attending Oregon State, actually. I am from Oregon, so it was weird that I never planned on attending either Oregon university. But once I visited, I fell in love with it, and I wanted to play in the Pac-10 Conference for softball. I loved it, and I thought it would be great to play at home.
Q: What is your favorite thing about Oregon State?
A: My favorite thing about Oregon State is how welcoming everyone is. It’s in a small town – very family oriented, and the student-athletes all know each other and have a good time together. The softball team has always been very close throughout my four years here.
Q: What’s your most memorable softball moment?
A: My most memorable softball moment would have to be last year when we beat No. 9 Arizona State in the seventh inning on Paige Lowe’s home run.
Q: What’s the best part of playing for Coach Walker?
A: The best part of playing for Coach Walker is how he has made everyone he’s recruited so close. Right when I came in my freshman year, it was almost like we were meant to be together, and throughout my four years it has been that way. Somehow all of these people seem to be meant to be together, almost, which is weird, but the way that Coach Walker and the coaching staff have recruited those people, it’s almost like they notice it, and it does continue to be a great environment for all of us.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about softball?
A: My favorite thing about softball is that on any given day anybody can win. The No. 1 team can lose to the last team in the Pac-10 Conference, or it could go nine innings. It’s not a guaranteed win just because you’re in first place. That’s what gives it so much competition and makes it fun.
Q: What do you plan on doing with your degree in Exercise and Sport Science?
A: I plan on going to physical therapy school and hopefully become a physical therapist, working with sports related injuries.
Q: What does a scholarship through the Beaver Athletic Student Fund (BASF) mean to you?
A: With a scholarship through the BASF, I have been privileged to play in the Pac-10 Conference, which is the premier conference in softball. And I have been able to get an education in my home state of Oregon.
Q: Why is catcher your favorite position to play?
A: I’ve been catching now for about seven years, and it’s my favorite position because I’m always involved in the action, and the play always revolves around the pitcher and me.
Q: How much dialogue do you have with umpires?
A: Depending on how friendly the umpire is, I like to try to work umpires and have a friendly conversation with them, trying to sway them to our side. I don’t do it enough to try to make it obvious, but I try to get the calls our way.
Q: What has been your favorite road trip in your four years?
A: My favorite trip was probably to Hawai’i last year because it’s a nice chance to get to Hawai’i and play softball at the same time.
Q: Are you involved in the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)?
A: I used to be a member of SAAC, but instead this year I’m a study facilitator for other student-athletes in order to help them organize and prioritize their time at study tables.