By, Gabe Taylor (SCU Media Relations)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. - As a freshman, Stephanie Fisher (SF) earned a spot in the starting lineup without delay, appearing No. 2 in the batting order from Opening Day. After posting a .276 batting average, Fisher is ready to hit the field once again and capitalize on the experience she gained playing in all 39 games in 2011. Fisher caught up with SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) to revisit her rookie campaign and her expectations for the rapidly approaching season, which opens Friday, Feb. 9 at UTEP.
SCB: What was it like being able to start every game as a freshman? Did you expect you would receive that much playing time prior to the season?
SF: It was great being able to start every game as a freshman. Knowing that I was a freshman, I knew that I had to work for a spot in the starting lineup and I think the work going into getting that spot made me a better player than I was coming into the program. I didn't expect to play every game, and I am grateful that I was able to get that type of experience my first year at Santa Clara.
SCB: If you had to pick one highlight from playing softball your freshman year, what would it be?
SF: It definitely has to be my first homerun over the fence
against Sacramento State in the first inning of the game. That was
probably the coolest thing for me last season.
SCB: What was going in your head when you hit your first homerun? Did you know it was gone right after you connected with the ball?
SF: I was so excited! I knew I hit it hard, but it was a slap so I didn't expect it to go over. When it did, it felt amazing! It was even cooler that it was part of back-to-back homeruns with Bri (Briana Knight) coming up after me with her first at-bat since getting hurt and hitting it over the fence as well.
SCB: When you had your hitting streak going last year, was it on your mind when you would go up to bat?
SF: When I'm up to bat, the only thing I think about is finding any way possible to get on base. Every game, I had a goal set that I would try to get at least one hit per game. I never thought of a streak throughout the season, but I wanted to be consistent game by game.
SCB: What have you worked on most heading into this upcoming season?
SF: My main focus coming into the season is hitting the ball no matter what part of the plate it crosses. I want to be able to pull the inside pitch as well as going with the outside pitch and driving it the other way. I want to be that player that the pitchers don't know what to pitch to me.
SCB: What are your expectations for both yourself and
for the team?
SF: For the team, I feel like this is going to be a much better season than in the past, especially with all of the freshmen and transfers that just joined us this season. With all of the new talent combining with the old talent, I know we are going to do better. For myself, I know what to expect now at the college level so now I can focus on the little things that I didn't get to focus on last year. I'm really excited for the season to start as well as to see how we do this year.