Jan. 17, 2012
As the 2012 season approaches, purduesports.com continues its Base By Base series, getting to know the softball team personnel.
This week, we look into Louisville bred infielder Lauren Grant who shared about her increased confidence, her hopes for the season and her multiple talents. As a freshman, the girl with thick Kentucky accent and strong Midwestern can-do attitude earned herself a spot on the All Big Ten third team as a utility player. The positive-minded Grant hopes to leave the challenges of freshmen year behind her and start anew.
As a sophomore what do you feel your expectations are individually and as a sophomore class?
Individually, I feel like my expectations have changed a lot from my freshman year. Losing Suzie (Rzegocki) is definitely a big deficit to our team, I think, because she was such a strong pitcher. I know the other pitching staff and I helped her out when we could, but now she's gone, so it's more up to me and the other pitchers to get it done in the circle. As a class I think we are really expected to step it up this year. We are such a big class, there are more sophomores on the team than any other class, so we really need to just step up, and lead our team on the field.
What was the most challenging transition you had to make your freshman year here at Purdue?
The biggest transition between my two years was being able to focus more on pitching than anything else. Last year I played more first base and I was DP so I hit a lot. I still plan to work on my hitting as well, but being able to focus in more on pitching more than anything has been the biggest change.
How will your attitude change this season now that you have your first season under your belt?
I'm a lot more excited for this season, now that I know how the season goes. I'm also not going to be nearly as nervous or anxious about things as much as last year. I think the biggest thing though is that I will have a lot more confidence.
What are your personal goals for the season?
I definitely want to have more pitching time in the circle. With the rest of the pitching staff - we have so many pitchers - and the coaches trying to rotate us in and out, I feel like I can help out a lot there. For hitting as well, I am a very powerful hitter, and I think now with having my new confidence and a year under my belt, I'm going to be able to come out as a stronger hitter.
What are your team goals for the season?
I think collectively our team's one goal is to make it back to the NCAA Tournament, since we've been out of it for two years. It's been a big hurt on our team, so I think that getting there is the one thing that we really are working toward.
What do you hope to improve on from your freshman year?
My mental game. Last year I went up and down a lot, and still coming out last year with the 3rd team All Big Ten award, I think helped me mentally to come back with the confidence needed for this year.
What is the best advice you can give the incoming freshman to be successful here?
I'd say to just work hard all the time. There is no time at all in the offseason or during the season to slack off, or not give 100 percent. They just need to know how to come in, and get their jobs done.
You played several different positions as a freshman, and earned all Big Ten honors, what did that mean to you? How do you adjust between pitching, playing the field and hitting?
It meant a lot to me, especially with my season being so up and down. For me to still receive an honor, it definitely helped me out a lot knowing that something good came out of the season. In terms of adjusting, I just have to think about what I need to get done personally, whether it's pitching, hitting or playing the field. If I'm pitching obviously I need to be able to sit hitters down; if I'm hitting I need to get on base and score runs; and if I'm playing the field I just need to help the pitcher that's in the circle at the time.
You are from Louisville which is not too far away, is there a difference between home and West Lafayette? Are there any major adjustments you had to make?
There is a big difference between Louisville and here. I'd say weather is the biggest. Louisville, and I think just Kentucky in general, is a more laid back kind of place. It's definitely different, like the weather, and how it is very unpredictable up here, but I think I've adjusted well.
How would you describe yourself to others, how do you think your teammates would describe you?
I would describe myself as a quiet, kind of keep-to-myself type of person. I just like to focus in on me, and do what I need to do, to be successful. As for what my teammates would say, I think they would say I am quiet as well. I can get excited very easily, and be loud when I need to, and that I'm just a country girl.
What is something most people don't know about you?
I think something that most people don't know is that from when I was five until I was fourteen I played the piano.
What is your guilty pleasure? A song you like, a tv show that people would be surprised you watch, or a food you can't live without?
I think a TV show that I couldn't live without would be Criminal Minds. I personally love that show. At one point I wanted to be a profiler, I love it. I think people would be surprised that I watch this too because I hate anything scary. Being able to watch this show, and not be scared by it or not be afraid that anything like that would happen to me, I think is definitely a big shocker to my friends and teammates and myself.