Jan. 18, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - To prepare for the upcoming 2007 season, purduesports.com will interrupt off-season workouts and sit down with each of the Boilermaker softball players for a short question and answer session. We go Inside the Dugout this week with freshman infielder Amy Butcher, who dishes on her tough choice between soccer and softball, her leadership ability and her love of animals.
In high school, you were all-conference in soccer and softball all four years. What made you want to choose to continue with softball and not soccer?
It was a decision I was trying to make all through my senior year, whether I wanted to soccer or softball. I kept going back and forth. One day it hit me that I wanted to try softball and if that didn't work, then I would try soccer. I've played softball my entire life and I only started playing soccer in the sixth grade. I thought about trying to play soccer here, but it wasn't something I wanted to try right now.
I read that you suffered an injury before your junior soccer season started. What happened?
I got into a car accident with one of my friends. We were on our way to one of our 4-H parades, because one of our friends had a parent that was walking in it. We got into the accident and I suffered a hairline fracture on my fibula. I was on the shelf for about one month, but I was able to fully recover. I was dying to get back and play.
You were team captain of your soccer, basketball, and softball teams during your senior year. What about your personality lent itself to that leadership role?
I know that my coaches have always said that I was a positive team player and they also saw the leadership ability that I have. I always work hard and try not to goof off during practice. I try to set a good example for my teammates. I think I've done a pretty good job so far here.
You had a lot of postseason success in high school, winning four sectional and two regional crowns in softball. How do you expect that success to help you as a Boilermaker?
It's definitely going to be a big help for me, because I'm already ready for a high level of competition. I feel pretty confident in myself as far as playing in the field. I just got switched over to hitting left-handed this year, so I'm not up to par yet there, but I'm getting ready.
How did it feel to be honored with the Most Outstanding Female Athlete Award at your high school (Bellmont)?
It felt really good. I also got voted most athletic. It was something I always strived for. I grew up with three older brothers, so, of course, I've always been a tomboy and I've always loved sports. It was a real honor.
In listing your goals for this season, you said that you hope everyone gets along and is successful. How important do you think good chemistry is to a team?
Good team chemistry is a key to success. There is no "I" in team. I've had teams before where there is one person that is just not with it and when you try to pick them up, they get mad at you. It all goes downhill for there. Team chemistry is so important in that respect.
You've played a lot of shortstop leading up to now and a lot of people describe that position as sort of playing on an island by yourself. Do you embrace that role or look at it differently?
During high school, I always tried to be a brick wall. I pictured myself not letting any ball go through and I wanted to get every ball I possibly could. I always saw myself as a leader and as a good infielder, but I always tried my best to get everything I could.
What role do you expect out of yourself this season and into the future?
This year, my role is to be a courtesy-runner or to go in and get a bunt down. I always want to be there as a cheerleader to help my team. In the future, I hope to get a starting spot and become a lot better slapper.
What emotions were running through your mind when you found out you made the Purdue softball team?
I was excited. At first it didn't hit me right away, but after awhile it hit me all at once and I was really happy. There's always a little bit of doubt with me, but the majority of the time I just tell myself to go out and do my best. The worst that could happen is that I could get cut, so I had nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Are there any schools that you are looking forward to playing as you get ready to start this season?
Indiana is always a big rival. I'm looking forward to playing them because I have a lot of friends that go there. I can't wait for Michigan either, because they're one of the top teams in the Big Ten. I've never been to California, so I can't wait to go out there for the experience.
What has been your favorite part of the college lifestyle so far?
Independence, because in high school I would come home and my parents would always ask me a lot of questions. I have a little bit more freedom here.
What is your least favorite part?
It's definitely the school work. It's been rough so far. I want to try to be a vet, so I took 18 credit hours the first semester. I have 15 credit hours now. It's a little better now, but the work is still tough.
You seem like you're pretty set on becoming a vet.
I've wanted to be a vet all of my life. I used to live across the street from the vet. I've always had a big interest in animals. This year, I think I've decided that I want to be more of a vet tech rather than a vet. A vet tech is more hands-on than a vet. A vet does more of the surgeries and a vet tech is more like a nurse.
What is something that your teammates may not know about you?
I'm a big animal lover. I've always loved animals and I collect stuffed animals. My grandpa gets me one every Christmas. My favorite one is sort of like a mini-hand puppet. I used to carry it around all the time when I was little. My favorite picture is me with my Cubs hat on, a bottle in my mouth, a football in my hand, and the mini in my other hand. That's easily my favorite picture of all-time.