Feb. 6, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Sophomore Kristin Morgan shares about expectations, her career plans, guilty pleasures and leadership in this week's Base By Base. The Vancouver, Wash., native splits time at first base and catcher and is ready for whatever the 2012 season throws her way.
As a sophomore, what do you feel your expectations are individually?
I think we are just expected to be role models for the freshmen, and I think we are expected to set a positive example of what to do; such as being on time with homework, the expectations of Coach Maher and what not. I think this year I'm expected to contribute to the team from wherever they need me, whether that is offensively or defensively.
What do you feel your expectations are as a sophomore class?
I think after having a year under our belt and knowing how it feels not to make it to postseason, we just need to do everything we can and win the games that we should win. We need to exceed the expectations of Coach Maher and the expectations of the program and we need to make it back to postseason. I also think we need to show the freshmen class what the expectations of the program are, and make sure they understand how important it is to win the games that we can, because it only takes one game to not be able to make it back to postseason.
What was the most challenging transition you had to make your freshman year here at Purdue?
I think just having so many different responsibilities, as far as school and softball and then trying to balance a social life on top of that. I played softball in high school, but, as far as meetings and being on time everywhere and the course load and how your grade for a class can be solely based on three tests and all that, it's just so much different.
What is the best advice you can give the freshman class in order to be successful here?
How has your role on the team changed now that you are not a freshman anymore?
I think definitely to be respectful to everybody in the athletic department and to everybody you encounter. All those people are here to make your life easier and to make you better. Respect is a huge thing on the team. Also don't take academics for granted. We know you are here to play softball, but academics should be number one. You need to focus on school because after your softball career is over, that is what you're going to have to fall back on and rely on. Also, be appreciative of your time playing softball here and don't take it for granted.
I think, as far as leadership, my role has changed because now I have people looking up to me for what to do, and also Coach Maher knows that we've been here for a year so there are no excuses to mess up or anything like that.
What is your team goal for the season?
Make it to postseason; I'd really like to experience what that is like. Molly Garst and Katie Hackney are the only two people who have been there and whenever they describe it, it just sounds awesome. And I know this is only my second year, but I feel like the team really needs to make it back there. I also feel like with the program and with the team we have now, we are good enough to make it back.
As a catcher what is it like working with so many different pitchers? Do any of them have their own little quirks?
It's really different, especially working with the three freshmen pitchers and getting to know them. It's a lot easier with Katie (Hackney) and Erika (Petruzzi), being able to tell them what they need to do because I'm so much more comfortable with them. The three new pitchers are really good and are really developing well, but it's just difficult to make sure they have the confidence to be out there. It is college pitching, which can be stressful sometimes, and it's my job to make sure they are calm and have a good mindset every time they pitch.
You have also played first base, what is the adjustment between catching and playing in the field?
I definitely feel like catcher is more of a leadership role. At first base you still always want to be talking and engaged with what's going on, but as the catcher you need to be heads up on every single play. You are expected to be the leader on the field because you're the only one who can really see the whole field the whole time. Playing catcher, there is a lot more talking and direction, and also you have to make sure that your pitcher is comfortable and that they feel confident in what they are going to throw. You have to be on top of making sure you are playing to the best of your ability with throwing and blocks and making the rest of the team look good. It's just very different as far as a leadership role type of position.
You are a law and society major, what do you hope to do with that degree?
I would really like to work for the FBI someday. I really want to be a special agent in the FBI. There are a lot of people in my family who work in law enforcement. A family friend of ours is a canine officer, and my dad used to be a reserve police officer. I will obviously start out at a lower level of law enforcement, but an FBI agent would be the ultimate goal.
What is your guilty pleasure, a TV show, book, song or food that you can't live without?
I'm really into watching the Food Network. It sounds lame, but I watch a lot of Food Network shows, mostly the ones that are baking challenge type shows. Cupcake Wars definitely, Top Chef, The Next Food Network Star, all of those. I really like cooking. I'm not the best at it, but I enjoy doing it.
Also, I really like peanut butter, I'm obsessed with it. I'll put it on anything.
If you could plan your last meal, what would you eat and who would you spend that time with?
I would definitely spend it with my family. I would probably just want a big home-cooked meal made by my mom. I really like different types of pasta, like spaghetti. My mom is Italian so she makes homemade spaghetti sauce and stuff like that all the time, that's always really good. So, we would probably eat some Italian type of pasta, spaghetti or lasagna or something like that.
What song is on your iPod that might surprise your friends and teammates?
I listen to a lot of rap music. I like pretty hardcore rap music. Lil Wayne is probably my favorite. I also like Drake, Dr. Dre, and the Ying Yang Twins. Pretty much just hardcore kind of raps songs are what I listen to.
What is something about you that most people don't know?
Probably that I came to Purdue as a walk on. I am also not from here, so it was pretty much like an invited walk on. Coach Maher knew I was coming. I came to a camp here my junior year of high school, so I didn't get any scholarship money my first year, but I've worked hard and now have a scholarship and am on the team.