Feb. 14, 2012
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Sophomore outfielder Andie Varsho had a decorated freshman year, picking up All-Region, All-Big Ten and multiple Big Ten Player of the Week accolades. In this week's featured Q&A, Varsho shares about her mindset regarding those awards, her expectations for 2012 and her multiple talents off the field.
As a sophomore, what do you feel your expectations are individually?
I think my expectations are to really be fundamentally sound offensively and defensively especially in the outfield. I struggled with my role in the outfield a little bit and the fundamentals in general, so I think I'm pretty sound out there this year and I'm a lot more confident. I think, overall, I'm expected to have more confidence in myself and pick my teammates up, and definitely go out there giving 100 percent every day.
What do you feel your expectations are as a sophomore class?
I think that since the underclassmen are the majority of the team, as a sophomore class we really need to lead and support the upperclassmen as much as possible.
What was the most challenging transition you had to make your freshman year here at Purdue?
I would say the speed of the game. Coming from high school to a Division I college softball is so different, but, once practice started and I understood the new pace of the game, everything kind of fell into place.
What is the best advice you can give the incoming freshman class in order to be successful here?
Time management and know what your priorities are. Your priorities should be: school first, softball second and then your social life. You are coming here for a reason and everyone expects a lot out of you, so give 100 percent, not only in softball, but also for academics as well.
How has your role on the team changed now that you are not a freshman anymore?
You received a lot of accolades last season, including several freshman of the week awards, third team All-Big Ten and first team All-Midwest Region selections. Did you expect to be that successful? How do you keep those awards from going to your head and stay focused on the game at hand?
I think more is expected of me. I think mostly just to be fundamentally sound and have people rely on me and come to me for advice because I've been there before. I've been out in the field, I already have a year under my belt for school, and I think that now that I'm older I am definitely a good role model for the younger girls to look up to.
The past is the past. That year is done, and I just need to come out and be a better player then I was last year. That has always been my goal, to be better than my previous year. I did not expect those awards at all. I came in wanting to play, and not knowing if I was going to start or if I was even going to be on the team in general, so all those awards came as a surprise. I think that as long as I work hard and have confidence in my abilities, I'll be fine.
You stole 34 bases last year, tied for the most on the team and fifth in Purdue history. Do you someday hope to break teammate Molly Garst's career record?
Molly's awesome, I don't want to beat any record that she has, but if it helps the team I want to steal as many bases as possible. My goal has always been to steal 50 bases in one season, but if the game doesn't let you do that then that's fine. I don't want to steal bases just to steal bases; I want to steal bases to help my team. As long as I keep playing how I'm playing and helping my team in general, a record like that doesn't matter to me, just as long as we're winning.
Your Dad was a professional baseball player; do you ever feel pressured to be good at sports because of his success? Do people ever approach you and ask about your dad?
Yes, many people ask me about my dad. A lot of people tell me that that is why I'm so good at sports, but just because your parents are good at sports does not mean that you're going to have the genes to do it too. I definitely think hard work and determination are big factors. I hate losing, and maybe that's partly because I've been raised up in sports my entire life, but I still have to go out every day, put the work in and go out 100 percent. I think it is partially because of my parents and my upbringing, but also its part of my character as well.
You got the chance to sing the national anthem at a few major league games and have even done so at one of our Purdue softball games. What makes you more nervous; stepping into the batter's box against a big time pitcher, diving in for a sliding catch in the outfield or getting ready to sing to thousands of people?
I think it depends. I'm more nervous singing in front of people I know than singing in front of strangers. So, I think singing the national anthem for Purdue was a lot more nerve wracking then it was for a major league stadium. But, I think it depends on the situation.
I am more comfortable in my abilities to play softball right now because I practice it every day. Singing is just something I do in the shower, casually or when I'm walking on the street. So I think I'm more confident in playing softball, or stepping into the batter's box or making a diving catch.
What is your guilty pleasure, a TV show, book, song or food that you can't live without?
I watch my TV shows religiously every night. I could not live without Pretty Little Liars on Monday nights, Glee on Tuesdays, America's Next Top Model or American Idol on Wednesdays, and then Thursday is by far my favorite with Vampire Diaries. Those are my guilty pleasures of TV shows.
The food I could not live without would be chocolate covered marshmallow Santas or Easter eggs or pumpkins. I put them in the freezer and I eat them all the time. I eat like three a day.
If you could plan your last meal, what would you eat and who would you spend that time with?
I would spend it with my two dogs, Stella and Frankie, my sister Taylor, my brother Dalton and definitely my parents, but if I had to pick one, it'd be Stella. I would just want Stella to sit next to me and cuddle up to me. But I'd say I'd probably just eat all dessert: cheesecake, white chocolate raspberry cheesecake especially, chocolate santas and Starbucks caramel macchiato ice cream.
What song is on your iPod that might surprise your friends and teammates?
I'm pretty typical; I'm pretty consistent with what I listen to. I listen to country a lot and I rarely listen to rap. I probably have only three total rap songs on my iPod, which is kind of bad, but just country in general. I have a lot of Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan.
Did you go to the Luke Bryan concert when he came to Purdue?
Yes! I loved it!
What is something about you that most people don't know?
I'm terrible at golf; the ball will roll the opposite direction down the fairway. My hidden talent is that I can "play" Mary Had a Little Lamb with my mouth and my hands.
Also, something people don't know about me is that in high school I was ranked number seven in the state of Wisconsin for tennis. I was brought up as a tennis player. Softball was obviously in my genes, but tennis was my sport when I was young.
How would you describe yourself to a stranger? And how do you think this description might be different than from what your teammates or coaches might say?
To a stranger, I'd probably tell them that I'm athletic, hard working and nice. I rarely say anything bad about anyone, I will help anyone out in any way I can, and I give great advice. If someone comes to me with a problem, I'll help them through it.
I think my teammates would probably say that I'm kind of quiet. I don't really think I'm quiet, but I am kind of reserved. I talk when I need to; I don't talk just to talk.