March 11, 2010
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Senior third baseman Liane Horiuchi sat down purduesports.com to chat about some of her goals for the season as well as the outstanding achievement of being named a Lowe's Senior CLASS Award nominee. The chemistry major also talks about her hopes of attending pharmacy school in the near future.
The Wahiawa, Hawaii, native has an impressive background as Boilermaker. She holds the season record for stolen bases with 42 in 2009, and ranks sixth all-time in the NCAA with 55 consecutive steals. After transferring from Tennessee, Horiuchi redshirted the 2008 season due to transfer rules. In 2009, she was named second team All-Big Ten at third base, and honored for work in the classroom with first team Academic All-District V and Academic All-Big Ten accolades. Thus far in 2010, Horiuchi leads the team with a .382 batting average and 13 stolen bases.
Tell us a little bit about the season so far. How do you think it's going?
It's not what we envisioned and what we hoped for, so far, but I think we still have to take advantage of the opportunities we have. We are working really hard to get where we want to be. Our goals can still be accomplished, so we are still working toward that.
Have you seen improvement every week as things continue?
Every weekend we progress and get better. I think a lot has to do with practicing and working on things we need to work on.
You guys have played some tough teams so far and it's only going to get tougher. Do you think that's going to prepare the team for later in the season?
Yes, it's always so much fun to play against the best in the nation. One of our goals is to be where they are. To be there, we have to compete with them. It's always a challenge and I think this trip is going to provide a lot of good opportunities for us.
Many of the team's losses, including those against tough opponents, have been in really close games. Does that give you positive signs?
Being so far from home, has it been hard to adjust?
I think just knowing that we can compete with them says a lot about our team. We just need to learn how to close the door and finish the game off strong.
Since it's my fifth year, I've pretty much settled in here. I'm really close with my family so of course I always miss them, no matter what.
What do you miss the most about Hawaii?
Definitely my family. We are a very close family. My mom actually might get to come down at the end of the season, so I'm excited about that!
Will that be the first time your family has seen you play in college?
My family came to watch me play at the College World Series my freshman and sophomore years, but besides that they haven't seen me play. They haven't come to Purdue and they didn't come to Tennessee either.
For them to experience what I'm going through and the college atmosphere that I'm living in would be wonderful.
Do they watch on GameTracker, listen on the radio or call you after or anything?
Everyday! They watch it on GameTracker and they buy the Big Ten Network. I always get phone calls after the game.
How has softball impacted your life?
I think it has taught me a lot of the values that I need in order to be successful when I get out in to the real world. I have built a lot of friendships and relationships, whether it be with my teammates, coaches, or the administration. I think that knowing that I have these relationships is good.
When I apply to pharmacy school, they really like the fact that I'm a student-athlete. They know I'm able to balance both the rigors of softball and academics.
Speaking of that, what interests you about pharmacy? How is the pharmacy school appication process going?
I've always had a desire to help people. I really wanted to get involved, first with my family's lives, and also with the Hawaiian community, as well. That's kind of what started it all.
As far as pharmacy school, I just found out I got in to University of Hawaii at Hilo. I just interviewed with Purdue and Colorado and should be hearing from them shortly.
So it's kind of an exciting time, yet also a waiting game right now?
It's very nerve-racking! But, of course, I'm always very excited to see where I could end up. To attend a well-known, prestigious program would be awesome.
You mentioned Colorado... Denver is your favorite city. What is it about Denver that really gets you?
The thing I like about Denver is that, one, it is definitely closer to home. Also, I just love the atmosphere and the people are very friendly. I want to get more involved, especially when softball is done I'm going to have to fill some time besides school. I love the fact that they have so much to offer as far as other activities like skiing, snowboarding or water rafting. That's another major reason.
You have said you want to make an impact on the world. Do you see pharmacy school as a stepping stone to that? Do you want to go back to Hawaii and make a big difference there?
I think ultimately I want to move back to Hawaii. I think as a Hawaiian culture we have a passion to help other Hawaiians. I definitely want to go back to Hawaii, eventually, especially to be close to my family. It's still something that I'm thinking about.
I know you don't have a lot of extra time, but what do you like to do outside of softball?
I love to play board games or any type of games! Cards, too. It doesn't really take too much energy because I try to save that for studying and for softball. Cranium and Euchre are my two favorites.
Tell me about your elephant, Jimmy.
How do you know about that?! I got Jimmy about two years ago. I've never really had a stuffed animal, but I find it to be very comforting. He's a tiny, stuffed elephant. He's a good snuggler!
You own a lot of Purdue records and have been honored by the Big Ten for academic and softball achievements. What is the key to your success?
Time management. I also believe that in order to be successful in whatever you do, you have to be dedicated. So, whether or not I'm in softball or school, whatever I'm doing at the time, I give that all of my attention. I just do the best I can at whatever I'm doing at the moment.
What do you hope to get out of your senior year? What are you expecting for yourself and the team?
For myself, I definitely want to leave the program with my best season yet. I think, more important, is taking this team to the next level. I hope that we return to Regionals, and possibly Super Regionals.
Tell us a little bit about your Senior CLASS Award nomination. Is it great to know that someone notices you doing really well in different areas?
It's very humbling when you receive an award that is about all of these different facets of your life, not just school or softball. It's about leadership and community service, too. I think that's probably one of the awards that I am most proud of.
Just being nominated must feel pretty cool because only 30 people in the country can say that.
Definitely! To be honest, I was not expecting it. Now that it has happened, it is a great blessing.
Anything else you want to say?
I want to say hello to my family and tell them that I miss them and love them very much!