May 1, 2007
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Throughout the season, purduesports.com sat down with each of the Boilermaker softball players for a short question and answer session. For the final time this season, we go Inside the Dugout with senior outfielder Catherine Zaworski, who dishes on the team's postseason chances, her teammates' feelings about her, and her own feelings toward her teammates.
You guys had a two big series last weekend, losing two to Ohio State but then sweeping a doubleheader from Penn State. How huge was it for the team to come back and take those two games from the Nittany Lions?
It was really important to sweep Penn State, because it put us in a better position going into this weekend and then the Big Ten Tournament. We really needed those two, especially after dropping two to Ohio State. Hopefully it will allow us to get a better seed once we start Big Tens.
The team has two big games left in the regular season, both against Indiana this weekend. What needs improvement as you guys go forward?
I would say we still need to get better at finishing games. Sometimes at the end of games, we slip up a little bit. We need to really finish strong and play well throughout the whole game.
You guys are sixth in the Big Ten right now, with the potential to move up after this weekend's batch of games. Do you think you guys can make some major noise in the Big Ten Tournament?
If we could move up to fifth, that would be great. One of our goals at the beginning of the year was to finish in the top-5 in the conference. I think we are capable of anything, though. We have beaten ourselves in a lot of the losses we had this year. If we work together and pick each other up, we can be really strong once the conference tournament starts. We need to bring offense, defense, and pitching all at once. We've come up short or beaten ourselves too many times this year. We know we have the potential to be something great.
You've made the Big Ten Tournament one time in your career (2005) and you've never been to the NCAA Tournament. How cool would it be to not only go back to the Big Ten Tourney, but also make the NCAAs for the first time?
I think that would be a perfect way to end my senior year. Making the Big Ten Tournament has always been our goal. It seems easy enough, but we've struggled with it. To actually go and make some noise in the postseason would be a great way to end my career.
What do you want to do when you're done playing softball?
I graduate this May and I want to get into graphic design, especially something having to do with sports or a sports team. I haven't found anything yet, but I'll look more after the season when I can devote a little more time to it.
What made you first want to play softball as a kid?
I started with baseball and I always enjoyed it. As I was going into high school, I started thinking about college. My dad pointed out to me that I should try to play softball in college, so I made the switch. From then on, I loved it.
When did you realize that you were going to be good enough to play in college?
I think my dream was always to play at the college level. I always wanted to in high school. It was something that I always expected out of myself and knew that I could do it.
In high school, you not only were a very good softball player, but you were a fairly decent bowler as well. What made you get into that?
I decided to go out for the bowling team my senior year of high school. I wasn't very good at the beginning of the year. The coaches worked with me and I learned a lot about the game. It was a lot of fun. I actually had bowling class this semester, so I really enjoyed that.
What are you going to miss most about Purdue softball?
I'll really miss the personalities. My friendships with my teammates have really grown over the last four years. I'm going to miss playing softball and competing on a team. I probably won't ever compete like this again playing softball. I'm trying to live it up and have the best time that I can.
One of the questions we usually end with asks which teammate you look up to and which attribute you would take from them. A lot of your teammates mentioned you and your work ethic and demeanor on and off the field. How does it feel knowing your teammates look up to so much?
It makes me feel very proud. I feel really honored that people feel that way. I personally just try to give everything I can all the time. I try to lead by example. I'm glad they recognize that and am really touched that they would say that about me.
What about for you? If you can steal any of your teammate's attributes, what would it be and why?
Honestly, there's not one that I could pinpoint. Everyone on this team has an attribute that I admire. I could name something that I look up to about each person, each of my 21 teammates.