Nov. 1, 2006
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 Ashley Barr, who talks about her need to prove herself, how she became a left-handed hitter and her passion for painting.
What are you looking forward to bringing to the team this season?
I'm a slapper, so hopefully I'll be on base a lot. I'm also pretty fast. I'd like to break some records while I'm here, maybe in stolen bases. In the outfield, I want to make a lot of catches and hopefully steal some home runs.
What convinced you that Purdue was going to be the right school for you?
The coaches were great and it felt more like home compared to other schools. I was also looking at Michigan State, Utah State and Boston College, but I really like it here.
How has the transition been from being a high school student to a college student?
I've always had to work really hard to get good grades. I think I've had to step it up even more since I've gotten here. There's been a lot more studying and the tests are a little bit harder. I like some parts of the college lifestyle, but I miss not having dinner ready for me when I get home.
What are some of your impressions of the coaching staff so far?
I'm not really surprised by anything yet. They're really intense and I expected that. At the same time, they're personable and everything has been good so far.
What were some of the emotions going through your mind during some of your first few practices as a Boilermaker?
During conditioning, I was thinking, `What have I gotten myself into!' After awhile, everything started to get easier. As far as softball goes and practicing with the team, it was a lot like I expected and a lot of fun.
Are there any teams that you're looking forward to playing this season?
I'm actually really excited to play Idaho State. They're going to be at one of our tournaments and I know a bunch of girls on their team. Growing up, a lot of people said that no girl from Idaho can play Division I in college. I'm one of two girls that are from Idaho and playing D-I, so it will be nice to prove myself a little bit and show people what I have.
Has it been difficult moving from Idaho to Indiana?
The weather is pretty similar with very distinct seasons, but it's been hard to be away from my family. I'm very family-oriented and it's been tough to be away from my parents. I talk to my mom on the phone two or three times a day.
How did you learn to bat left-handed and throw right-handed?
I started out hitting right-handed and all I got was a lot of base-hits and RBIs. I wasn't very big, but I was fast, so when I was playing in U-14, my coaches thought they could use my speed better from the left side. They switched me over and it took me about one or two years to get used to it but I just took off from there.
What are some of the best and worst things about playing in the outfield?
The best thing is that you get to make game-winning catches. We steal home runs and make diving catches that no one thinks we can get. The worst thing is when the ball does get passed you, it's your own fault. If it gets passed you, it's gone, because there is no one else behind you.
What is something that most people don't know about you?
I really like to paint. The latest one I did was for my high school. It was a picture of an Italian setting with buildings and flowers. I've always been kind of artistic with drawing and coloring. I just started painting my junior year of high school because that's when I realized I could paint, too.
I read that you're sort of a perfectionist. Is that something you would change about yourself is do you think that's a good quality?
One of the benefits about it is that I like to get things done right the first time. I'll end up doing something myself to make sure that it gets done right. The problem is that it's really stressful, because if I do mess up, I have to start over again and make sure it's perfect the next time.