Softball Seniors Reflect; Pass On Advice For Those To Come

May 3, 2013

As the UIC softball team heads in to its final weekend of conference play against Cleveland State the team has the opportunity to hold on to first place. The weekend will also honor six seniors. Those six seniors, Teresa Aguilar, Cyndi Becker, Kara Komp, Devin Miller, Melissa Preish and Coryn Schmit sat down to reflect on their softball careers at UIC and pass along words of widsom for the classes to come.

Most Memorable Play:

“My first collegiate homerun against Michigan State at the Arizona State Tournament. Also, my first at-bat was a double off of a Nebraska pitcher in the New Mexico State tournament whom I played with all throughout travel ball.”— Laura Swan, Freshman

“My most memorable moment this year was my first college at-bat. It was a base on ball, but the first at bat is something I'm going to remember forever.”—Alex Wyss, Freshman

“The most memorable play for me would be calling Devin’s no hitter against Green Bay.”—Erica Hampton, Sophomore

“My most memorable hit this year was my double with the bases loaded against Valparaiso. Coryn had been intentionally walked before me, so it made me want to get it done more than ever. I had been in the same situation in my first at bat and I didn't get it done, so it felt really nice to be able to hit the ball hard and score some runs.”—Jenna Marsalli, Junior



“The most memorable hit that I personally had this season was when I hit a grand slam at Detroit. Although those four runs did not determine if we won the game or not, it was my first collegiate grand slam, so it was pretty fun to have that moment with all my teammates.”—Jacki Fletcher, Junior

“My most memorable hit was during preseason at the ASU tournament. I had been struggling at the plate and was in a clutch situation. Runners were on second and third. I hit a shot to right field far enough in the gap to reach third base. Not only did I get out of my slump, but Coach V and the team were going nuts for me, and it was in front of my family! My most memorable play was last week against NIU. It was the bottom of the 7th score is 5-4 two outs runner on 2nd. Batter hits a solid ground ball to me and I give our catcher, Erica Hampton, a toss on line while the runner is sliding home to tie the game. She tags her out, we win!”—Courtney Heeley, Junior

Favorite Memory With The Team:

Van rides during preseason.”—Laura Swan

“The road trips we take. It’s great to get to know everyone a little better and the bonding we do on the road trips. The pep band cheer is another good memory. We love that chant and everyone gets really into it: You don't wanna go to war with the Flames!”—Alex Wyss

“Going to Courtney’s family’s house for a Mexican fiesta.”—Erica Hampton

“I don't have one specific favorite memory from this year. I enjoy all my time with my teammates. They're a great group of people and fun to be around. Halloween was really fun, and so was volunteering at the Chicago Marathon.”—Jenna Marsalli

“This team has a lot of good memories, but I would say my favorite memory is when our coaches were going to wear uniforms to one of our games. Unfortunately, the game was rained out, but they still wore the uniforms for a while at practice that day, so we all got a good laugh when we walked into the cages and saw them in full uniforms.”—Jacki Fletcher

“This group has so many humorous personalities which usually having me laughing hysterically at least once a day. I think my favorite memory was when we were in Arizona. Having the team over for dinner and meeting the family was very memorable. I'm an extremely family oriented person, so I get stoked when people get to meet those amazing people in my family. They get to see where I come from. Plus showing them what real Mexican food is all about was a good time. Everyone loved it and I was at home!”—Courtney Heeley

Self-Advice For Next Season:

“Stay focused and continue to work hard, on and off the field. Put in the work and good results will exist. No matter what, we will all go through some sort of failure/difficulty, but continue to push through it. Stay positive.”—Laura Swan

“Live in the moment, and enjoy every second of playing for the University. Never take this amazing opportunity for granted. I'm so blessed to be here playing today and doing what I love.”—Alex Wyss

“Stay relaxed and take it one day at a time. Don’t stress over little things.”—Erica Hampton

“Stay relaxed and play like you're the best team. Don't let anything get in the way.”—Jenna Marsalli

“Be an excellent leader; approach your last year of school and softball with crazy amounts of enthusiasm and passion. Don't have any regrets on the field, play every game like it was the last game you ever get to play! Also, make sure you're there for the underclassmen. Remember what it was like when you were in their shoes, be a positive support system for them.”—Jacki Fletcher

“Be patient. Don't let things seem bigger than they really are. In any situation.”—Courtney Heeley

Next Year’s Vision:

I think that if we keep playing like we are now and become even more consistent and learn from mistakes, we will sweep every series in Horizon League.”—Laura Swan

“This time next year I hope to be in the same situation we are now, hopefully even better. I think we are doing very well in conference and I hope to win conference this year and the next three years I am here.”—Alex Wyss

“I see the team on top of conference, planning to host and win the Horizon League Conference Tournament.”—Erica Hampton

“Hopefully at this point next year we will be leading the conference in wins and looking to host the Horizon League Tournament!”—Jenna Marsalli

“This time next year, I see our team is dominating the Horizon League! The team next year will definitely be different because we have a lot of people coming in and also a lot of people graduating, so I think at the beginning of the season we will be learning a lot about how each other plays and learning to develop team chemistry. However, by this time next year (halfway through conference season), I see us developing that team chemistry that makes us as strong as we are this year!”—Jacki Fletcher

“Next year we're definitely going to have a young group. The upper classmen will consist of 4 seniors and 2 juniors. I don't know much about the incoming group, but I know our returners are a hard working dedicated group. Every year, we do our best to be top competitors in the Horizon League and I don't expect anything less for next year. Losing our senior class will be a huge deficit, but I expect to be right back on top next season.”—Courtney Heeley

First-Year Lessons Learned:

“I learned how to live on my own. My high school prepared me extremely well for college, but just the experience of living entirely across the country is amazing. I have become even closer with my family, even though they are so far away. I think that living and going to school in Chicago has only provided me with endless opportunities to grow as an individual.”—Laura Swan

“I learned to stay away from the aggressive Natalie Hernandez when it comes to competition games, you might get hurt (just kidding… kinda). I also learned that you really need to embrace the opportunity and make the most of what you have and always strive for more.”—Alex Wyss

2016 Softball Seniors:

“I expect our team to the best it ever was when my class is seniors. I think that we each have awesome experience with the game of softball and we each contribute something different to the team. Even though these qualities might not show now, I believe that as we grow with each other, these qualities will shine brightly. We have all the talent in the world to lead our team to victories and championships.”—Laura Swan

“I hope to be just like the seniors we have now. I feel that they handled their leadership responsibility and really made a difference in the program. I want to continue the greatness that they brought to the program and continue to make the program better. They did a lot of work outside the program to make a difference in the community as well and I hope to do the same in three years.”—Alex Wyss