St. Olaf softball has emphatically burst into the 2017 season with a dynamite offense responsible for lopsided victories against Bethany Lutheran (18-0) and Martin Luther (13-1). With eye-popping hitting statistics, including a .643 batting average, .667 OBP, 1.357 slugging percentage and five doubles in 14 at-bats, Emily Carr ’19 has led the charge at the plate, lighting up opposing pitchers and already showing vast improvements over her promising rookie season last year. Perhaps most importantly, she hasn’t struck out yet, showing an uncanny eye for the strike zone and ensuring quality at-bats that propagate rallies. Carr is demonstrating tremendous leadership with the bat, and she’s only a sophomore – the sky’s the limit for the future of her career with St. Olaf softball.
Q: How did you get started playing softball, and what inspired you to keep pursuing it as a passion while growing up?
A: Growing up, I started playing baseball when I was about three because they didn’t offer [softball] for girls that early. I loved it, and eventually switched to softball. I remember when I was probably six or seven I played on this town softball team, I wasn’t one of the better players at all, so I don’t think I got played very much. We were undefeated and won the championship, and I loved winning with my team more than anything, and I think that love of playing the game with my team and winning is what I still carry with me today.
Q: What’s your fondest memory with the Oles so far, and what are you hoping to achieve in the near future, both as a team and individually?
A: My fondest memory would have to be the win over UW-LaCrosse from this past weekend. The energy we brought was incredible, and it took every single one of our 15 players and the coaching staff to come out with the extra-innings win. It’s that resilience and toughness I am the most proud of, and it showed that when we all bring 100 percent, we can take down any opponent. As for the future, my team goal is to be competitive in and win the MIAC, and eventually compete on the national level. Individually, I have the same goals as my team’s goals. Like I said before, I just love winning. Even the best stats in the world don’t mean anything if your team doesn’t win games, so at the end of the day, my team’s success is the only priority.
Q: What’s your mental approach to hitting? What’s going through your mind when you enter the batter’s box, and how does that change depending on the count?
A: My mental approach is honestly just get up there and hit the ball. Obviously when you have less strikes on you there is more leniency as far as what you have to swing at, but for the most part I just go up there knowing I am going to get a hit every time. Watch the ball, take hard cuts at strikes and you’ll get a hit.
Q: What’s been the biggest difference maker or improvement you’ve made since coming to St. Olaf? Alternatively, what’s been an obstacle in adapting to the collegiate level?
A: This year Coach Hatt has been an incredible difference maker for us. I think she has instilled winning values in all of us and I know I speak for the team when I say it’s been a long and sometimes tough road, but one that we also know will pay off. Something that could be seen as a little bit of an obstacle is having our players come from such a variety of backgrounds, but that’s definitely something we use to our advantage. Using each player’s strengths to make the team the best it can be is something we have prided ourselves on so far and is something we will continue to do to find success.