May 19, 2011
Irish junior catcher Kristina Wright and her Notre Dame teammates begin will begin their drive to the NCAA College World Series this week when they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich., for the Ann Arbor Regional. The 24th-ranked Irish begin play on Friday, May 20 at 5:30 p.m. versus No. 23 Kentucky with No. 2 Michigan facing Western Michigan at 8:00 p.m. Notre Dame's game will be televised on ESPN2. A native of Ramona, Calif., Wright is a standout defensive catcher as she had a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage (97 chances) in 16 games (11 starts) this season. That came after a sophomore year in 2010 that saw her record a .995 fielding mark, the 12th-best in school history. In those 16 games this season, Wright has collected two hits while driving in a pair of runs while helping Notre Dame to a 45-9 overall record and the BIG EAST regular-season championship. A three-time all-Valley League (Calif.) performer in high school, Wright is a Marketing major in the Mendoza College of Business. Prior to the BIG EAST Tournament, und.com's Vicky Jacobsen sat down with Wright to talk about herself and Notre Dame softball.
When did you start catching and why did you beginning playing the position? I started catching full time when I was a sophomore in high school. I played third base and had a really good arm and our team didn't have a catcher for that year so my coach put me behind the plate. I did pretty well there, so it's been my position ever since then.
What is the most difficult aspect of being a catcher? The hardest aspect of being a catcher is balancing out the mental aspect of softball. Not only do we have to perform athletically, but we have to communicate with pitchers, players, and coaches on the field, run the entire team by leading them vocally, know how to call pitches and stabilize your pitcher when they are struggling and so on.
What is the most interesting or enjoyable trip you've ever taken for softball? When I was 14, my travel ball team took a trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado. While we were in the middle of a game, a huge lightning storm broke out and we all had to run for the vans like crazy. I just remember everyone screaming and laughing; we were so scared that we would get struck by lightning but it was one of the most fun trips of my career.
What is the most unhelpful advice you've ever been given? The most unhelpful advice I get is probably "keep your eye on the ball!" My mom always yells that, no matter how I'm doing hitting. She heard my dad say that one time when I was about ten years old and I think that's the only piece of advice that she knows about softball.
Who was your favorite athlete when you were growing up? Growing up, my favorite athlete was Trevor Hoffman, the relief pitcher for the Padres.
Who is your favorite athlete now? My favorite athlete is David Ortiz....Big Papi!!!
What is your favorite kid's movie? My favorite kid's movie is The Little Mermaid.
What is your favorite summertime activity? My favorite activity during the summer is tanning outside on the softball field.
What is the one act you would most like to see in concert this summer? I would love to see Lady Antebellum in concert.
What is your dream vacation spot? My dream vacation spot is the Bahamas.
What is the song that will always remind you of the 2010-2011 school year? The most memorable song from this school year is "Teach Me How To Dougie" by California Swag District.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be? My superpower would be Automatic transportation.
Which of your teammates is the best at making everyone laugh? My funniest teammate is Lex Clay.
If the softball team gave out team superlatives, what award would you win? I would be named Best Rapper.
What do you do to pass the time during a rain delay? I usually spend rain delays eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
What is the funniest thing that has happened while you were with the softball team so far this season? The funniest thing that's happened this season was Jackie Bowe singing "Forget You" by Cee Lo Green for her spotlight (after every win one of the girls has to put her iPod in and sing in front of the whole team).
What was the biggest difference between Notre Dame and the other colleges that you considered attending? The biggest difference was the level of academic excellence. Notre Dame was the best school that I looked at as far as academics.
Where is your favorite spot to study for finals? My study spot is the 12th floor of Hesburgh Library.
What is the one thing that you still need to cross off your Notre Dame Bucket list? I still need to kiss someone under Lyons Hall arch.
What is your favorite Notre Dame tradition? My favorite Notre Dame tradition is the Football pep rallies. All the girls on the team go. I love doing the cheers and hearing the speeches from the players and Brian Kelly.