Friday, August 10, 2012

Lauren Kennewell Steps Into Justin's World

How many of you know the name Lauren Kennewell? Right now, perhaps not many. But this young lady is primed and set to become a name that all of you will – and should – remember.

For starters, this young lady was a three-year letter-winner in high school before joining the Iowa State Cyclones pitching staff. She ended her collegiate career in 2012 with a selection to the First Team Academic All-Big 12, which followed her being named to the Second Team in her junior year.

But Lauren is much more than a softball player. Although she is a native Texan, next month she will compete in the Miss Iowa pageant. Now, be honest here, how many young women do you know of that are masters on the softball field AND have the beauty to become their state’s Miss America representative? There aren’t many.

On a personal level, Lauren has been a very down-to-earth person in our online correspondences and even mentioned that she was “looking forward to reading” this post. You wanna talk about pressure?!

She was very kind in agreeing to this interview, and I want to make sure I thank her for that! If you’d like to friend Lauren on Facebook or follow her on Twitter, you can do so by clicking on the site’s names to go to her pages. Also, you can check out her gofundme page, where she is trying to reach a monetary goal before the Miss Iowa pageant, here.

Q: During your career @ I. State, besides Southwest Athletic Complex, what was your favorite stadium to play in?
A: Besides playing at home my favorite stadium to play in was probably 
Oklahoma's because it's the closest to my hometown so I always had a big crowd there. When we played there my junior year 18 people showed up for our Saturday game. It's about 2.5 hours away from Flower Mound.

Q: As a Christian, how have your religious beliefs affected your play on the field and your softball career as a whole?
A: I had to deal with a lot of adversity (broken arm, coaches, playing time) throughout my softball career and believing that there is something bigger out there, a plan designed specifically for me by God, really helped me stick with it.

Q: Who is your hero or role model, and how has that person’s influence affected your play on the field?
A: My parents. They both have a faith that's infectious. My mom has been through an unbelievable amount of valleys but she continues to come out on top. She told me to, "keep working hard because sooner or later the coaches will have to play you--they want to win. Focus on yourself and not what others are doing. I believe in you and I am proud of you." These words of hers stuck with me throughout high school and college. My dad was also on the receiving end of countless calls of frustration but he always knew what to say. During this past season I was dealing with confusion and animosity and he told me to "be grateful for what I have received these past 4 years... a great education, teammates that will last a lifetime, an amazing boyfriend and the opportunity to play the sport I love at one of the toughest competition available." He told me to "play for my God, play for my teammates and play for myself... not anyone else."

Q: How did you get your start playing softball?
A: My dad played baseball in college so he got us started at a young age. We are a very big softball/baseball family. My oldest sister played until college, my second oldest sister play for 4 years at Mizzou and my little brother is playing at 
Northern Oklahoma junior college this next year. We were always out in the Cul-de-sac tossing the ball around and hitting wiffles. My dad got me started in pitching when I was 9 because he knew I was going to be tall. He is 6'7 and all of his kids are now 5'10 or taller so I guess he was right.

Q: Who would play you in a film about your life?
A: People always say I look and sound like Emma Stone so maybe her. I think it would be fitting because she's not a girly girl but she's not a tomboy... she's right in the middle just like me.

Q: Let’s say you were Aladdin and the genie agreed to grant you three wishes. What would you ask for?
A: The first wish would be 1. Health for my family (present and the future). My second wish would be 2. Funds to travel and help those in need. Finally, I would save my third wish for the future. At the moment I am happy-- I would want to put that wish in my pocket in case something came up that needed a miracle. 

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