Monday, September 16, 2013

Megan Turk Steps Into Justin's World

I recently had the opportunity to have a conversation with the heroine of one of the greatest moments in Baylor softball history; any Big 12 softball fan will probably remember this young lady's walk-off 11th-inning home run against the Bears' fierce rival Texas A&M Aggies. But Megan Turk had a fine career surrounding that hit, and it was a pleasure to interview her.

Megan was an everyday starter for the Bears, and she was a fixture in their lineup. Her name became synonymous with the Bears, at least for me, as her career continued; but perhaps her most impressive achievement were her three Academic All-Big 12 conference selections. For someone pursuing a psychology degree, that's even more extraordinarily great.

Megan's home run against A&M may be her most memorable moment, but she was an effective and deadly offensive player throughout her career at BU. If you haven't already, you'll want to connect with this former Bears star on Twitter @MeganTurk00

Why did you choose #00?
I always wanted to be a little different and didn't think generic numbers would suit me. But when #00 was not an option, I love to wear double numbers. I've been know to rock #11 & #33 as well.

What led you to choose psychology as your major area of study? Is that a field you've always been interested in?
Psychology has forever been an interest of mine because it presents an opportunity to learn about why people are the way that they are. Throughout undergrad, I learned a lot about relationships with people, whether they be classmates, acquaintance, friends, or family, and how important those interactions are in our lives.
I took a conflict and communication class as an elective once and fell in love with the science of communicating, so I decided to Communications as a second major. There are so many interesting aspects of how people manipulate and alter the way they speak or act depending on their surroundings. Communications and Psychology both intrigue me and both fields complement the other while remaining incredibly intertwined. The two fields represent why people are they way that they are and how they express who they are to the world.

Besides your on-field success, you were a member of the 1st Team Academic All-Big 12 multiple times. How important was it for you to be recognized for your classroom prowess as much as your exploits on the field?
I've always taken school very seriously.  Once I reached my core major classes, I realized that I was finally in an area of study that I thoroughly enjoyed and wanted to put the time and effort into learning, though not always the case throughout undergrad. The recognition to me was never important, it was about finding something I loved and enjoyed and making the most out of my educational opportunities.

During your career, did you prefer offense or defense? Why?
Defense, without a doubt. I loved to dive. I loved to see how far I could push myself. There was always a comfort that I felt on the dirt. For some reason, time slowed down when balls were hit my way, I was able to see them in another dimension. To me, there was no thought put into defense. The preparation was done in practices, and the only thing I had to worry about in games was reacting.

Describe, if you can, the feeling when you hit your first collegiate home run.
I remember it was against Kansas in Lawrence, an it was a change up. But that even after my hr we were down by 2, so it was just chipping away at their lead. I never put a lot of emphasis on home runs.

You played multiple sports in your 'prep' years, so what made you decide to choose softball as the sport you wanted to pursue into college?
Basketball is by far my favorite sport, and I would've loved to continue playing throughout college. But my ability in basketball would not have allowed me the education and the opportunities that my ability in softball did. I guess I grew up just knowing that softball was my serious sport.

Also, I'm 5' 3 1/2". Unless you're a ridiculously talented basketball player, scouts literally look right over you. Softball is quite accepting of fun sized players.

Perhaps the best-known moment from your career was your 2011 walk-off home run against #21 Texas A&M in 2011. What was that moment like, to see the ball go over the fence, round the bases, get mobbed by your teammates, and celebrate with the fans?
What an incredible moment to be a part of. That was probably the hardest fought game I'd ever been a part of, of both teams. I remember being more excited for finally getting my first hit of the day than us winning the game. But the celebration didn't last long because we traveled to A&M the next day. I grew up an Aggie, both my parents graduates of the Engineering School. I guess the rivalry between A&M and Baylor never quite fazed me. Compared to growing up knowing the rivalry between Texas and A&M, the Battle of the Brazos seemed.. .anticlimactic.

How did you choose Baylor? What factors affected your decision?
I was not highly recruited by any means. I played for a little team out of San Antonio that I had played with for three or four years. During spring break my junior year in high school I took a campus tour of the university. My high school coaches Wayne and Lisa Daigle knew I was in Waco and called former Baylor All-American shortstop Harmony Schwethelm to see if she could introduce me to Coach Moore. She was able to get a hold of him and he ended up giving us a tour of the facilities. After an exchange of a skills video and a few emails, I committed to play before he ever saw me compete in person. The decision to play at Baylor kind of fell into my lap, and with it came a great education (which mom and dad were all for).

Define your entire softball career in three words.
Challenging. Rewarding. Eye-opening.

If you had the opportunity to appear as a contestant or character on any television show, what show would it be and why?
Phoebe from Friends, because I just love to say "oh no!" like she does constantly. Best show ever.

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