Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Meredith Owen Steps Into Justin's World

Meredith Owen rose to National Prominence very quickly last season, her final year with the Stetson Hatters. For those who were privileged enough to see her play, even on television, you'd have seen that she deserved even more recognition than she actually got.

An incredibly talented dual-threat both in the circle and at the plate, Owen just ran over opponents all season long. On the offensive side, she led her team in home runs with fifteen and in slugging percentage (.711), and was second in batting average by just .009.

In the circle, she recorded a microscopic 1.26 ERA in more than 220 innings (putting her firmly in 8th in the NATION in that statistical category. A K/BB ratio of better than 6/1 certainly helped, too. She allowed just forty-one extra base hits all season long, averaging out to exactly one in every appearance. Opponents hit just .205 against her during the year.

Meredith was rewarded after the season by being named to the NFCA All-American third team. In thirty years of Stetson softball, Owen was the first to be named an All-American, further cementing her status as one of the program's all-time greats!

With her collegiate career now done, you can follow Meredith's future exploits by connecting with her on Twitter and Facebook.

How did you first get started playing softball? When did you realize or was it evident that this was something you were excelling at?
I started playing softball at the age of ten so I was a little behind. The coach of the team that I tried out for told me that I needed to do 10,000 throws and catches before March 1, which was the beginning of the season. My mom and I broke that down to 200 a day 5 days a week so she and I would go throw out in the street after school. I ended up being one of the best players on the team that summer, and I realized at that point that if I worked hard at this sport the sky was the limit. So I set my sights on a division 1 scholarship and have been working hard ever since. 

Now that your playing career is done, what will you miss the most?
What I will miss the most from playing is that feeling of accomplishment. When you have spent hours working towards something and you actually achieve it.. that feeling is one of the greatest in the world. You are able to prove to everyone as well as yourself that you can achieve anything you want.

Why was Stetson your choice of schools to attend & play for?
Stetson and LSU were my last two choices. LSU offered me the opportunity to hit, and Stetson offered me the opportunity to hit as well as pitch. At the time my pitching was not up to par, but from my previous experiences I knew if I worked hard I could get it to where it needed to be, and I couldn’t imagine not pitching anymore I loved it too much. Stetson offered me an amazing education for free on top of having the opportunity to compete for a conference championship every year. All of that on top of a classy Christian coaching staff. I knew it was the right choice.

What’s your favorite thing about playing in the South?
My favorite thing about playing in the south is the warm weather. I hate the cold and the feeling of hitting a ball with a cold bat and cold hands is just miserable. 

Other than Wilson Field, what was your favorite stadium/field/park to play in?
It is hard to beat Patricia Wilson Field. Coach Griffin does such an amazing job of not only making sure the facility looks great, but that all the players are safe no matter where they are in the vicinity. The only other place that was close to that was at the University of Florida's field. It was a great environment to play in with so many fans, and I am thankful that I got the opportunity to.

What about playing ball after college? Is that something you thought about or were/are interested in?
I was offered an opportunity to play in Holland for the rest of the summer, but I did not take it. I was ready to come home and be with my family after being twelve hours away for four years. Playing after college is something that I have not pursued, but I am not closed off to it either. My family is big into CrossFit and I have been doing it since high school to help make me a better softball player, so I have always considered that to be the next step for me in my athletic career. 

How do you plan to stay involved with the game of softball now that your collegiate playing days are done? Is coaching an area you would be interested in pursuing?
I actually have a job at a local high school coaching for this year. Coaching is something I have always done in the past, but I do not know yet if it is something I would like to pursue for the long run. It will all depend on how I like coaching this high school team. Mississippi is so behind in softball that I want to be available to help the girls here get to the next level without having to travel out of state like I did to get the information that will help to get them there. If I can help more Mississippi girls get to the division one level I would be ecstatic. 

Let’s say you were given the opportunity to go back in time and change one moment, one happening from your life and/or career. What would you want to change?
The one moment I would change from my career would be my last at bat. I had the opportunity to tie the game, and while I moved the runners I could have done a lot more. It is just as frustrating remembering it as it was at the time. 

Do you have any superstitions? Have to eat the same meal before a game, can’t step on the foul lines, same routine every time you step into the batter’s box, etc?
The only superstition that I really have is that my accessories have to be the same when we are winning. This year we always won when I wore this one bow of mine that is green and white and I cut the ends real long close to the length of my hair. I wore that bow with every uniform in the post season. 

Let's say you were given the opportunity to spend a full twenty-four hours in another person's shoes. Who would that person be and why would you want to trade places for a day?
If I could trade places with one person it would be any coach from one of the top five softball teams. I would just like to see what they do on a daily basis to keep them healthy as well as prepared during such a long season. Also, what do they work on to keep their mechanics as well as mental approaches sound through the ups and downs of the season.

If you were stranded on a deserted island (Robinson Crusoe-style), but were allowed to take three things with you, what would you take? No boats, no phones.

The three things I would take with me on a desert island: a knife for hunting and preparing food, a lighter to help me light a fire for preparing food and heat, and my dog to keep me company and help me through the tough times of being there.

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