Playing Hardball with Senior Missy Beseres
Playing Hardball with Senior Missy Beseres
Entering the last week of the conference season, Penn StateĄŻs Missy Beseres is having an outstanding year. This past week, Beseres garnered Big Ten pitcher of the week for the second time in her career and was also voted team MVP by her peers at the annual awards banquet this past Saturday. The Golden Valley, Minn., native set the new Penn State single season record for strikeouts this year and currently has 238. She also reset her own single game record for strikeouts, which now stands at 15. This weekend, Beseres will take her 15-10 record on the road with the Lions, who travel to Ohio State to finish Big Ten regular season play. Penn State has also qualified for the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held from May 12-14 at the 2005 conference champions field, which has yet to be determined.
Q: How did you first get involved in softball?
A: I grew up watching my older sister and brother compete in baseball and softball, so when it came time to choose a sport it was natural to follow in my siblings footsteps. WeĄŻre all pitchers! Can you believe it?! Even after watching my brother and sister compete, my parents still get nervous when I take the field.
Q: For how many years have you been playing?
A: This is the first time IĄŻve really thought about how long IĄŻve been playing for... let me see, I started playing when I was 7 years old, oh my goodness itĄŻs been 15 years!!! Back when I started playing, the youngest teams available were 12 and under, so that is where I started. My parents would really get nervous watching their 7-year-old pitch against 12-year-olds! IĄŻll never forget my first game, I walked 22 batters!
Q: Why did you choose to play for Penn State?
A: This is actually a pretty funny story, when I was little I used to be a bat girl for the Minnesota Gophers, and one game I was sent over to the visitorĄŻs side for a game. Can you guess who the visiting team was? Since that point IĄŻve always wanted to be a Nittany Lion. After visiting Happy Valley on my recruiting trip, the pride, along with the athletic and academic success sold itself. I knew IĄŻd bleed only blue and white from that point on.
Q: You've been selected Big Ten Player of the Week twice in your career, how does that feel and what are your other personal goals?
A: I feel honored to have been chosen because there are so many great pitchers in the Big Ten conference. Although this award is for pitchers, I want to acknowledge that I am supported by the offensive and defensive contributions of my entire team, and they should be recognized as well. My personal goal is to always work as hard as I can and always try to do the best I can with no regrets, leave it all on the field!
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you have had to overcome both on and off the field?
A: This is a tough one; off the field, one of the hardest challenges I had to overcome when I came to college was saying good-bye to my family. Since I was little my parents have come to basically every one of my games, so it was hard to leave my support system in Minnesota. Sometimes I still get homesick, but IĄŻve got great teammates who always seem to cheer me up. On the field, I think the largest hurdle IĄŻve encountered since being in college was a wrist injury my sophomore year. It was hard to sit out a season, but looking back I was able to really appreciate softball and the gift of playing each day!
Q: What are your plans after graduation?
A: After graduation IĄŻm interested in attending graduate school to pursue a masterĄŻs degree in Speech and Language Pathology.
Q: What is the most important thing you have learned during competition that can be used in other areas of your life?
A: The most important thing IĄŻve learned from competition is that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. All in all, you take the good and bad from each experience put it in your back pocket and learn from it.
Q: What has been your greatest achievement?
A: IĄŻm very proud of the hard work that IĄŻve put into softball, and the reward of being a Penn State Nittany Lion. I think thatĄŻs one of the best achievements thus far is playing Division I and also receiving Big Ten honors for pitcher of the week last season and now this week too! I continue to work hard to reach my personal goals, but I believe with hard work, my biggest achievements are yet to come!
Q: You now hold Penn State's single season strikeout mark, what does that mean to you?
A: When I first came to Penn State, I learned of the legacy of Jaci Kalp. She really had left a mark on the Penn State program. Teammates who played with Jaci have nothing but fun stories to tell about her. My personal favorite would be, when you give up a homerun, itĄŻs an error on the center fielder. ? Breaking the single season strike out record was a personal goal of mine, but I couldnĄŻt have done it without my pitching coach and the relationship between my catcher and me!!
Q: Do you have any role models, and why do you look up to these individuals?
A: My family has been very important in my life, and I consider both of my parents and my older brother and sister to be my role models. My parents have always supported me wholeheartedly in softball and in all activities I have wanted to pursue. They have taught me the value of hard work, and also the importance of teaching and encouraging upcoming young female athletes. My brother has always been very athletic, especially in baseball and hockey; he has showed me the strength it takes to move past injury in order to become a stronger person. My sister has so many amazing qualities that I look up too. SheĄŻs taught me that dreams are within reach. Her perseverance and drive has really shown me never to settle for average and strive for the best!
Q: What are some of the things that you want to accomplish before your college career is over?
A: As a senior pitcher I would like to be a leader to the younger girls on the team. IĄŻd also like to help our team reach our goals to become one of the top teams in the Big Ten and in the country.
Q: What do you like to do for fun?
A: One of my favorite things is to laugh! This is actually perfect because I can be a goof at times, so it works out that my teammates get a good laugh too! When I am not practicing, I also like to veg out and watch TV with my roommates or sleep (we donĄŻt get too much of this in college!).
Q: Between school and playing a sport how do you find time for yourself, and how do you balance all the activities?
A: Well there really isnĄŻt much of a balance, there is school and softball. Occasionally there is personal time, but not very often. Personal time happens to fall around holidays and summers. The one thing I think that gets me through is that IĄŻm not by myself. Every athlete experiences the same schedule, so IĄŻve got a support groupĄ and of course when itĄŻs all too overwhelming, you just keep on keepinĄŻ on!