Softball Media Day: Player Interviews

The 2013 women's softball squad uses words like 'scrappy' and 'collective' to characterize their team. In their second year, they look to get off to a fast start after a year under Coach Vann Steudeman's instruction.

Erin Nesbit (INF, Junior) 2012: .162 AVG 2 HR 12 RBI 5 SB FLD% .951

Last year to now, what differences do you see in this team preparing for the second season under her staff?
"There's a huge difference. You can ask the fans who came out a couple seasons ago; we didn't have the same competitive nature that we have out there now. Vann, Reach and Mullins have all stepped up with their expectations. Our goal is Super Regionals and beyond, that's our goal. We take it one game at a time and we take it one play at a time. She's changed our expectations from being happy that we're an SEC school, to we're only happy when we get to the Super Regionals."

Did you feel last year that you proved yourselves?
"In a way everybody sees that we proved ourselves, but honestly we were also disappointed. Our competitive nature has gotten so much better."

Can you discuss the impact of the transfers (Echols, Owen, Foulks) now that they are all eligible to play this year?
"Each of them brings something completely different to the team. Overall, they are scrappy, they fire each other up, and they fire us up. Logan just got here but it feels like she's been here forever. She is going to bring a bat to the team so were excited about that."

You are the third member of your family to come here, how does that add to this season?
"At first, I didn't want to come here. After my sister signed and got recruited, I was like no, not Mississippi State. I want to make my own name. I wanted to go to Mississippi State obviously, but I wanted to go somewhere and make my own name. When I got here, I fell in love with it. With my sister gone, I have to keep that Nesbit name going. Some people call it a dynasty, but I don't know about that. Mississippi State likes to recruit sisters."

Stephanie Becker (LHP, Senior) 2012: 18-10 W-L 117 SO 2.49 ERA

You had the perfect record at the end of last year; do you expect to come in a keep that going?
"I've been working with Vann and all the other coaches; they have all done a great job with this staff. I don't really think about last season. You always look forward to keeping the Mississippi State tradition going."

How much have you progressed since Vann, who is known as a great pitching coach, has gotten here?
"I feel like I've improved greatly along with all the other pitchers. She's an awesome coach, and she has helped everybody on the entire team improve on her game. She's done a really great job on helping us specialize our pitches and working on our spins."

What is it like year two with the coaches?
"It was a big change when the other coaches got here. They set really high standards for us. I feel like this year it was an easier transition. Most of us came in knowing what was expected of us. We worked really hard in the fall, so I feel like this going to be a really good season."

Jessica Cooley (OF, Senior) 2012: .310 AVG 15 HR 41 RBI 14 SB

What are the offensive expectations, not just for yourself, but the team as a whole?
"Coach Reach and Coach Mullins do an awesome job with our offense. They have working on the fundamentals and getting back to the basics every day. We know we are going to do our job to get as many runs as possible. That's what is so great about this team. There isn't a selfish person on here, and everyone wants each other to succeed."

How much has the strength and conditioning program helped out?
"Coach Cat (Alicia Catlette) played softball in college, so it's really cool to have a strength coach who has been were you've been. She does a great job of keeping things new, and as an athlete that's more exciting. She gets us in great softball shape. We all feel like we are able to last during the entire season."

Logan Foulks (INF/C, Junior, transfer) 2012 (North Carolina): .302 AVG 12 HR 37 RBI

So are you immediately going to start hitting home runs?
"Hopefully that's the plan, but nothing is set in stone. I have a great team coming into it, and I feel very welcomed. The coaching staff is phenomenal, and this team is nothing like I have ever been with before."

Being new to the program, what stands out most about Coach Steudeman?
"Her excitement for every player individually and the team, and her plans for the team in the future. She is always very enthused about everything she does, whether it is tying her shoes or winning the World Series."

What did you like about Mississippi State that attracted you here?
"Mississippi State is definitely like a place where I grew up. Coming in, when I saw the pastures and the ponds, I fell in love before I even saw the campus. Also, the team and the coaches are awesome. With them, what you see is what you get."


Carew Ferguson is a feature writer for the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing carewferguson@att.net.

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