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Faces off the Field: Lauren HerrNeckar, senior pitcher, Round Rock

Staff Writer
Austin American-Statesman
Lauren HerrNeckar plans to play softball at East Central University in Ada, Okla., and major in biology with a concentration in health sciences.

Tell me something about the first time you played organized softball. It was the summer before third grade. And it was the very first time that I had to pitch with an umpire's strike zone. During that game, I must have walked about 15 girls with about half as many strikeouts. I didn't think that I would have the skill level to go any further than rec league softball, but my performance in this game made me want to work a lot harder.

Being a senior, what was your reaction to losing your final season over the crisis? I was really upset about it. The team had gotten wind confirming that that night's game was going to be the last game of the season, and all I could think of at the time was making it count. When I got home that night, I remember looking at my dad and telling him that I wasn't ready for my senior year or high school softball to be over, but that this would be the time to really put in work.

What led you to become a pitcher? As I got better playing rec league softball, I knew that I wanted to be either a pitcher or a catcher. Even though I leaned towards pitching, I played both positions for the next few seasons out of necessity. In my free time, my dad would run me through drills and exercises for pitching and catching. While pitching continued to feel fun through the drills in the heat, catching did not seem to hold the same level of excitement for me.

What is your out pitch? I have two pitches, and one on the way, that I tend to pitch in strikeout situations: my change-up, my riseball, and my drop ball, respectively. These pitches are extremely effective because having a change in speeds and a difference in the height of the ball can be extremely difficult for hitters to adjust to.

What is your favorite memory playing for Round Rock? It was the second Cedar Ridge game during my sophomore year. During this game, I had come in during the third or fourth inning to relieve the starting pitcher. I was able to hold them scoreless while my team scored enough runs to even out the score. In the seventh inning, Cedar Ridge was able to score a run, but we were able to respond with a two-run walk-off home run to win the game.

If you could have dinner with four people in the history of the world, who would they be? They would be (Team USA pitcher) Monica Abbott, Eddie Murphy, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Rosalind Franklin.

Why Rosalind Franklin? I chose her because of her ambition and scientific advancements in the field of biology. Franklin used an X-ray machine to take pictures of the structure of DNA.

Do you have plans for the fall? I will attend and play softball at East Central University (in Ada, Okla.), where I will major in biology with a concentration in health sciences.

Do you have any softball superstitions? Throughout the season, I do not cut my hair or change the color of my hair ties. Before games, I have to eat the same type of meal — always a Subway wrap — put my hair in the same hairstyle, and I never step on a chalk line.

Tell me something about you that most people don't know. I am an extroverted introvert. This means that I tend to keep to myself, but I also enjoy meeting and talking to new people.

What is your all-time favorite movie? It’s either “Dirty Dancing” or “The Breakfast Club.”

Rick Cantu

The first time she played softball, Lauren HerrNeckar recalls, she issued about 15 walks and had about half that many strikeouts in a youth recreation league.