Aug 23, 2013
From spending a week of her summer each year as a bat girl for Team Canada during the Canada Cup to stepping onto the field as a member of the Canadian Senior Women's National Team, it would be easy to say that incoming freshman pitcher Sara Groenewegen has been living her dream this summer. Groenewegen was originally a member of the Junior Women's National Team but after an impressive showing she was asked to join the team for a pair of events this past summer and won her first gamewith the team infront of a packed home crowd. Now, Groenewegen is gearing up for her next adventure... playing with the Golden Gophers.
Q: Not too long ago, you were a bat girl and now you're on the national team.... what are a few key factors that got you from there to here?
A: Being a 'bat girl' for a national team is every girl's dream growing up playing softball. Having the opportunity to be around players of that calibre at such a young age made me realize how good I could become and what potential I had for the future.
Q: What was your first reaction when you were called up to the national team?
A: I was pumped!! Saying 'I am on team Canada' hasn't even sunk in yet and I don't think it will soon.
Q: Your dream has always been to play on this team, now that you've reached that goal... what are you dreaming of now?
A: I am dreaming of playing in the 2020 Olympic games! Softball is one of three sports with the chance of being voted back (Sept 2013) after being taken out after the 2008 Beijing games, so I am hopeful that it gets reinstated.
Q: What was your highlight of the summer?
A: The national team experience as a whole, especially playing with home crowds, but one highlight would be pitching a no-hitter against Team China on the Junior National Team in Brampton which was really exciting! That doesn't happen too often in international ball and the game took 7 hours because of rain delays, but we still got it done!
Q: You played other sports in high school, what is it about softball that made you decide that you wanted to play in college?
A: Where I live there is no high school softball and high school sports aren't very competitive. I got into softball when I was really young and I kind of just stuck with it for the love of the game. My sister went off to college so I guess you can say it's a family thing!
Q: What most excites you about heading to the Twin Cities this fall?
A: Definitely being in a place where there is pride in the school and sports teams throughout the state. I also rarely get snow where I live so that will be a new adventure too.
Q: What is your favorite sports quote/what keeps you motivated?
A: "Just do it". Yes it is short but to the point. Play with no fear, no regret and no excuses.
First Pitch with Maddie Houlihan
Our final freshman to introduce you to before season is Maddie Houlihan out of Plymouth, Minn.
Groenewegen Named to Watch List
Sara Groenewegen has been selected to the “Watch List” for the 2016 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year award for her second straight season.
First Pitch with Taylor Chell
With season less than two weeks away get to know one of the newest Gophers in freshman outfielder Taylor Chell.