How have you transformed as a softball player over the past four years? Thea: "The biggest change for me has been my attitude. When I came in as a freshman, I was very serious and uptight. As I went on, I realized I needed to have fun. Softball is a game I enjoy and love to play, and it's important to have fun with it because after college that chapter of my life will be over. My senior year of softball has just begun and it's exciting because we are 5-0 right now. It already feels like the most fun season yet."
How have you managed to balance life as a student and a Division I athlete here at Pitt? Thea: "Time management. Time management."
"I have learning disabilities so when I came in as a freshman it was a very hard adjustment from high school to college. I worked hard, completed my study hours and took advantage of the tutors. I was able to find my niche of what classes I enjoyed. I learned to adapt on the road and the seniors helped out the younger girls on the team. Now, I have a better GPA and I'm moving on to great things. Whether you have a learning disability, or you're having trouble adjusting you can find a way to get good grades. Pitt has the resources and your teammates will help you along the way. As a student-athlete, you're here to get a good education and win for your school."
It's only the beginning of your final season, but name your best Pitt Softball memory? Thea: "It came this past Sunday when we were losing to a team that we had recently crushed. I believe we were down about 6-1. We found a way to come back at the bottom of the seventh. I was a third, we had someone on second and a freshman was up to bat. She hit a fly ball and I tagged up and then scored. We came back and won the game. Everyone charged the field and we were all jumping up and down screaming. It was an amazing feeling that will stick out in my mind for a very long time. I'm sure I've had those moments in the past, but right now that memory is fresh in my mind. It was both amazing and so much fun. It was crazy."
Do you have any advice to the next group of incoming student-athletes? Thea: "One piece of advice I would give to those starting out is to just enjoy the ride. There will times when you are stressed to the max, you are going to be tired and you won't get back from a trip until 2 a.m., but remember it's all a part of the journey. You will have so much fun and you're going to remember your teammates forever. It's an experience that not many people have so enjoy it, because it will go so fast."