“It is definitely worth the hard work. Just keep working on it. It seems like a lot when you are having a hard time, but once you get it right you will be so thankful that you stuck with it.”
Ringor: Tell us how you got started in softball?
Elise: Well, my mom played in college and when I was in second grade she asked if I wanted to try out. And I was like, “Sure why not”. So I did and I really liked it and I just kept on playing.
R: When did it click that this was the sport for you?
E: I am not sure if there was a certain moment, but from the first moment I played I really liked it, so I just think I have always wanted to play it.
R: What teams do you play for?
E: I play for Newberg High School and I don’t play on a travel team.
R: Oh really?
E: Yeah. I didn’t last year and I am not currently on one. That might change though, you never know.
R: What number do you wear?
E: Number 7.
R: Is there any significance for that number?
E: Well, it was the first number I ever had.
R: Nice. What position do you play?
R: What is it about that position that stands out to you?
E: I like it because you have to be quick and there is a lot action. You are always moving and doing something. Also, you have to help everyone out. Sometimes you cover 2nd, sometimes you cover 1st or help out the pitcher. There is a lot to do!
R: That’s awesome! In what ways do you encourage or uplift your teammates?
E: I cheer a lot. When people are having a rough day and are not doing super great, I like to tell them that it’s okay. Sometime you have days like that, but everything will be good, you just got to keep going!
R: Can you talk to about being a leader and what being a leader means to you?
E: A leader needs to understand the team, be able to work with what you have and be really uplifting. Even if you aren’t the greatest team, just keep everyone going so they can play their best.
R: Do you think there are different types of leaders, and if so, what type do you identify with?
E: Yes, definitely. I think there are some leaders that lead by example. I personally think they are usually better leaders and then there are also some that are just…bossy. (laughs) I think that I am probably somewhere in between!
R: There is definitely a balance to be had. What do you think has been the most impactful softball moment for you?
E: There was this one game a long time ago and I had a really great game…when the game was over and done I had this feeling. I just knew that I loved it and everything was perfect. I felt great.
R: If you could boil down the game of softball into one word, what would that word be?
E: Fun. It’s just fun. (laughs)
R: I agree! What is something that you have been focusing on during the offseason to help prepare for high school ball?
E: Well, I am a slapper, so I have been working on my hitting a lot. For a long time I only slapped, but this year I have been trying to incorporate power hitting. So I’m working on technique, slapping, and power hitting to try and get it back.
R: Being versatile definitely helps!
R: What would you say is your main goal for this season?
E: I want to be hitting hard and be able to place the ball. If I can get on base, that’s really good for me and I can do a lot. So definitely to continue to improve and be consistent.
R: With the ups and downs of long seasons, how do you stay motivated and inspired?
E: I don’t usually mind long seasons, but my team is my biggest motivator. Everything is better when we are together.
R: How do you mentally and emotionally prepare for games?
E: I like to get into a zone and visualize everything I want to accomplish in every part of the game.
R: What about your down time in between games…what does that look like?
E: I scout the other teams. A while ago my grandpa actually took me to a game and taught me how to watch players, what to look for, and where to place the ball when I hit.
R: That’s awesome. You always want to have a game plan going into every game! Who would you say is your biggest supporter and how do they support you?
E: My mom! She practices with me whenever I need to. She always has advice for me, but is able to say it in ways that help me improve. She drives me everywhere and is just always helping me with what I need.
R: And how many siblings do you have?
E: 4, so I am 1 of 5.
R: Oh wow! She must be supermom!
E: She is. She has different things with all of my siblings, and with me it’s softball. I love that that is our bond. She is awesome.
R: She definitely is! Who do you think has made the biggest impact on your life?
E: Again, that would be my mom. (laughs). She is great and so encouraging. She always pushes us to do our best, but is encouraging even when we are not.
R: That is great that your mom has been able to do that for you. How would you like to reciprocate that and have an impact on younger softball players?
E: Well, I love coaching! I want to be able to help them and teach them how to be the best players, because I think they all can be the best if they really want to. I would love to coach 10U/12U.
R: When you are a coach, is there anything that you have been taught about the game that you would want to adjust or change?
E: Yeah, I think some of the coaches that I have had are not aggressive on the bases, but I want to be super aggressive. I think even if you are slow, you can be aggressive and use that and be smart about it. If you learn that when you are younger, then by the time you are older you are going to be amazing at it.
R: That’s a good game plan! Are there any core values that you carry with you that you think are important for softball players to have?
E: Yeah…I think having the mentality of always working hard, even when you are having a rough time is important. I think that actually helps you more than when you are having a great practice. Keeping your head in the game and not goofing off…not quitting because you are having a hard time are important to remember.
R: That’s a great answer. Switching it up a bit, what do you like to do for fun outside of softball?
E: I like hanging out with all of my friends, doing stuff with my siblings. I also love cooking and reading a lot!
R: Really? What are your favorite books to read?
E: I like To Kill A Mockingbird and The Book Thief. Those are my favorite!
R: Those are some of my favorite books too! What about cooking? What is your favorite meal to cook?
E: I like making curry. It’s really good! But I also make it really spicy so not everybody likes it. (laughs)
R: I know I wouldn’t be able to handle the spice! (laughs) What is your favorite subject in school?
E: I like math. Right now I am doing Geometry, but I prefer Algebra. I like that I am good at it (laughs), but also that everything is solvable. Everything has a definite answer.
R: That’s awesome. When you grow up, do you want to do something involving math? What would you like to do?
E: I have been thinking about either being a teacher or a lawyer. I would want to be a teacher because I love being with kids and I like school for the most part. I really like teaching people things. As far as being a lawyer…I want to do that because I like arguing and I like being right, so that would be a great opportunity for me to do that (laughs).
R: What do you want your life to look like when you are older, outside of what your job would be?
E: I like travelling, so I would like to go to Europe a few times and I don’t want to be tied down anywhere, but I also want kids. I think I want maybe 2 or 3 kids, but I am not sure.
R: Awesome! What is an upcoming adventure in your life that you are looking forward to?
E: I think once I graduate high school and go on to college and move out. I am looking forward to getting my own life a little bit more. I am a little nervous for that, but mainly excited!
R: Where are you looking to go to college?
E: I am thinking somewhere in California. So, close to home, but not too close.
R: Is there anything in the world that you see going on that you want to change?
E: There is a lot of stuff, but over the past few years there are a lot of countries that don’t have enough money or resources to do anything. Education is a problem, as well as food for eating and stuff like that…so I would like to help them, but I am not sure exactly how yet.
R: What are a few things on your bucket list?
E: I want to make a lot of money (laughs) and be a millionaire. I mostly want to travel though and see a lot of places.
R: That is awesome! When you are a millionaire you can take your mom on vacation with you!
E: (laughs) Definitely! She’s coming to Greece with me!
R: What is something that makes you feel empowered?
E: When I am in school and I get good grades, I feel like I can do anything and nothing can stop me because I can handle it.
R: Can you describe how the lessons you have learned in softball have carried over into your everyday life?
E: Working hard and not quitting has helped me in all parts of my life, especially with my school work and relationships.
R: What has been the biggest challenge that you have had to overcome in softball?
E: Well, I used to have a really weak throw. We worked on that for a really long time. Everyday my mom would take me out and we would practice for a really long time and my throw has gotten a lot better.
R: What advice do you have for softball players who are struggling with having a really weak throw?
E: It is definitely worth the hardwork. Just keep working on it. It seems like a lot when you are having a hard time right now, but once you get it down you will be so thankful that you did.
R: What does being #softballstrong mean to you?
E: It means you can do anything you want when you are playing softball. It’s your game and you just go for it.
R: Last question, what pair of Ringors do you wear right now?
E: I wear the black Diamond Dynasty 2.0. I really like them! They are really comfortable and my legs and feet don’t get super sore after wearing them all week. That wasn’t the case with my other cleats.