This week I sat down with senior, second basemen, Rosie Phillips. Last year she had 74 assists and I'm not sure of the number but turned a lot of double plays with now graduated, shortstop Erin Wolstenholme. Rosie has been a part of the lineup since she arrived here four years ago. This year she is one of the leaders being one of seven seniors and having a lot of experience on the field since she has been part of two straight SUNYAC championships and regional appearances.
Let's jump right into our conversation:
Do you have an inspiration when you play or is it just for the love of the game?
"I don't think there's a person that I can pin it on, I just love the game and I want to better than I was yesterday. I don't get sick of it, I'm not sick of it yet and I'm in my last year. I know that I really love it and it's the only thing in life that I care about getting better at. Sounds super cheesy, but it's so true."
What your favorite softball memory?
"Definitely, at Cortland, the Rowan game. The first game, the regional championship. We were down a game to them already, we had lost to them the day before 1-0 I believe. We were down 5 or 6 runs in the top of the seventh. We all just felt defeated at one point, okay this might be the last game for our seniors, so what the hell, let's give it our all this last inning. We came back and got ahead 13 - 12 and held them in the seventh. The craziest thing I've ever been apart of. Nothing will ever compare to that game, ever. Especially because we have built a low-key rivalry with them because we always play them in Florida and we never pull out a win against them so that was cool."
Is there any significance in your jersey number?
"Honestly, not when I got here no, I've never been number three. But you kind of go into it. Number 3 never meant anything to me growing up and when I came in I knew it was open. So coach asked me if you could pick any number what would it be, and I was like, three! and she said, perfect, here you go! Now it's such a big deal that I have it tattooed on me, on my ankle. I love it, it's like forever."
If you had to be stranded on a deserted island with one teammate, who would it be?
"Can I say two for two different reasons? I would pick Mikayla because she's like the mom, we always call her the mom and I know she would take good care of me. But then, another girl, Brownie, she's a freshman, she's probably the funniest girl I've ever met in my life. I know I would never go a day without being entertained, I would die in two days, but I know they would be the funniest two days of my life, she's hilarious."
If you could be any animal which one would you be?
"Probably a dog, they get all the attention in the world. They have it made, they get pet, walked, fed. They can do whatever they want."
What's your favorite animal and why?
"Elephant. (which she then showed me a tattoo of an elephant on her wrist) I just have everything tattooed on me. My nana, was a really big part of my life when I was little, she passed away when I was seven. Her favorite animal was an elephant and she believed they were good luck and she had a huge collection in her living room, she had a shelf full of all kind of elephants. So it's always been kind of significant to me and my sisters. So I got this tattoo for her actually."
If you could have dinner with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?
"If anyone, it would be my poppy, I never met him. He's my poppas dad. He was just inspirational in his own way. Back before they had real strict laws in working conditions, he lost his arm in a working accident and continued to work. He did everything one handed, you don't think of it as a big deal but I think it is. He never let it get in his way, he never took time off of work. He passed away really suddenly, he was really big in my mom's life, kind of like how my poppa is in mine and I hear all about him all the time and never got to meet him, so it totally be him."
Would you rather have super strength or be super flexible?
"Probably super strength. I feel like you can do more with strength than flexibility. I don't know, I just feel like it would be cool and you could intimidate other people, flexibility isn't very intimidating. Totally super strength, plus I've never been very strong so it'd be kind of cool to feel strong for a day."
Why did you choose Cortland?
"I didn't look at any other school. I didn't know if I was going to come to school and I didn't know if I was going to play softball. My senior year I was pretty convinced I wasn't going to. So I was always interested, Coach Lenhart would always be at the tournaments I was playing at. One time I was driving home from a tournament in Binghamton and my mom was like, "let's just stop and look" and I said okay. I never really thought about it, I knew they were good at softball, but didn't know how good. So I came and look and we parked at park center. I think I only walked around park center and saw the softball field and I was like, "I want to come here, this is where I'm going". This is the only school I applied to and I was lucky and I got in."
What will you miss the most about being on the team?
"I feel like all the teams I've been a part of or watched, none of them are more family oriented, or it's never felt like more of a family than this team. Even if you don't have that family feeling at first, it always comes along in the season. I haven't had a year where I haven't felt that way. Even now, we are starting to come together, just after Florida. Because you're not going to remember the games, you're going to remember hanging out in the locker room with your teammates, dinner, inside jokes in the hotel rooms and stuff like that. That's the most important I think."
So, because you're the first softball interview, I went to your teammate Kaleigh for a question for you:
What incident in Florida happened that made you think you'd be cut from the team?
"First off, it's an exaggeration but. We do pre-game lines, we are literally probably ten feet away from coach and I'm the first person in line for these lines. The first thing she does is roll you the ball, you field it and throw it to someone standing right next to coach. So, first one, first throw, directly at her face. I don't know how she completely got down into a ball and it hit the bump on the back of her neck. I literally just froze and was like, "well I'm a senior and I'm going to get cut, I'm never coming back, she's going to hate me forever." Then she was just like, okay let's go, I'm good! I was really close to hitting her, that was the first. Can't I throw 10 feet?"
Now, it's your turn to think of someone to interview and give me a question for them that won't be revealed till their interview.
"Let's go with Kaleigh and I'll think of a fun question."
Thank you, Rosie, for taking the time to sit down and talk to me. I enjoyed the conversation and learning more about you off the field. I look forward to seeing waht the conversation with Kaleigh will bring and I wish you luck this season!