First-year infielder Marissa Russo has made a large impact in her first season playing softball for the ‘Jackets. She leads the team in runs, at bats, walks, hits, batting average, and slugging percentage. Two weeks ago, her fantastic performances were highlighted by two home runs, and she was awarded the Liberty League Rookie of the Week award for softball.
How did you get interested in softball?
I started to become extremely interested in softball, and I knew that I wanted to play the sport as long as I possibly could, when there would be a tough diving plays and I could feel the world slow down for the duration of the play then time would resume. I love that feeling.
What do you enjoy most about softball at UR?
I really love the team environment and the friends that I have made during my first year here at UR.
How has the transition from high school to collegiate softball been?
It was definitely hard to fathom the difference between the time commitment of high school and collegiate softball and balancing that with academics, but I love how serious everyone takes the game here.
What has been the highlight of your softball career at UR so far?
The highlight of my career here at UR has been hitting my first home run ever and rounding third base and seeing my whole team cheering for me, and then the best moment of them all was getting a pat on the helmet and hugs from all my teammates.
How do you balance academics, extracurriculars, and athletics?
I have learned to balance my academics with my athletics by sitting down at the beginning of each week and planning out my studying schedule for that week and staying at pace with that and making sure I stay on top of my academics.
How do your coaches help you improve?
My coaches have helped me a lot with my hitting approach and have helped me be comfortable in a new position.
Do you have any rituals before or during games?
Before every double-header, Alexis, one of my teammates, and I eat a Cadbury Egg. I also always pray before every game during the national anthem. Every inning in the field, the outfielders huddle up and sing a little song to relax us and keep us in the game and playing for the right reasons.
Who is your favorite professional athlete, and why?
My favorite professional athlete is Jennie Finch. As a young child I always looked up to her and strived to be her as a softball player.
If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why?
If I could have any superpower, I would want to be able to speak and understand every language because I would be able to travel anywhere and meet so many people.