The college’s softball team looks to defend their conference title this year, win a regional championship and make a trip to nationals, a trip they were unable to make last year. One of the most crucial parts of the team in accomplishing those goals is Cavs sophomore pitcher Sydney Koch. She had the lowest ERA on the team last year and currently has the lowest this year. Koch has three shutouts so far this season, and she’s committed to play shortstop at Florida Southern College next year and will look to help lead the Cavs to great heights this season.
James Howey: How would you assess the team’s play so far this year?
Sydney Koch: We played very well in Texas. We just had some minor things we had to get together. We easily could have gone 10-0 in Texas. I was extremely happy with how well we opened up our season at home. Our defense played great and really had my back, which helped me to start off the season with two no-hitters. Our hitting also was great. We have really been scoring a lot of runs, and that’s what we have to do to win games. There are not many games we can win with scoring only four runs.
JH: How tight-knit would you say you guys are as a team, and what makes you that way?
SK: Well, last year it was kind of easy to get along because there weren’t a lot of sophomores. This year was kind of the same but our sophomore group … we hang out on the daily and we hang out on weekends so it was kind of hard to adjust to new players, but you don’t really have a choice because you’re with your team every single day for the majority of the time. You really start to learn about everyone, and I think we get along great. We don’t have any drama, and it has to be like that. We are basically a family.
JH: How has your pitcher-catcher relationship with Sam Kreissler developed over the last two years?
SK: Oh, I love Sam. Actually, the first time I came up here and pitched, she actually caught me. For the majority of the time she caught me all freshman year and obviously does now. We have really grown to get to know each other and she is really dedicated as a catcher to always kind of think about me. A lot of people call pitchers princesses or divas, and that is kind of true. Even if Sam’s having a bad game, she kind of has to get over it to help me through it. She calls my games this year … everything that I want to throw, so she’s gotten to know my pitches very well.
JH: What kind of goals have you set for yourself this season?
SK: Well, teamwise, I want to win conference again and make it past regionals and go to nationals. Personally, I would like to be All-American. I think that’s doable. Zoe [Price] set a nice standard and I’d like to reach that as well.
JH: What made you choose Florida Southern College as where you wanted to attend next year?
SK: My whole life I’ve wanted to play at Florida. My family has always wanted to live there, but there’s never a right time to move there. My mom and dad have done everything they could to make it happen, and it was just the right match with coaches. It’s kind of hard traveling 18 hours [with] a coach not really knowing you. For them to give me the opportunity, to want me on their team and be happy I was there, that made the decision very easy because it’s always nice as an athlete to feel wanted.
JH: What has always motivated you to push yourself to succeed on the field?
SK: Honestly, I have to thank my parents for that because of the way they raised me. I’ve always worked hard at everything I do on and off the field. After a while, it’s not just my parents making me — it’s myself. I’m very competitive. I don’t like losing and like being the best at everything I do, so it’s not hard for me to push myself to want to beat others.
JH: Who is your favorite athlete?
SK: It’s hard to say. I don’t really have one but I guess I would say Jenny Finch. I mean, how could you not? She’s an amazing pitcher. I’m a pitcher so got to choose that.
JH: What is your dream job?
SK: To work for a professional baseball team or a minor league team, do the management stuff and travel. My major right now is sports management, so I would like to get an internship with a team and work my way up and get a job.
JH: What is your favorite food?
SK: I love Chinese food. Crab Rangoons are my stuff.
JH: What is your favorite movie?
SK: ”How to Train Your Dragon,” one and two. I love animated movies. I love all movies, but I just adore those movies.
JH: Who is you favorite artist?
SK: I like a lot of music. I listen to alternative and I listen to a lot of the neighborhood, alt-J and bands like that.