Who the Buc is softball slugger Ashley Lambert?
The Round Table sat down with Buccaneer softball’s very own Ashley Lambert‘19 to chat about school, softball and chilly weather.
Round Table: Hi Ashley! How are you doing?
AL: I’m good, thank you!
RT: So where are you from?
AL: I’m from Waukegan, IL.
RT: Oh nice. How far away is that from here?
AL: It’s about 80 miles straight east from here, and I live right on Lake Michigan.
RT: That’s a nice distance. What’s your major?
AL: I am a Molecular Cellular Integrative Biology major.
RT: What are you interested in doing with that?
AL: So after Beloit, I am looking at Physical Therapy school. Or I’ve also been looking more and more at sports medicine or Kinesiology. I’m still kind of in the weeds about it, but going to that general sports medicine route.
RT: So how long have you been playing softball?
AL: I’ve been playing since I was seven so this is going on year 14 for me.
RT: That’s a long time! What does a typical practice here at Beloit look like?
AL: So it kind of depends on what we need to work on. A lot of times after games we’ll talk about what we could have done better or what we could have done to obviously win. A lot of times we focus on hitting and just putting the ball in play and other times we’ll do straight defense. We’ll just do ground balls around the infield or certain play setups just getting used to what it would look like if we were really in a game. Lots of game-like situations.
RT: You’re a catcher right? Have you always done that?
AL: Yep, I got the knees to prove it. Actually, I didn’t start catching until my freshman year of high school. So when I got to high school I was like “yeah I could do it” then I was the starting catcher for my high school all four years. The one game my current coach came to scout me at I was actually playing third base. My team wasn’t so good so we would move people around a lot So she was like “oh she plays third base.”And my first collegiate game I actually played first base. I didn’t know what I was doing but its fine!
RT: So when you say you got the knees to prove it, do you have to do some extra work to keep it going? Can you catch every day?
AL: It’s not so much extra stuff. It’s a lot of squatting per usual. They always talk about how you can change out pitchers and pitching changes, but you don’t change out catchers. So I’m always there. That’s the thing though, I don’t mind it. I really like being back there.
RT: Do you have things you do separately from team drills? Or do things with pitchers to kind of get to know each other better playing wise?
AL: Yeah a big part of the game is the pitcher-catcher dynamic. One of my best friend’s is a pitcher and we do really well together. I call pitches during the game, like what’s getting thrown to each batter in every situation so it’s a big mental thing for me in terms of what’s going on. It’s a lot about trusting me to call the right pitches. For drills and stuff, a lot of it is footwork and throwing. At this point, it’s just become second nature to me.
RT: You’ve been playing a lot of doubleheaders, correct? How does that work?
AL: So everytime a what we play a team we will play them twice. It doesn’t switch home and away. We just do it so we play each team in our conference twice without having to play one here and one there. It’s a lot less travel. We would have played two games this weekend, but it was just too cold. It’s really hectic trying to reschedule outdoor sports.
RT: How does that work with practice then? Do you go outside or stay inside? What do you do?
AL: The past week we’ve been inside just so we can do things without being miserable. It’s definitely a different practice atmosphere. We’re in the field house and it’s a harder surface so you’ll never get the same bounce outside that you would inside. And even with space, we are limited with what we can do. And even then it gets repetitive. Like we’ve been inside for three days, what are we going to do differently that’s going to help us and still stay focused and not get distracted because we’re inside.
RT: Besides looking forward to good weather is there anything else you are looking forward to the semester?
AL: I mean I think we have a lot of potential. We get better every game we play. We started in Minnesota and we played four games there. We have a really young team and just new players all around. We went there just seeing what specialties people have and or what techniques people can use on defense and offense. Then going from Minnesota to Florida and playing ten games was also a lot. My coach likes to talk about it as the three stages. There was a preseason in Minnesota, Florida was its own thing since it was ten games, and now we’re in conference play and it’s time to fine tune everything. So I think just like how much our team can do in next couple of weeks and rest of season. It’s kind of exciting for me. I know it gets people down that we lose a lot, but I think building on what we’re doing is really good though.
RT: What else are you involved in on campus?
AL: Well I’m in Theta Pi Gamma sorority, and I’m president of SAAC. We do a couple of event on campus with homecoming and sports events that aren’t the actual games. I’m in some honors societies like Rho Lambda and Mortar Board. So yeah I try to do as much as I can but softball is definitely my main thing. That’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve got here. But it’s definitely cool I’ve gotten to do so much outside of softball and classes.
RT: Being a student-athlete especially at the DIII level is extremely difficult. And in light of DII athletics week, it’s important to kind of highlight these athletes that do a lot for our school. What is your motivation to do all this?
AL: I mean I think I’ve just put in so much work getting here. My dad and I always talk about it he says, “you’ve done all the hard work there’s no point in letting it go to waste now. It’s not even like its extra work, it’s fun. I like doing all of it! A lot of honor society things come from getting good grades and doing well in academics. And softball I’ve done it for so long I don’t see it as a job or extra work to do. Physically, it’s a lot of work, but it’s rewarding for me. I get a good feeling playing and being with people I like playing with and doing all the little things I’ve been doing for so long. Like I don’t know what I’d be doing if I didn’t play softball. Honestly, I’d have so much free time I wouldn’t know what to do with it.
RT: Well thank you so much for sitting down to talk. Good luck on the rest of your season!
AL: Thank you! Hopefully, it gets nicer out so we’ll actually get to play some games soon.
Be sure to catch Ashley, and the rest of the team at their next home game on Saturday, April 14 at 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.