Meet BU softball’s Taylor Winkelman: Winkelman discusses her success on the season, why she chose BU and more

Evin Hartsock, Sports Editor

Bloomsburg softball’s Taylor Winkelman steps up to the plate during BU’s April 17 match-up with Philadelphia University. Winkelman had an RBI single in the 8-0 win.

 

     The Bloomsburg University softball team has had a successful season so far, as they currently sit at 25-15 and have not lost a single game at home. Taylor Winkelman, the 5-foot-2 sophomore from Springfield, PA, has helped contribute to this success with her ability to get on base, as well as bring runners home. Winkelman has an on-base percentage of .438 and often leads off for BU, which has helped to create offense early in games. With a .362 batting average, she’s tallied 47 hits so far this season with 31 total runs and 15 RBI.

     In this quick Q&A, Winkelman discusses why she chose to come to Bloomsburg, why she enjoys softball and her playoff thoughts.
When did you start playing softball?

The first memory I have of playing softball was when I was eight years old. I played for a little league team called the Tigers.
What made you want to play?

     When I was young, my parents let me play whatever sport I wanted (Basketball, Tennis, Golf, Swimming, Soccer, Softball etc.). For some reason softball just really came natural, and although I also excelled in the other sports, the excitement that softball brought made me want to continue to play.

What is your favorite thing about softball?

     My favorite thing about softball is the fact that it is such a complex, attentive sport. In this game, perfection is key because we have no room for error. Between the speed of the game and mental toughness, when we successfully complete a play, it feels extremely rewarding. I think that is why I find winning in this sport the most satisfying.

What made you chose to come to Bloomsburg?

     I originally looked at a lot of state schools while in the recruitment process. Bloomsburg was always at the top, more or less because I know a lot of people who go here. Once Bloom showed some interest in me as a player, I then visited the school’s campus and met the coaches. Right then and there it was almost a done deal. I loved the atmosphere of the campus and how all of the buildings are very easy to get to once you’re on school grounds. I thought the student body was very inviting as well. Besides those aspects of the school, I really enjoyed the talks I had with my coaches (Susan Kocher and Dee Wolfe) and was very excited to have them coach me for the next four years.

What have you enjoyed the most about playing softball here?

     I have really enjoyed the fact that once I came to school I automatically had 21 new friends. Although coming in as a freshman we were not as close, now as a sophomore, I feel like I have known them for years. We have really grown as teammates and friends and I am very thankful to have had that opportunity to gain new friendships.

     I also love the fact that I am finally on a team where everyone is on the same page attitude wise, physically and competitively.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Bloom so far?

     My all-time favorite memory is the moment we won PSAC’s. When the final hit from California University was caught, it was the most satisfying moment of my softball career. Running to the pitcher’s mound to hug my team was such a memorable moment because we knew how hard we worked to get to win.

You’re batting a pretty high average this season. What’s been helping you to hit the ball so often?

     The most important element to my [at] bats is consistency. If you ever watch my ‘at bats’ I always do the same routine before I step into the box. This helps me stay focused on that moment. I don’t necessarily want to say that I “clear my mind” because I definitely don’t. I keep in mind my goal and I use my team [as] my motivator. Being lead off for most of the time here at Bloomsburg, I don’t want to let my coaches or teammates down. I know I am there for a reason.

The softball team is 10-0 at home this season, what is it about playing here that helps you and your teammates play so well?

     I think the main motivator is that we are very proud to be Huskies and we have too much pride to lose on our own field.

Looking back at the beginning of the season, how have you and the team done in achieve goals that you set?

     Unfortunately, we started off a little rough during spring break. However, we used that to inspire us to set the goal to start the season on a new note, forgetting everything that happened [during] spring break. This worked out very well for us so far and I hope it continues into PSACs  
As the season comes to a close, how are you feeling about playoffs?

     I am feeling very confident about playoffs.  I think that if we continue to play how we are right now, then we have a good chance of winning it again. As long as we do not focus on the past, or look too far ahead in the future at who we are playing or how good a certain team is, we will be set.