“I’m just going to kill it this year,” senior softball player Maria DeLuca said as she prepares for her final season this spring.
“I remember being a freshman like it was yesterday and looking at the seniors and thinking how can they live without softball,” DeLuca said.
“Now I am going to be in that same position.”
While she still has a season to go at the Hall, DeLuca has her sights set on her post-softball and college life.
The psychology major and English minor envisions herself having a career in counseling, working with either students or athletes.
“I like working with people,” she said. “I want a social job too, where I’m not stuck in an office all the time.”
About the English minor, DeLuca says it is purely for her enjoyment. She says that she loves to read and analyze different literature as well as listen to rock bands such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead.
After spending her whole life in New Jersey, DeLuca is ready to try somewhere new.
“I want to spend a few years in California,” she said. “I have fam- ily out there and I think it would be a good experience.”
As for a family of her own, DeLuca has some big plans.
“I want to have six kids, boys and girls, and they are all going to be little athletes…if they want to be,” she said.
DeLuca knows that life after softball and college will not be a walk in the park. She talked about a poor economy, unstable job market and her own nerves as obstacles that may lie ahead.
“I’m confident in my abilities to get out there, but it is this new stage of my life, and it is unknown,” she said. “I have this nervousness about it.”
DeLuca said that she believes softball has helped prepare her for what the real world and that new stage of life might have in store.
“With softball, I was always dealing with people in certain situations where you have get through it for the sake of the team and yourself,” DeLuca said. “It is a really interesting life lesson that you don’t always get outside of team sports.”
DeLuca found inspiration to succeed at Seton Hall in the successes of other Pirate athletes.
“I’ve never told her this, so it’s going to be awkward, but I love the way Alyssa Warren (senior volleyball player) competes,” DeLuca said.
“She’s a good kid, gets good grades, works hard and kills it on the court. I’ve always admired her as an athlete here.”
The thing that stood out for DeLuca is a game against Georgetown where the Pirates split a doubleheader with the Hoyas and the Pirates needed one more win to qualify for one of the final seeds in the Big East tournament. On top of that, Rutgers had to lose.
“I had a grand slam and a few other players had a few RBIs,” she said. “My dad came too, and he never comes to away games. We won and ended up as the eighth seed. It was the most exciting moment of my life.”
Playing mostly second base and shortstop, DeLuca had a productive junior season batting .344 with seven homers and 39 RBI. She also received Second-Team All-Big East honors.
As for the season that lies ahead, DeLuca says she is prepared and ready to go.
Gary Phillips can be reached at email@example.com.