Senior third baseman Meredith Henze has the same outlook to life as she does to the softball diamond.
Henze has a “one-pitch-at-a- time” approach at the plate and it has served her well this season as she is leading the Pirates in nearly every offensive category.
She is currently batting .448 with five home runs, 10 RBIs, 13 hits and eight runs scored.
Henze started off the season red-hot, batting .556 with three home runs and a double in the opening series for the Pirates.
Her performance earned her the Big East Player of the Week honor.
She applies a similar approach to her studies and has found it to be a successful method in the classroom.
“As a student-athlete, you’re busy,” Henze said. “I’m very busy this semester, and I think that has allowed me to truly focus on where I am. I’ve learned to put all of myself in the moment and focus myself on what I’m doing at that moment.”
Seton Hall has lost its last five games, including a four-game skid in Arizona last weekend, but Henze is optimistic that the Pirates can compete later in the year.
“I definitely want to put this program where it belongs – at the top of the Big East,” Henze said. “I think we can win a Big East championship. Right now, we’re working out all the kinks and we have Big East play in three weeks, but by that point we should be ready to go and put this program where it needs to be.”
Henze and the rest of the Pi- rates have had minimal time to practice on an actual diamond, since the snow has made it hard for the team to practice outside.
At this point last season the Pirates were practicing outside, but Henze was just getting back on the field after having surgery in January for a herniated disc.
“I had to learn how to sit on the bench and you have to learn how to support your teammates when you can’t be there and when you physically cannot be a part of the sport,” Henze said. “And coming back from an injury, you have to learn to play again and learn to fit into the team where it needs you.”
Henze said that being a part of the softball team helped better her college experience and she describes the transition as gaining 20 older siblings. She also stressed the role of her coaches in her development and the successes of the team.
“I really enjoy and respect our coaching staff this year,” Henze said. “They know when to be serious and when to have fun. We’re not like a normal team. We need to know that we’re respected and that we’re a family before we can perform well.”
She said that she has learned a lot over her years at Seton Hall, and she gained valuable life les- sons through her experiences on the team.
“Never give up, work as hard as you can, and a positive attitude goes a long way in terms of dealing with other people and getting respect from others,” Henze said.
Henze is set to get her bachelor’s degree in biology this May, and will get her master’s degree in athletic training next year.
Henze said that she still hopes to stay involved with sports in the future by possibly becoming an athletic trainer at a university or college.
Mike Romano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.