Nov. 25, 2009
BERKELEY - Freshman Lindsey Ziegenhirt joins the California softball team as a catcher from Elk Grove, Calif. Along with fellow freshman Jolene Henderson, Ziegenhirt was a member of the Sheldon High School team that won its section in 2007 and 2008 and was runner-up in 2009. A three-time all-league first-team member, Ziegenhirt was also a two-time ESPN/Under-Armor First-Team All-American (2008, 2009) and a 2008 EA Sports All-America second teamer. In addition to sporting her school colors on the field, Ziegenhirt was very involved at Sheldon High School in the Biotech Academy, the Athletic Counsel and a spirit club. In Berkeley, Lindsey is reunited her sister, Katie, who is in her fourth year at Cal. Parents are Bob and Laura, who played softball as an undergrad at Pacific. CalBears.com caught up with Ziegenhirt to learn about her first months in college, life off the diamond and more.
CalBears.com: What has been the hardest, most surprising aspect about transitioning from high school to college?
Lindsey Ziegenhirt: Getting used to freedom. I've always had someone tell me what to do and a strict schedule to follow. So, when I do have free time here, it's difficult for me to choose what to do. This is hard with school work also. We have to keep track of when everything is due because the professor doesn't remind us every day like our high school teachers would.
CalBears.com: What has been your favorite part about college life so far?
LZ: I love extending myself out of the typical social circles. I joined a sorority to have a different group of friends with a totally different college experience. My team has provided me with a family of girls that are similar to me in goals, commitments and fun. The sorority has provided me with an outlet to school outside of athletics. The balance has worked out great for me so far.
CalBears.com: What is your favorite part about softball? How did you get started in softball?
LZ: My favorite part about softball is playing in games. Practice is good because I know I am working to get better. But there is nothing like the adrenaline rush when you throw out the fastest runner in the league at second base or hitting the game-winning home run. I started playing softball in a recreational t-ball league when I was about four, and then continued in the rec league until I was nine, when I started playing competitively in ASA. I played ASA through the fall and summer up until I arrived at Cal.
CalBears.com: Do you have any outside hobbies?
LZ: I like shopping and reading when I'm not playing softball.
CalBears.com: What would you like people to remember about you after you leave Cal?
LZ: I want people to remember me as a person who gave 100 percent effort on everything athletically and academically.
CalBears.com: What were your initial impressions of Berkeley?
LZ: I first thought Berkeley was like walking through a different world. There were so many cultures represented in shops, restaurants and people that it was a new experience for me. I had not experienced a college town like Berkeley.
CalBears.com: Now that you're in your seventh week of college, what advice do you wish someone had told you about college or would you give to incoming student-athletes?
LZ: You will feel stressed out the first couple weeks because you are in a new environment, which makes you feel less like yourself. It is natural to miss high school and want to go back, but after the first couple weeks or months, you'll start to be back in routine and enjoy college more than you did initially. Just trust that everything will work out, and you'll end up having more fun than you would if you stressed out.