May 3, 2012
BERKELEY - In just three short years in Berkeley, senior second baseman Jace Williams has certainly made her mark. As a sophomore in 2010, she started all 62 games, was an All-Pac-10 honorable mention after slugging .390 and owning a .447 on-base percentage. Last year, she earned herself placement on the NFCA All-Pacific Region first team, the All-Pac-10 second team and merited Easton third-team All-America status and a Pac-10 all-academic honorable mention. Thanks to her academic prowess, Williams finished her degree requirements a semester early and will graduate with a bachelor's of science in psychology. With her classes complete, CalBears.com relished the chance to talk all things Cal with Williams.
CalBears.com: What is your best Cal story or favorite Cal experience?
Jace Williams: My favorite Cal experience has to be playing in the World Series last year. Ever since I was little, I had always dreamed of playing on that stage in June, and my wishes came true last season.
CalBears.com: What will you miss most about Cal?
JW: I will miss going to battle with my girls, which is what it's all about. Sharing the same uniform and being a part of something that is far bigger than yourself. I am extremely competitive, and softball has always been a way for me to release that energy. I will be extremely unbalanced in the real world because I love competing. I guess I'll have to dominate the slow-pitch leagues. I love Valerie's voice, and I will miss listening to her sing in the back of the bus. She is extremely talented - y'all should ask her to sing for you. She's not shy. I'm a San Diego beach girl through and through, but I hate to admit it, but the bay area has really grown on me over the past few years.
CalBears.com: What are your career plans and what are you plans after graduation?
JW: I have a passion for coaching so I am going to pursue that and see what happens. I want to share everything I know with girls who have the same dreams and ambitions I had when I was their age. After the season, I plan on moving back to San Diego, settling in, finding a team to coach and hitting the beach immediately! I really miss my San Diego beach-girl lifestyle so I plan on picking up where I left off as soon as possible. This summer, I envision myself traveling all over the place and keeping my tan well into winter.
CalBears.com: Has Cal lived up to or has it been different or better than the expectations you had of it as a freshman?
JW: Cal has been everything and more. I feel so blessed and fortunate to have been afforded this opportunity. Coach Ninemire believed in me and gave me a second chance. The last thing I ever want to do is disappoint her, so I'd say that Cal has changed my life in more ways than one. I want everyone to know that I appreciate all their support over the last three years.
CalBears.com: What has been the most embarrassing or funny story in your years at Cal?
JW: Apparently I do embarrassing things every day, but for some reason I don't know how to feel embarrassed. I am definitely an odd ball (ask my teammates - they will tell you), but I stay true to myself and will never change. I will be that really awkward old person one of these days. Funny things happen every single day on this team. I spend 80 percent of my day laughing, the other 20 percent giggling to myself. My teammates are hilarious.
CalBears.com: What advice would you give to freshmen?
JW: Never stray away from who you are. Be yourself and roll with the punches. You will experience so much while in college - roll with it, and learn from your mistakes. Try and get one percent better every single day. Time flies so enjoy it - it's the best time of your life.
CalBears.com: What was the best class you took?
JW: I loved my developmental psychology class. Babies are crazy!
CalBears.com: What is your favorite place to eat or go in Berkeley?
JW: Celia's on Euclid has ridiculously good Mexican food. I am also a huge Soup Company fan. I'm never disappointed in the chicken chipotle wrap.
CalBears.com: What memories or games stick out in your mind from your time in the Blue & Gold?
JW: The LSU and Fresno State games from this year stick out a little more than the others. I'd do anything for my teammates, and anyone who knows me knows I have a little fireball attitude out there. I was pretty fired up in those games.
CalBears.com: What does it mean to be a part of Cal softball?
JW: It means you are way more awesome than any other team. I love Cal softball!