Aug. 1, 2012
BERKELEY - After an epic freshman year that saw the California softball team advance to the hallowed grounds of Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series, CalBears.com wanted to catch up with the freshmen to see how things went. Second up is Nikki Owens, who came to Berkeley by way of Scotts Valley, Calif. CalBears.com stole some of Owens' summer time to talk all things Cal.
CalBears.com: Now that you've got one year of collegiate softball under your belt - what was the best part of the softball season?
Nikki Owens: Although we had some really special moments throughout the course of the regular season, I would have to say that postseason was the best part of the year. It was really fun to be able to focus only on softball and not have to worry about school. It felt like all our hard work was finally paying off in a tangible way. Plus, we had some very good times living at the Claremont and then traveling to OKC!
CalBears.com: What was the best part about your fall or spring semester?
NO: The best part of my fall semester was really bonding with the team and making some very unforgettable memories during the time we spent together.
CalBears.com: After two semesters of college academics, what are you planning on doing differently or the same next semester in terms of school?
NO: I definitely plan on being more organized and proactive about my studies, especially now that I am getting into classes geared towards my major.
CalBears.com: What is something you didn't know before you came to Cal but you now know?
NO: There are so many answers I could give to that question, but the best one I can think of is that the Golden Bear Cafe has the best sandwiches ever.
CalBears.com: What was the favorite class you took this year?
NO: My favorite class was English R1A because my professor had a really interesting way of presenting the literature and it was a very small class. I always left feeling like I learned something new.
CalBears.com: What was the best part about Cal softball this year?
NO: The best part of being on the 2012 Cal softball team was getting to know my teammates and making all the crazy, hilarious memories we made along the way, especially when we started traveling and spending pretty much every minute of every day together.
CalBears.com: What surprised you most about your freshman year?
NO: Never in my life did I think that I would have to do so much walking! The hills of Berkeley are rough, especially when you are an uncoordinated person on crutches. And it's raining outside. But on a more real note, I would say I was most surprised by how close I became with my roommates and how I now view them as family.
CalBears.com: What class are you most looking forward to taking this fall semester?
NO: I'm really looking forward to taking Math 55, because I am a math nerd. Mathlete for life.
CalBears.com: Was playing at the NCAA Division I level what you expected or more?
NO: I wouldn't say it was more than what I expected, because I knew coming into this year that it was going to be a huge emotional and physical strain, but that it would also be very rewarding.
CalBears.com: What was it like to balance top-notch academics and playing on a nationally ranked softball team?
NO: Being a student at Cal is hard enough without adding the athlete part into the mix. Luckily, there are a lot of people willing to help you study, should you need it.
CalBears.com: What was the first trip to the postseason like for you?
NO: It was really fun to stay in the hotel with the team and just chill out and focus on softball during the week and then get to face off against some really great competition on the weekends. Going to Oklahoma felt very surreal, because I always watched the WCWS on television as a kid, and it was crazy to finally be in it.
CalBears.com: What is one of your most hilarious or embarrassing stories from your freshman year?
NO: I could write a full-length feature film about the embarrassing mishaps I have had this year. I would have to say the most embarrassing story from my freshman year that I can tell publicly would be when I had to use a glue stick that was in Breana Kostreba's backpack to keep my bangs back during Supers because we ran out of hair spray at the hotel. They tell you that glue is washable, but trust me, it's not.
CalBears.com: What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
NO: Be clear on what your priorities are and stick to them!