By Carolyn Linck, '11
Briana Knight started in every game last year as a sophomore for the Broncos and was named to the 2010 PCSC All-Coastal Division First Team. Looking to contribute in a major away again as a junior, Knight is excited about the upcoming season. Recently SantaClaraBroncos.com (SCB) caught up with Knight (BK) about her success as an underclassman, her goals for this season, and how she balances school and softball.
SCB: Last year you started in all 45 games. What kind of physical toll does that take on your body?
BK: I definitely suffered when the end of season rolled around. I unknowingly developed shin splints in both legs at the beginning of season, so by the end of the year I was really hurting. Otherwise, our coaches kept us in good shape so I was able to finish the season strong and on top of my game.
SCB: Last year in your sophomore season you led the team in the major hitting categories. How are you hoping to duplicate this success in your junior year?
BK: I strongly believe in extra effort and a positive attitude when it comes to hitting. In order to be successful this year, I plan on working hard at having consistent mechanics and remembering to be a smart batter when I'm in the box. As long as I'm patient in selecting pitches I will be successful.
SCB: As a sophomore you were also named to the 2010 PCSC All-Coastal Division First Team. What was it like to receive this honor?
BK: It was a great award to receive. I am truly honored to be considered a "first-teamer," and appreciate all of the people who thought so.
SCB: What do you hope to accomplish by the end of your Santa Clara softball career?
BK: I hope to have achieved a very high batting average and double-digit homeruns in my last season so that I can go out with a bang and finish my softball career as the best player I can be.
SCB: What aspect of your game do you believe needs the most improvement? What have you been working on most this off-season?
BK: My patience at the plate is something I believe needs the most improvement. Sometimes I find myself swinging at marginal pitches because I know I can hit the ball as long as I watch it, but this doesn't always lead to good hits. When I wait for my pitch, I get the best hits. This off-season I've been working on that aspect of my game most.
SCB: What are your goals and expectations for the coming year?
BK: I have very high expectations for myself this year. I aim to be flawless in the field, successful more than half of the time at the plate and lightening fast on the bases. I want to achieve a high batting average and double-digit homeruns this upcoming season as well.
SCB: What has been your best memory in your three years of playing softball for the Broncos?
BK: My best memory is when I hit a line drive homerun over the fence to tie the game up in the bottom of the seventh last year. The feeling of changing the game in an instant and the literal feeling of the ball connecting with my bat are both indescribable.
SCB: You were also named to the 2010 PCSC Academic Honor Roll. How do you balance academics and athletics?
BK: It is very difficult being an athlete at such a rigorous university. With work to be done every day, I find myself staying up late, sacrificing social time and often studying while we're on the road. It is especially hard with early morning workouts, but good food and power naps keep me going.