Nicole Lowenstein, John Carroll, Softball

Q&A --

May 13, 2007|By BILL FREE

John Carroll junior catcher Nicole Lowenstein forms one of the area's top batteries with pitcher Angela DiBeneditto. Lowenstein is hitting .436, leads the team with 14 RBIs, has three home runs and two doubles and has thrown out four out of seven runners attempting to steal. She also has been intentionally walked five times. Lowenstein, an intense player who is one of three team captains, worked on her catching skills six days a week last fall with Ed Lynch, a former minor-league catcher who coached Lowenstein last summer on the Maryland Legends.

How does an intense player such as yourself keep the atmosphere light on the team when necessary?

When we play, I get real aggressive. I'm like a completely different person. I call myself "The Beast" when I come on the field. ... Once I put my helmet on, I'm like a warrior-type person. But I'm a team captain this year, so I kind of take it upon myself to keep the team chemistry up. Even if we're losing I try to keep the intensity up, and myself up as well.

Do you enjoy being a leader on the field?

I like to take charge. I like to be the leader on the field because that's what the catcher is. I tell all the players, like the outfielders, where they need to be for certain hitters. I'll tell the infielders about the plays and the outs and make sure they know what they're doing. If something goes wrong, I'll tell them what they should have done. They're very respectful because they respect me as a leader.

What's a typical conversation when you go to the mound to talk to Angela DiBeneditto?

If I go out there and we're in a bad situation -- usually she's not too down because she's a very composed pitcher when she's on the mound -- I try to say things like, "All right, keep your speed, hit your spots, you're doing great." Anything to give her more confidence than maybe what she is feeling. We'll talk about the next hitter and where we want to pitch them. We'll give each other little high-fives, a smack on the back and try to keep the intensity up.

What goes through your mind during an intentional walk. Are you ever tempted to step out and hit one of those pitches?

I'm not going to lie -- I try to crowd the plate just in case they make a mistake. I get really anxious, but I'm patient because I know overall for the team it's good because they get a runner on. I'm not going to lie -- I'd rather stand up there and hit the ball over their heads than take a walk.

How satisfying is it to throw out runners attempting to steal?

I've worked so hard at it. Over the fall I buckled down and worked out with Ed [Lynch]. I'd go right after school up to Cecil County. I'd be up there about two hours, working on technical, mechanical form. We'd work on hitting and throwing. We'd probably throw for about 45 minutes. I continued that work over the winter, and I perfected it to get ready to play at the college level.

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