Inner Circle

Fastpitch News 7 Innings with Auburn Softballs Kasey Cooper

Auburn Softball

If anyone had the chance to see Kasey Cooper play last year you would know why she was named NFCA National c0-freshman of the year.  Cooper lead the Auburn softball team with a .418 batting average that included 74 hits, 10 doubles, 18 home runs and 77 RBI. The 77 RBI placed her third in the nation. The best news for Coach Myers is that he has her for three more years. Let’s get to know more about Kasey.

Accolades

  • NFCA Second-Team All-American (2014)
  • NFCA National Co-Freshman of the Year (2014)
  • NFCA First-Team All-Southeast Region (2014)
  • All-SEC Second-Team (2014)
  • SEC All-Freshman Team (2014)
  • SEC Freshman of the Week x2 (March 10, 2014, April 28, 2014)

FPN: At what age did you decide that you wanted to become an elite/college softball player, why?

Cooper: I was essentially born into the softball world; I picked up my big sister’s and parents’ passion for the game. I’ve wanted to compete at the highest level since I was old enough to know there was such a thing!

FPN: When did you hit your first home run? How did it make you feel?

Cooper: I hit my first home run my freshman year of high school. I felt relieved and excited because after elbow surgery the previous fall, many people doubted my ability to comeback. I was proud of myself for not succumbing to their degradations but instead using all of the negative comments to fuel my comeback.

FPN: Who or what inspired you the most to pursue your dream?

Cooper: My family and hero Derek Jeter inspired me the most to pursue my dreams of excelling at softball. My family constantly pushed me, and my sister was my role model. I want to be successful not only for myself but for them too. I also wrote numerous papers on Derek Jeter in school, but one of his quotes stuck with me—“There may be people that have more talent than you, but there’s no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do.” He was never the biggest or the strongest, but he will always be known as Mr. November.

FPN: Some advice to people who want to follow your path; what are three things you should do to help yourself improve as a player?

Cooper:

  1. Be able to take constructive criticism and apply it.
  2. Practice with a purpose.
  3. Enjoy it. Love it. Believe it.

You have to be able to take constructive criticism and apply it. No one wants to hear they are doing something wrong, but you cannot succeed if your method is flawed. This thought leads to my next point. Practice with a purpose. You should always being working towards a goal. You take ground balls and make accurate throws so that no matter how or when the ball is hit to you, you’ve practiced that exact play. The same applies to hitting. Finally, enjoy it; love it; believe it. You have to not only look forward to and appreciate the games, but the work that comes with being successful in any sport.

FPN: What is the first thing you look forward to in the off-season, why?

Cooper: The first thing I look forward to in the off season is being able to focus on the minute details of the game that result in major differences down the road, which is currently my body position in hitting and being quicker with my throws on defense.

FPN: What difficulties did you encounter transitioning from high school to college? (– softball or just college wise)

Cooper: The hardest challenge I faced during my transition from high school to college was time management. It’s not easy to balance the work outs, games, school, and any semblance of a social life. I am very grateful to my coaches, teammates, and family for helping me figure it all out.

FPN: What is your favorite type of bat to use, why?

Cooper: Demarini is my favorite bat because I love the crack of the bat off the ball when it gets broken in. It flies off the bat, and the sweet spot is outstanding.

FPN: Are you the type of player who likes to write things on your glove? If so, what do you write?

Cooper: Nope

FPN: Do you prefer Gatorade or water, why? If Gatorade, which is your favorite flavor/color?

Cooper: I prefer Gatorade during games, particularly blue.

FPN: After a game, what is your favorite thing to eat, why?

Cooper: The closest food to my hands!

FPN: What is your favorite thing about your coach, why?

Cooper: My favorite thing about Coach Myers is his ability to separate coaching us on the field in a professional way and caring for us like family outside the lines. He is very approachable, and his door is always open to his athletes.

FPN:  On your team who do you think has the best dance moves, why?

Cooper: Tiffany Howard, aka Sniff. She is normally very shy; however, when a good song comes on, she can really move! I was so shocked when I saw her dance the first time, which was the nae-nae on the bus, because she is not the type of person to bring attention to herself. She can not only leave us in the dust during sprints, but she can also leave us with her moves on the dance floor; however, no one realizes it!

FPN: In your mind what is a breakfast for champions, why?

Cooper: Peanut butter on whole wheat and bananas. Well I’m kind of partial to peanut butter on whole wheat bread with a banana for breakfast. It is sweet enough, healthy, and filling.

FPN: What genre of music gets you most ready to play a game, why?

Cooper: Fast tempo with a strong beat gets me going the most.

Extra Innings

FPN: Who is your favorite softball player of all time?

Cooper: Dot Richardson is my favorite softball player because not only was she a key player in the 1996 Olympic Games, but she also has her MD in orthopedic sports medicine. She’s my proof that I can live out my softball dreams and still pursue my career goals with medical school.

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