As a senior All-American, outfielder Kris Lesovsky looks to continue leading the Tritons to the promised land. After being a part of the 2011 NCAA Division II national championship team, Lesovsky aims to repeat the feat in 2012. Already one of the greatest softball players in UCSD history Lesovksy hopes to continue to rewrite the record books as the team continues to implement newcomers and win games. UCSDtritons.com got a chance to catch up with Kris and here is what she had to say...
Q - Last season, your team won the Division II
national championship. Describe what that experience was like.
- Winning the DII National Championship was one of the greatest
experiences of my life. It was a feeling of elation, pride, and relief. We had
been working the hardest any of us have ever worked mentally and physically for
eight months straight, and to end the season on a win made every ounce of sweat
and soreness we had endured instantly worth it. We could not have won without
the support of our friends, family, and alumni all in the stands at our Super
Regional series, as well watching anxiously on their tvs and computers when we
were in Virginia. The pride of bringing the Triton family together like that,
as well as earning those championship rings, was the best championship I have ever
had the privilege to be a part of.
Q - At what point of last season did you know the team had a chance to go all
- For me, the point of last season that I knew that we could not only
compete in postseason but actually win a championship was at the West Regional
in Chico. We were all in sync with each other, and I'm not talking about just
on the field. We were as mentally and physically prepared as we could ever be,
and did not let the fear of losing hinder us at all. Comic relief was breaking
out all throughout that weekend, including stretching before practice in front
of the Chico dorms and hoping for a resident to start blasting music, and
having to huddle for shelter in the Chico baseball locker room during an
intense game-delaying lightening storm. Having the ability to enjoy our ride
through postseason was a necessity because everyone was relaxed and confident,
especially the coaching staff. Once I realized that we all had this ability to
relax and enjoy the game we loved even through the stressful postseason, I knew
we could win it all.
Q - You're listed at the top of the UCSD career record book in walks, doubles
and currently batting average. Did you ever think when you came to UCSD you'd
go down as one of the best players in the program's history?
- When I first transferred to UCSD I did not know what to expect. I was
coming off half a season of freshman experience in a completely different
conference on the other side of the country. It's funny because I had never
been to the UCSD campus or seen any type of UCSD softball, and the coaches had
never seen me play in real life either (recruiting DVD's don't count!). All I
wanted to do was prove myself to the coaches and show them that they had not
made a mistake in signing a freshman who was desperate to transfer. Ever since
then I've just been trying to keep up with my sophomore-year self!
Q - Why did you transfer from Florida Tech
to UCSD four years ago?
- Throughout my softball life, my ultimate goal has been to play softball
competitively at the collegiate level. So when our season got cancelled in
March of my freshman year at Florida Tech, I knew it was no longer the right
fit for me. Most of that team was not returning for the following season, which
meant that my precious final years of playing softball would be spent
rebuilding the team that was unable to compete my first year. When I learned of
this predicament, I started sending out emails and recruiting DVDs as soon as I
could. And as Coach G always says, everything happens for a reason.
Q - Your team lost a number of key players due to graduation - Katrin Gabriel,
Jenn De Fazio, Sarah Woofter. What are some differences between last year's
team and this year's team, and who have you seen step up to fill the shoes of
last year's seniors?
- First of all, you are right. The seniors we lost were great softball
players as well as incredible teammates. Replacing them has not been easy, but
so many people have stepped up this year. This year we have had more people
contributing throughout the entire lineup, which is wonderful because no matter
where we are in the batting order, in the bottom of the 7th with the
winning run on third we know whoever is up is going to come through for us. In
terms of filling the shoes of the graduating seniors from last year, Emily McQuaid has definitely stepped up and has been
an amazing 3rd baseman for us. Freshmen Monique Portugal and Maria
Sykes have been playing games much higher than their grade levels at 2nd
base and the outfield. And Tess Granath, who was primarily a pitcher last year,
has learned the position of left field and has been contributing both
defensively and offensively this year.
Q - You lead the program in career batting average, as well as career walks.
What is your mindset at the plate? Do you go up there with a particular
- At the plate, my mindset is just to get a hit. Just a single. Every
time I step up to the plate, that's what I tell myself. Sometimes I forget, of
course, and just go up swinging for the fences (which almost never works) but
the next at bat I try to get back to that steady strategy. It's really just a
way to stay relaxed and let the muscle memory take over. I try not to think too
much up at the plate, and if I start thinking too much about trying not to
think too much, I pick a song and sing it in my head. J
Q - If you had to give any advice to a high school player who wanted to play
collegiate softball, what would your advice be?
- My advice to a high school player wanting to play collegiate softball
is to relax throughout the whole recruiting process. You will get seen,
especially when you least expect it. Having an open mind and a welcoming
attitude helps too, as coaches watch you both on and off the field. Know what
you want in terms of school location, small or large student population, major/area
of studies, etc. and be proactive. Write to the top schools on your list
yourself (don't have your parents do it for you) and let them know your game
times at upcoming tournaments. And believe in yourself.
Q - What's it like playing for head coach Patti Gerckens?
- Coach G has been one of the best coaches I could have played for for
four years. She eats, sleeps, and breathes UCSD softball, so it's easy to trust
the decisions she makes on the field because you know that she has dwelled over
each and every one of them and knows it is the right choice. We are such a
close team, and Coach G emphasizes the family aspect; I know I can count on her
for whatever I need at that time, whether it's a friendly joke or dance move to
lighten the mood or a listening ear.
Q - Why is Camille Gaito such a good pitcher?
- Camille is such a good pitcher because I can see every pitch she throws
(I play directly behind her in center field), and being her pitching coach I
can immediately tell her that she can't throw ____ pitch right down the middle.
With that easy adjustment and my sound advice, Camille is one of the best
pitchers in DII.
Q - When not playing softball, what do you enjoy doing around San Diego?
- When not playing softball, working, or studying, I enjoy San Diego just
like everyone else. I love hiking Torrey Pines, running on the beach, drinking
Starbucks coffee, and reading.
Q - What do you think the future has in store for you after graduation? What do
you want to do?
- After graduation, I am planning on enrolling in an interpreter's
program for American Sign Language/English interpreting. I'm not sure where
yet-San Diego, near home (LA), up north, a different state? Right now the plan
is to enjoy working in San Diego at least until my lease is up with my
apartment complex in September. And to watch my baby sister Brynn play in the
CCAA next year as a catcher for Chico State J
Q - Who were some of your greatest influences growing up? Who helped you become
a quality softball player the most?
- The people that influenced me the most growing up were my parents (of
course), my travel ball softball coach Phil Bruder (California Raiders), and my
sister Brynn. My parents taught me that my dedication to softball (practicing,
playing games on the weekends, going to sleep early while my friends were at
the movies) would pay off in the future. I owe almost all of my physical skills
in hitting to Phil Bruder, and my diving abilities in the outfield to his wife
Raleen. Finally, although I'm sure she doesn't know this, my youngest sister
Brynn has taught me that no matter what I'm feeling about a particular
performance on the field, there is always someone who believes in you. I pride
myself on trying to be a good role model for her, so by knowing that she is
watching every move I make, I try to be a better player and person.
Q - What don't people know about you?
- I want to be a beekeeper when I grow up.
Previous Q & A Articles
Danny Susdorf (Baseball) March 6, 2012
Sarah Lizotte (Women's Water Polo) February 9, 2012
Charity Elliott (Women's Basketball) January 31, 2012
Alex Henley (Women's Swimming & Diving) January 17, 2012
James McCann (Men's Basketball) December 29, 2011
Emily Osga (Women's Basketball) December 19, 2011
John Butler (Men's Water Polo) November 28, 2011
Lauren Demos (Women's Volleyball) November 8, 2011
Cory Wolfrom (Men's Soccer) October 26, 2011
Ellen Wilson (Women's Soccer) October 1, 2011
Brian Donohoe (Men's Water Polo) September 4, 2011
Roxanne Brunsting (Women's Volleyball) August 19, 2011
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer) August 4, 2011
Jon Pascale (Men's Soccer) August 4, 2011
Vincent Nguyen (Tennis) July 1, 2011
Patti Gerckens (Softball) May 26, 2011
Blake Tagmyer (Baseball) May 11, 2011
Theresa Richards (Women's Track & Field) April 27, 2011
Austin West (Men's Tennis) April 17, 2011
Drew Lawyer (Men's Crew) April 11, 2011
Keith Okasaki (Men's Golf) March 26, 2011
Matt Herman (Men's Swimming & Diving) March 12, 2011
Hanalei Crowell (Women's Water Polo) March 5, 2011
Camille Gaito (Softball) February 23, 2011
Tim Shibuya (Baseball) February 8, 2011
Carl Eberts (Men's Volleyball) January 31, 2011
Neda Nguyen (Women's Swimming & Diving) January 24, 2011
Amy Bianchini (Fencing) January 14, 2011
Lauren Freidenberg (Women's Basketball) January 3, 2011
Christian Hatch (Men's Basketball) December 24, 2010
Blake Langland (Men's Swimming & Diving) November 27, 2010
Sarah McTigue (Women's Soccer) November 8, 2010
Brandon Yee (Men's Soccer) October 11, 2010
Bryce Madsen (Men's Water Polo) September 23, 2010
Annette Ilg (Women's Soccer) September 9, 2010
Ricci Luyties (Women's Volleyball Head Coach) August 24, 2010
Kevin Messey (Head Athletics Trainer) July 7, 2010
Dan O'Brien (Baseball Head Coach) June 18, 2010
Christine Merrill (Women's Track & Field) June 14, 2010
Vance Albitz (Baseball) May 11, 2010
Erik Elliott (Men's Tennis) May 3, 2010
Kelly Fogarty (Women's Track & Field) April 23, 2010
Liz LaPlante (Women's Tennis Head Coach) April 15, 2010
Kirby St. John (Baseball) March 24, 2010
Dan Perdew (Men's Swimming) February 28, 2010
Calvin Ross (Men's Volleyball) February 20, 2010
Nicole Saari (Softball) February 4, 2010
Brad Kreutzkamp (Women's Water Polo Head Coach) January 18, 2010
Tyler Acevedo (Men's Basketball) January 4, 2010
Dr. Cliff Kubiak (UCSD's Faculty Athletic Rep) December 18, 2009
Chelsea Carlisle (Women's Basketball) December 9, 2009
Carianne Cunningham (Women's Swimming) November 23, 2009
Elena Inouye (Cross Country) November 6, 2009
David Morton (Men's Water Polo) October 28, 2009
Juan Pablo Carillo (Men's Swimming) October 19, 2009
Sara Spaventa (Women's Soccer) October 10, 2009
Karen Reis (Women's Volleyball) October 2, 2009
Daniel Pavitt (Men's Soccer) September 23, 2009
Daniel Anderson (Cross Country) September 11, 2009
Peter Gresham (Men's Water Polo) September 2, 2009
Alexia Zatarain (Women's Soccer) August 24, 2009
Elaine Chen (Women's Volleyball) August 12, 2009
Jared Kukura (Men's Soccer) July 30, 2009
Dawn Lee (Former Women's Soccer Standout) July 8, 2009
Rob Mamula (Director of Athletic Performance) June 18, 2009
Garrett Imeson (Baseball) June 8, 2009
Leon Baham (Men's Track & Field) May 21, 2009
Kristyn Lesovsky (Softball) May 8, 2009
Kazumi Negishi (Men's Tennis) May 5, 2009
Laiah Blue (Women's Track & Field) April 16, 2009
Ryan Andre (Men's Crew) April 2, 2009
Josh Tanner (Baseball) March 24, 2009
Anju Shimura (Women's Swimming) March 7, 2009
Stephanie Bocian (Women's Water Polo) February 20, 2009
Lauren Chastain (Softball) February 5, 2009
A.J. Maulhardt (Men's Basketball) January 28, 2009
Annette Ilg (Women's Basketball) January 22, 2009
Steven Hardy (Men's Swimming) January 13, 2009
Frank Fritsch (Men's Volleyball) January 5, 2009