Sophomore Kristyn Lesovsky has made a big impact in her first season at UCSD. After spending her freshman campaign at Florida Tech, Lesovsky has led UCSD to a 29-23 overall record in 2009 and just helped the squad reach the CCAA Tournament Championship game for the first time in program history. A graduate of Royal High School in Simi Valley, Calif., Lesovsky is currently hitting a conference-high .463, which would rank as both the best single season mark in CCAA history and the program’s all-time standard if the season ended today. The sophomore outfielder is also closing in on the all-time UCSD single season hits record, needing just five to surpass Amy Mettee’s total of 78 in 2002. Voted the CCAA Newcomer of the Year last week, Lesovsky leads the Tritons in virtually every offensive category this season, including home runs (8), doubles (17), runs scored (40), total bases (115), walks (38), slugging percentage (.719) and on-base percentage (.569). “[Kristyn] has been an instrumental part of our team this year. She’s been our lead batter and has been fantastic,” said head coach Patti Gerckens. “She’s come through in clutch situations, whether it be with people on base or getting herself on base and out in the field she has been very strong defensively for us. She’s been great to have on the team.” As she prepares to lead the Tritons against second-seeded Hawaii Pacific in the first round of the NCAA West Regional, Lesovsky took some time to reflect upon her first season in La Jolla.
Q: Last weekend at the CCAA Tournament, you helped the Tritons rebound from an opening day loss to win two straight and advance to the CCAA Championship Game for the first time in program history. What did the team show through their performance and what do you feel you can build on heading into the NCAA West Regionals?
LESOVSKY: Our team showed that we did not just “sneak into the tournament,” as some people commented before our performance. Even though we did not get to compete in the championship game (it was cancelled due to rain), we are still pumped to play this weekend. Hopefully we’ll get the chance to play Monterey and send them home in a tournament that means much more.
Q: You spent last season playing softball at Florida Tech, where you started every game you played in and led the team batting .409. How did you land at Florida
LESOVSKY: Tech and what was your experience like there?I was recruited to Florida Tech and they offered me a scholarship and a major in marine biology and, at the time, that was all I wanted. Once our season was cancelled, however, I realized that playing competitive softball (merely finishing the season!) is what I want and need while attending college, which is why I had to transfer to a prestigious school that could offer me that.
Q: Can you explain some of the major factors influencing your decision to transfer to UCSD and how do the two colleges compare?
LESOVSKY: Well, of course being closer to home was a huge bonus after being away for a year. I also want to play softball and play with a competitive team, which Florida Tech could no longer offer once they cancelled our season. Seeing as Florida Tech was a school of about 3,000 undergraduates, there is quite a difference between the two schools, but nice weather without humidity is definitely better.
Q: What are some of the most valuable lessons head coach Patti Gerckens has taught you since you’ve become a part of the Triton family?
LESOVSKY: Coach G has showed me what a real collegiate level head coach should be. She is always there for all of us, on and off the field, and she always displays a highly respectable attitude.
Q: Having hit over .400 in both of your collegiate seasons to date, what do you think makes you such an effective hitter?
LESOVSKY: I think my ability to feel relaxed and confident up at the plate makes me an effective hitter. I also enjoy creating a personal challenge against the pitcher; I can’t let her beat me.
Q: As the leadoff batter, you are counted on to set the tone for the Triton offense. Have you always batted leadoff and is that where you feel most comfortable in the lineup? What are you trying to do any time you start off a game or inning?
LESOVSKY: I’ve batted just about everywhere in the lineup, but I’d have to say that I like being leadoff the best. I love being the one to set the tone for the game. I’ve found that I concentrate better when under some sort of pressure at the plate, and trying to start our game off with a leadoff double is the perfect amount.
Q: What has been the most memorable moment thus far of your first season at UCSD?
LESOVSKY: My most memorable moment thus far has been just being able to play through the entire season! I love traveling for games, which is something I didn’t get to do much of last year, and away trips are so much fun. I think all of my roommates would agree.
Q: Would you rather pick up a big hit or score a run on offense or make an exciting play in the outfield on defense?
LESOVSKY: I would rather pick up a big hit on offense while our pitcher throws a no hitter on defense.
Q: Aside from softball, which other UCSD sports do you enjoy watching? Are there any sports that you would like to compete in?
LESOVSKY: Aside from softball, I enjoy watching UCSD basketball and waterpolo. I had never been to a waterpolo match before my first quarter at UCSD, so that was fun. I don’t think any other sport would want me on their team though...my athletic ability seems to start and end with softball.
Q: As a General Biology major, what interests you about the topic and what do you hope to do with your major upon graduation?
LESOVSKY: I really wish that UCSD offered a Marine Biology major, because that is what has always interested me. When I graduate I hope to be able to do some animal training either at the zoo or at SeaWorld.
Q: What are some of your favorite off-field activities? What do you look forward to doing following the conclusion of the season?
LESOVSKY: I love going to the beach, going to SeaWorld with my season pass, and eating lots from Costco. My teammates and I will be doing a lot of these things following the conclusion of our season.
Q: Do you have a favorite softball chant or warm-up song that you always enjoy hearing?
LESOVSKY: Just like everyone, a good ‘N Sync or Justin Timberlake song gets me fired up before a game.