Softball senior Nickie Steger slides into leadership role

The Lamron: What are the goals for the team this year?

Nickie Steger: For team goals we obviously want to make it into the SUNYAC tournament, with the ultimate goal being to host the tournament. It's also really important to us to stay together and have a good time playing a game we all love.

Lamron: What will it take to accomplish these goals?

Steger: We already have great chemistry, which I think is important because it's not something you can necessarily control - it just has to click. So I think to reach our goals we have to take that and use it to play to our potential. We want to cut down on physical and mental errors, and for those times when we aren't perfect, we just have to trust that our teammates are going to get the next one for us.

Lamron: As one of only three seniors on the team, you are one of the key leaders. Do you feel there is more being asked of you in this role?

Steger: After last year, I'm getting more comfortable in a leadership role. In certain situations the younger players look to the seniors to say the right thing at the right time - whether it be to motivate people, calm everyone down, or get them going - so it becomes more of a matter of looking out for everyone, rather than just worrying about your last at-bat or play in the field.

Lamron: In what ways do you try to help the younger players?

Steger: For the younger players, I try to keep them relaxed and keep the atmosphere light. I think a lot of people play better in a setting like that, so I just try to be really excited for them. They have already made this year an amazing experience for me, and so you try to make them see that you trust their game.

Lamron: Which teams are your biggest rivals in SUNYAC play?

Steger: Whenever we play Cortland, Plattsburgh, Buff. State [sic], or Brockport, those are huge games. Especially in the last few years we've had some great games against Brockport and Buff. State and you obviously always want to come out on top.

Lamron: Which teams are the ones to beat in the conference this year?

Steger: Cortland and Plattsburgh are always at the top. Those games are definitely always tough and we're not expecting it to be any different this year.

Lamron: How would you describe your role on the team and what impact do you hope to make on the field this year?

Steger: I think I'm a little bit of the vocal leader, a little bit of the lead by example. In terms of on the field, I'm hoping to set the tone early for every game. Offensively, I want to do my job and just get on base however I can, maybe steal some bases, but really just put us in a position to let the big bats behind me do their thing. It's always nice to put up a few runs in the first inning, so if I can get myself on, we'll have plenty of people coming up to get me in. Defensively, it's always nice to take hits away from people so I wouldn't mind that. And also defensively, just communicating well with my teammates and keeping everyone positive and mentally prepared for the next play.

Lamron: What has been your favorite game in your career here so far?

Steger: We had a game last year against Oneonta, and it was our last weekend of play and we won a 6-5 game. I just remember the score going back and forth; we went up right away 2-0, then were down 2-4 in the 5th but came back in the home half of that inning to go up 6-4, and then after that we just held them off. I think it stands out because you have all kinds of emotions when a game is going up and down like that that when you win it, it just feels so great.

Lamron: What has been your favorite moment at bat?

Steger: It was that same game and in the 5th inning after they scored all their runs to go up 4-2, I was the first one up in the home half of the 5th. I don't think we had scored since the first inning and I got up and hit a triple to start a four-run inning. It stands out because they had just scored three runs on us, so going up to the plate you just want to do something to get the momentum back your way a little bit, so it was nice to be able to deliver in that situation and set the tone for what turned into a huge inning.