Wellesley’s softball team has a 10-10 record thus far this season, and outfielder Anna Pisac ’17 has been an important part of the team’s success. Hailing from Snohomish, Washington, Pisac has a .431 batting average and has had 9 home runs this season. She is currently ranked in the top five in the NCAA in slugging percentage and home runs per game, and her home runs against Brandeis and Coast Guard earned her the NEWMAC Softball Player of the Week award for the week ending April 3. Wellesley News spoke with Pisac about her athletic career thus far and learned of her admiration for Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.
Jane Vaughan (J.V.): When did you start playing softball?
Anna Pisac (A.P.): I started playing softball when I was four years old. I played tee-ball. My parents always used to dress me up in a bright pink Winnie the Pooh sweatshirt. It was great.
J.V.: Were your parents the ones that pushed you to do it?
A.P.: I’ve always just been very competitive, and they wanted to make sure that I had an outlet for that. So it was their idea, but once I started, there was no stopping me. I’ve played since I was four, so 16 years.
J.V.: Did you ever try playing anything else?
A.P.: I played soccer until my sophomore year of high school, and I played basketball for a couple of years as well. My dad tried to get me into golf. I could hit the ball a long way, so he was seeing dollar signs, but it wasn’t fast paced enough for me.
J.V.: So why have you continued to play for so long? 16 years is a long time!
A.P.: For me, playing softball is like a release. Especially, even more so now that I’m here. There’s so much expected of us academically, and it’s just nice to be able to take a break from that and swing a bat at a ball. It’s a big stress relief, and it really, I think, makes me a more well-rounded person.
J.V.: Why did you decide to play softball at Wellesley?
A.P.: I actually wasn’t sure that I was going to play softball at college at first because I am a pre-med, and I wanted to go to a school that would be academically challenging for me, and I didn’t know if I would be able to balance all of those things at once. But I got recruited by the Wellesley assistant coach at a tournament in Colorado, and I had not heard of the school before. But once I did some research, it seemed like it would be a place where I’d be able to balance all these parts of my life at once. And once I visited, the campus is beautiful, the field is one of the nicest fields I’ve ever played on. It’s just as nice as any D-1 fields that you would see, and so that was pretty tempting. Hard to say no to that!
J.V.: How has it been, trying to balance all of those things?
A.P.: I’ve actually surprised myself at how well I’ve been balancing everything. I also work in the fitness center on campus, so I’ve got classes and softball and work and whatnot. But I think it makes me use my time well, and so it has taught me how to manage a lot of different obligations all at once.
J.V.: What do you like most about softball?
A.P.: I like the team. It was so wonderful to be able to come here all the way, across the country, and have an instant friend group of 15 people. You know that all of these people have your back, not just on the field, but in life in general. If you’re sick, they’ll go get you food. If you’re crying, they’ll come to your room and comfort you. It’s just the fact that the team’s a family, and we all love each other.
J.V.: Is there anything you dislike about softball?
A.P.: Softball is one of those sports where if you fail seven times out of 10, you’re doing a really good job, hitting wise. Having a batting average of .300 is good, but having a batting average of .300 means you’re only getting on base three times out of 10. So you’re not getting on base seven times out of 10. You have to balance those two things, and I think particularly Wellesley fosters this perfectionist attitude. You can’t be a perfectionist in softball because it will just crush you. So sometimes that bothers me, but I think it’s also a good thing because it teaches me to be relaxed about things.
J.V.: Do you have any pre-game rituals?
A.P.: I always listen to “Jungle” by X Ambassadors, which is also my walk-out song. I wear the same headband for every single game. I’ve worn the same headband for all of my games this season, and it has been going pretty well for me.
J.V.: Who’s your favorite professional athlete?
A.P.: I really like J.J. Watt, who’s the defensive end for the Houston Texans, which is funny because I’m not a Texans fan, and I’m not from Texas. He’s just incredible in terms of his athleticism, but he’s also just a really nice guy. Seeing the things that he does for kids in his community and everything, I really respect that. Because I think that athletes on that stage should be people that kids can look up to, and I think that not only is he an incredible player, one of the best defensive players that the NFL is seeing right now, if not all time, but he’s also somebody that, if I had kids, I would want them to look up to him.
J.V.: Do you have any advice for incoming students who might want to play softball at Wellesley?
A.P.: I would say that definitely, if you have any interest in it, give it a try. We’ve had people walk on every single year that I’ve been here so far. The team is wonderful, the coaching staff is extremely supportive. Honestly, if I didn’t play softball here at Wellesley, I don’t know if I would still be here. That has been the biggest, most enjoyable aspect of my career here at Wellesley, having the team and having that support and competition.
Blue Softball will play a doubleheader against Endicott College on Wednesday, April 13 at Endicott at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. and will finish the week with a doubleheader against Wheaton on Friday at Wheaton at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Photo courtesy of wellesleyblue.com