Panthers Unleashed: Sophomore Sensation

Michaela Foisy is safe at second.
Michaela Foisy (photo by Larry Newman)

She holds the career record in stolen bases. She leads the team in runs scored, hits, triples and batting average. She's only a sophomore?! Michaela Foisy has been tearing it up on the diamond for not quite two years now, and she's already carved out a place for herself in the record book.

When told about her spot at the top of the Panthers' statistics leaderboard, an incredulous look came over her. "Wow, I had no idea that was true," she said with a smile.

"I try not to look at statistics and I try not to worry about getting a title because that just gets in your head. I've talked to my teammates and they know everybody's batting average and I don't even know my own. I think that gets in your head and then you build up this pressure and then it's not about having fun anymore."

Fun. A key word in Foisy's vocabulary. "Our team is really weird in the dugout. Our cheers never make any sense but that's what keeps us loose. Being loose is a big proponent of having fun and we keep it weird. I don't like being too serious because it makes everyone tight, and that's no fun!"

Teammate Elizabeth Runge sees the importance of having fun with Foisy every day. "She makes every practice fun. She's very outgoing and anytime music comes on she's dancing. Sometimes she will just randomly burst into song halfway through practice," Runge said with a laugh.

Foisy may use her weird sense of humor and quirkiness to keep her teammates motivated, but how does she keep herself motivated?

"I kind of know my role on the team and I just want to do the most I can in all aspects of that to help us overall. I've been designated hitting for a while and if that's where I can put my effort and see results then I just want to help the most I can."

Foisy hasn't always been a designated hitter. In fact, she was a shortstop throughout her entire prep softball career.

"I played shortstop all my life so my freshman year it was really weird to be a designated hitter. I had always seen designated hitters as being big, power hitters and I am not that," she said with a laugh. "Designated hitter really grew on me. I really enjoy it."

Baseball and softball players are known for being a superstitious bunch and Foisy definitely fits that mold. When asked about her superstitions, Foisy did not disappoint.

"OH MY GOSH! I am probably the most superstitious person on the team! I wear my hair the same way, and I wear the same St. Patrick's Day ribbons. A green ribbon with our colors just doesn't go but I've been wearing it," she said with a big grin.

"The batter's cue, things I do before every at-bat are the same. I have to do a certain high-five with one of my teammates. Yeah, I'm very superstitious."

"It's weird, though. I wasn't superstitious in club and high school. It kind of just built up over the seasons [at Chapman]."

Superstitions are one thing, but her music is what gets Foisy pumped and ready to go before the first pitch.

"I love music. It's like my favorite thing; softball, music and the beach," she gushed. "I listen to a lot of rap music. Like, a lot of rap music."

It's clear to everyone in the stands that this girl is confident in her ability to hit and run the bases. It's also clear to her teammates in the dugout.

"She is so sassy and confident," said Runge. "When you watch her go up to bat, just the way she walks up to the plate. We make fun of her a lot because she always wiggles her butt before she goes to hit," she said with a laugh.

"She's always so loose and so calm and collected and just really confident in her ability to hit and I think that really helps her out, too."

More important than her confidence in herself is the way she imparts confidence and motivation in everyone else. One of the most important pieces of a team is the ability to take a step back and have fun while keeping each other motivated to play their best. Runge believes that Foisy is this key piece of the Chapman softball puzzle.

"She keeps everyone motivated and she makes people laugh. It's fun to be around her."

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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