April 11, 2013
For each of the next three weeks, one Nevada senior softball player will be featured in a Wolf Pack Senior Profile. These question and answer sessions with the Nevada Media Services staff will center on the experience of a Nevada Softball player and the program's change and improvement in recent seasons.
This week's profile subject is Alex Hayes, a senior from Sherman Oaks, Calif.
What has your experience as a Nevada Softball player been like?
"We're cooky, we really don't care who's watching. Put a few of us together and you never know what is going to happen. I think about it like this, when I finished high school, I wasn't sure that college softball at the highest level was for me, but looking back at it, I'm so glad I worked to get to this point and this place. I've bonded with new girls, new friends and new sisters for life."
Is there a moment that you can think of that embodies that kind of closeness?
"When we do our free bases cheer. I remember the first time we did it, everybody was hanging on the dugout or doing something crazy and that made me want to invest in this team and these girls. We are all in it together."
How about during your senior season?
"The atmosphere around this team has been special. The name on the front of the jersey has meant more than the name on the back. We come out to practice every day and see the championship banners on the fence, and we want to put another one up. Knowing that I am a part of that here is exciting, because you want to go all out in your senior year."
Is there something about this team that people don't know, but should?
"Maybe little things, those mean so much to us, like our over-the-hill rivalry with Pacific, who we play in the Fall and worked really hard to beat this season."
"Our reaction at Stanford last season when Sara hit the walk off (home run), climbing the dugout to get to her. Moments like that mean so much to all of us and they are where our success begins as a team."
Do you think that is where the confidence of the 2013 team began?
"For this team specifically I think it was the Fall. We had the best Fall we have had since I was here, and that carried over into the first few weeks of the season. Then to see us be so good hitting the ball in our first few tournaments and to have that continue in the next couple of weeks, we knew we could be really dangerous."
What is the one thing you will take with you when this season and your career are over?
"The passion this community has for the University and the Wolf Pack. I remember the first week I was here a little kid came up to me in the grocery store and said `You play on the softball team at Nevada... that is so cool!' Things like that"
"Like I said earlier, out of high school I wasn't sure this was for me, but I know now if I hadn't played here I would be regretful. Playing softball has helped me stay focused in school and so many other things. I am thankful that I was raised to find the best in things and to enjoy myself, and I have had such a blast at Nevada."