Q&A with Carly Winger
Senior Carly Winger and the Virginia softball team begin postseason play at the 2009 ACC Championship this week in Raleigh, N.C. The Cavaliers will face Georgia Tech at 5 p.m. Friday and all quarterfinal and semifinal games will be broadcast free on ACC Select. Winger recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about the season, her dream job and what advice she would give to future Cavaliers.
Question: What is the team’s attitude heading into the ACC Championship?
Winger: We know we have to win it to continue the season. Our half of the bracket benefits us. We can compete with Georgia Tech so that is a good first round for us. It’s a little different than last year with it being single elimination. I’ve talked to Karla (Wilburn) and Casey (Steffan) about this, but it could be our last game, and you never know when you last at-bat is really going to be your last. That is the mind frame I have. I don’t want to waste my last few at-bats of my career.
Question: How would you describe your college career?
Winger: I’ve been all over the place. I definitely experienced two different college careers with two years at Berkeley and two years here. Berkeley was a great place and I loved it there. It was a totally different experience. With UVa, you are on Grounds and you know it. Berkeley was a block of the city cut into a campus and the student body was twice the size. But having two different experiences – I am so glad for that.
Question: What will you remember most about playing college softball?
Winger: It’s about the people you meet and the relationships you have with the other girls on the team. Every day going out there and working hard with a group of people who have the same passion and the same goals as you. I am going to be friends with these girls forever. I am a really competitive person with a competitive spirit so that I will miss.
Question: What are your plans for next year?
Winger: I will be here in the master’s program in the Comm School. It’s a one-year program in financial services. After that, I really don’t know. I want to use this next year to learn more and sort of figure things out.
Question: What is your dream job?
Winger: I have two ultimate dream jobs. One is to be the GM of a professional baseball team. Or, the other thing is, I am really big into entertainment. So I would love to be a Hollywood agent. But both of those industries are so hard to get into. You really have to know someone.
Question: What do you like to do for fun?
Winger: I watch a lot of TV. I am a big fan of “Lost,” “The Office,” and the HBO shows, “Entourage” and “Eastbound & Down.” I really liked to read: books, magazines. I don’t have a lot of time right now but once the season is over I want to get back into it. I have a big stack of books I want to read.
Question: How did you get started playing softball?
Winger: Oh, gosh. I started playing when I was four. My mom and dad played in a slow pitch league together when I was growing up. My mom played in high school and was always my coach. I started in tee-ball and then I started playing travel ball when I was eight.
Question: In your two seasons here, you have played shortstop, catcher and left field. What’s your favorite?
Winger: They all have different advantages. I played short from ninth grade until last year. I used to play first base when I was younger because I was tall and I could catch. All of a sudden I had an arm so I starting playing short. I like short and catching because both those positions are very important in advantaging the infield. I like seeing everything and being in that spot. The outfield thing is new for me, but I have a lot of fun catching fly balls. I have a good time.
Question: What advice would you give future Cavaliers?
Winger: Have a good attitude about everything. It’s important to learn to balance yourself with academics, softball and socially. You learn that about second semester of your second year. You get used to it, but it’s really important to find that balance. Have fun. The friendships are what you are going to remember.
Question: What is your favorite spot on Grounds?
Winger: The Lawn is a good spot but I like hanging out at the amphitheatre. It’s good sun and a lot of my classes are held out there when it’s nice out.