Q&A with Alison Pittman
Junior Alison Pittman and the Virginia softball team are back in action this weekend when they play host to the Cavalier Classic. The round-robin tournament will feature UVa, Delaware State and Columbia. Virginia’s first game is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday against the Hornets. Pittman, a native of Newburg, Pa., recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to talk about her role as a team captain, her thoughts on the season so far and what she learned growing up as one of six children in her household.
Question: What did it mean to you to be selected as a team captain this year?
Pittman: It was kind of a unique situation because it happened in the middle of the year. I think it is really exciting and it something I have been striving for. At the same time, it is demanding. You know you have pressure from the coaches to do the little things that keep the team on track.
Question: For you to actually be able to play at home this weekend, what will it be like to get to play games on your field?
Pittman: It’s about time! Everyone has that feeling. We went into the first weekend not even having played on dirt, not even practicing on dirt. The other thing is we are ready to be at home and not stuck in a hotel. We are ready to be on our field and go out there and win.
Question: Do you think playing on your own field will give you more confidence in terms of a comfort level?
Pittman: Yeah, I think especially right now, we came off a rough weekend against Notre Dame. We will be more comfortable and more relaxed.
Question: How would you describe the season so far?
Pittman: Even though we have lost more games than what we would like, we have learned more about where we need to be when it comes time for ACCs, as opposed to peaking at the beginning of the year. We have had some adversity this year, now we go and fix it. We are learning and fixing the little things now so when the ACC season gets here, we are ready to go.
Question: There are a lot of new players this year, how is the team meshing together?
Pittman: This year’s team is one of the closest we have had. Everyone’s personalities just seem to fit and it is one of the most fun teams I have been on. We work together on the field as well as off the field.
Question: What are your goals for this season?
Pittman: Our biggest goal is to make it to regionals. We have the physical and mental abilities to do it; we just have to come together as a team.
Question: Are you back to being comfortable behind the plate after playing left field for much of last season?
Pittman: It’s different because of me being the underclassman catching for the upperclassman, it’s now kind of like I have the control to go out and tell Mel (Mitchell) what I need her to do. I have experience the college level so it’s more about guidance instead of just going along for the ride.
Question: What are you doing when you aren’t playing softball?
Pittman: We haven’t played Quiddler too much this year, though (Kristen) Hawkins has joined in, and she’s pretty good. In my free time I go shopping, spend time of Facebook, watch TV. It’s nice just to hang out.
Question: What kind of life lessons do you learn as one of six kids growing up?
Pittman: I am the fifth so I sort of lucked out because I got a lot more material items than my older brothers and sisters. But it just goes to show you that you have to share, you have to give in, it can’t be your way all the time.
Question: What is your major?
Pittman: Early childhood special education with an emphasis on psychology. I am doing the five-year master’s program.
Question: What is your interest in that field?
Pittman: I just think that people with disabilities are definitely pushed aside in our society. If you can identify the disability early enough, and teach them ways to fit in socially and academically, they will be more successful and more productive to our society.