Q&A with Stephanie Coates
Junior pitcher Stephanie Coates and the Virginia softball team hits the road for the first time in a month with a three-game series at North Carolina this weekend. The Cavaliers and Tar Heels will play a doubleheader at 1 p.m. Saturday before concluding the series at 1 p.m. Sunday. Coates, a native of Gloucester, Va., recently sat down with VirginiaSports.com to chat about the season, her favorite pitch and some of her favorite classes at UVa.
Question: How would you describe where the team is at this point in the season?
Coates: We had a pretty good start in the preseason and then leading up to the ACC season, we’ve hit a little bit of a slump. We are just trying to push past that and really take things and put them in a positive perspective. We are trying to work through the hard times and stay positive.
Question: Was it nice playing at home for as long as you did?
Coates: Definitely. It was nice to sleep in our own beds and not have to travel so much, and it was nice to go to class – always a good thing. It felt good to get back into a little bit of a rhythm. And having a home crowd is always nice.
Question: How would you describe the team this season?
Coates: I would say we are a young team. We had that last year, but we had the big bats from our upperclassmen. This season we are more about hitting gaps and what-not. We really need everybody to step up and be able to hit people in. And our defense is always solid.
Question: Individually, how would you say you have improved since your first year?
Coates: Aside from physically just being able to work in the weight room, my mentality has changed a lot, and I’m even still working on that some.
Question: What is your favorite pitch to throw?
Coates: Knuckle curve. It’s a good go-to pitch.
Question: What is your major?
Coates: I am an archeology major and am looking to do something in the field that involves a lot of research. I am still trying to figure out what area of expertise I want to focus on – I’m looking into a lot of Virginia stuff around Jamestown and Williamsburg because that is close to home for me.
Question: What is your interest in that field?
Coates: I took a class my first year on classical archeology – it was an art history class. Just being able to dig up artifacts and translate that and put into prospective the history part – that was just really fascinating to me.
Question: Would you say that has been your favorite class at UVa?
Coates: That has definitely been one of them. I also really liked my archeology and slavery class. The head guy at Monticello actually taught that class. We really went in depth on a lot of different topics.
Place on Grounds: The Garden behind Fayerweather Hall
Movie: “The Green Mile”
Book: “Twilight” by Stephenie Meyer
Subject to Study: Archaeology
Place to Travel: Cedar Point in Ohio
Music Artist: Jason Aldean
Song: “She’s Country” by Jason Aldean
TV Show: “Smallville”
Candy: Sour Patch Kids