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USD Women's Softball
Senior student-athletes share thoughts on school and sports

Feature Stories Past Feature Stories
USD Women's Softball: Megan, Celeste, and Kristen

"I have acquired a well-rounded set of skills and knowledge that I will be able to apply to various jobs. I may have studied international relations specifically, but a liberal arts major is just that—liberal."

Megan Walsh '11

Softball season is in full swing, which means student athletes Kristen Gensler '11, Celeste Soto '11 and Megan Walsh '11 are each working hard to balance two full-time jobs—one on the field and one in the classroom.

"A typical week is really a rush for me," Walsh said. "If I am not running from class to practice, I am trying to squeeze in office hours or, if I'm lucky, an hour-long nap."

The women's softball team plays up to six games per weekend, and practices every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. In addition to their sports obligations, the women are also committed to strong academic performance.

Celeste Soto

"[A liberal arts curriculum] forces students to keep an open mind and critically think about societal norms and expectations that have been created over decades of human interaction. My experience in the Sociology Department has been nothing short of inspirational."

Celeste Soto '11

"I've learned that sometimes it takes late nights or waking up at 6 a.m. to finish homework or papers, but I have to get it done," Soto said.

According to Walsh, coaches encourage student athletes to put academics first. Exceptional performance is required on the softball field, but it is also required in the classroom. Gensler, Soto and Walsh all agreed that a liberal arts education has shaped them positively.

"It forces students to keep an open mind and critically think about societal norms and expectations that have been created over decades of human interaction," Soto said. "My experience in the Sociology Department has been nothing short of inspirational."

Megan Walsh

"I am really grateful to have professors who care about their students as much as they do. They take time out of their personal life to come and see what I do in mine, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them."

Megan Walsh '11

Walsh added that she feels her education has prepared her for any career path she might seek in the future.

"I have acquired a well-rounded set of skills and knowledge that I will be able to apply to various jobs. I may have studied international relations specifically, but a liberal arts major is just that—liberal," Walsh said.

According to the athletes, it is especially meaningful to see professors at games. For them, it represents an intersection of their two worlds—sports and academics. And at USD, professors and administrators are often seen cheering in the stands.

"My professor, Belinda Lum has come to a few of my games, and I think that's awesome to know she supports me as a student-athlete," Gensler said.

Kristen Gensler

"My professor, Belinda Lum has come to a few of my games, and I think that's awesome to know she supports me as a student-athlete."

Kristen Gensler '11

The women were asked to choose an influential professor to throw a pitch to them at the season opener. Gensler chose Lum and Soto asked Sociology Professor Erik Fritsvold, PhD to do the honors.

"I am really grateful to have professors who care about their students as much as they do," Walsh said. "They take time out of their personal life to come and see what I do in mine, and I have a tremendous amount of respect for them."

Academic and athletic successes aside, the women said they have developed meaningful friendships and wonderful college memories during their time on the team.

Megan, Celeste, and Kristen: a family on the USD Softball field

"I have had an amazing time at USD. My team has become my family away from home. They mean the world to me and will definitely be friends for life."

Kristen Gensler '11

"I have had an amazing time at USD, Gensler said. "My team has become my family away from home. They mean the world to me and will definitely be friends for life."

"This team has blessed me with too many memories to put into words, Walsh said. "When the coaches have to tell us to stop goofing around with each other as often as they do, I hate to say it, but in a way it's a good sign."

- Anne Malinoski ‘11

Click to view a list of upcoming softball games.

Video: USD Softball Seniors

Meet the Athletes

Celeste Soto

Celeste Soto ’11
Major: Sociology, Minor: Communication Studies
Position: third base
4 years on the team

Megan Walsh

Megan Walsh ’11
Majors: International Relations and Spanish
Position: first base
4 years on the team.

Kristen Gensler

Kristen Gensler ’11
Major: Sociology, Minor: Marketing
Position: center field
4 years on the team

Quick Facts

  • I'm going to be the first female to graduate college in my entire family -Soto
  • I started playing softball at the age of four -Soto
  • I love to paint -Gensler
  • I cannot wait to own a dog -Gensler
  • I have three brothers, all older: Luke, Casey, Sean. They're the reason I'm the athlete that I am today. I grew up begging to play every single game that they did. They were forced to let me play with them by my parents half the time, but they did nonetheless. -Walsh

Useful Links

http://usdtoreros.cstv.com/sports/w-softbl/usd-w-softbl-body.html

www.sandiego.edu/cas/sociology/

www.sandiego.edu/cas/polisci/