One-on-one with Kelsey Miller '16
This week I sat down with the softball team’s Kelsey Miller ’16. Miller plays third base and started 39 out of the 40 regular season games, batting .216 through the season. In the 2015 season, the softball team won its second consecutive Ivy League title, earning its second straight NCAA tournament berth.
How would you categorize this season overall?
KM: We obviously had an amazing season. We won the Ivy [League] Championship for the second year in a row, which we are very, very proud of. We honestly wish that we would have performed better at the NCAA tournament, and we did not meet our goal of winning a regional [game]. Although we had success, our team is striving for much more. We do not want to become complacent, but instead to continue to strive for excellence. We will win a regional [game]. Unfortunately that wasn’t this year, but we still have a lot to be proud of.
What do you love about playing softball at Dartmouth?
KM: We are a family. We have three core values, and one of them is that we are a family. My teammates are my sisters, and I would do absolutely anything for them. Because we are all so close, it makes playing that much more fun. I play for myself and my happiness, but most of all I play for my sisters and my coaches.
What was it like to play at NCAA Regionals?
KM: NCAA Regionals is an amazing place to be. Last year we were honestly very shell-shocked and just happy to be there. This year we actually wanted to compete. Playing at regionals is obviously a huge accomplishment, but we no longer want to feel lucky to be there. We want to win, and we 100 percent have the ability to do that.
What do you think the team can do to improve in future seasons?
KM: We have a really good program full of great players and coaches. We played this season with confidence and demanded respect from our opponents. Next year the goal is to win a regional game, the same as it was this year. In order to do that we need to have the mentality that we can and will compete at that level. We are good enough to beat the big teams, but we need to know that and expect ourselves to do that. Softball is 90 percent mental, and next year we need to be mentally strong enough to go in and win games.
What is your favorite thing about playing third base? Are there other positions you like to play?
KM: I love third base. I started playing my sophomore year of high school, and I have stayed there ever since. I like that everything is purely reaction. The bunts and the slappers are quick and speedy so you have to have quick feet, while the bigger girls hit the crap out the ball and you have to have quick hands. There is a little bit of everything at third, and it keeps things exciting. I have played many positions throughout my softball career including short, second and outfield. But I really like third base the best.
How did you start playing softball? When did you know it was something you wanted to do in college?
KM: My mother played softball, so when I was old enough I started playing. I knew I wanted to do this in college because I 100 percent love the game. Outside of softball is hard and a lot of work, but when I step on the softball field a happiness that I cannot explain comes upon me.
What is it like to be a student-athlete at Dartmouth?
KM: Being a student-athlete is tough at any school, but especially hard at Dartmouth. I have never worked so hard for something, but it’s 100 percent worth it. There is a huge balance that had to happen, but once that is figured out it really isn’t that bad. I still get to do everything I want, including being an athlete.
This interview has been edited and condensed.