This week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Amanda Karnatz, a freshman softball player. Karnatz recently won the Blu Crew award for Rookie of the Year and Female Athlete of the Year.
Sarah Grubbe: Congratulations on being named both the Rookie and the Female Athlete of the year! What are you thinking about all of the recent recognition?
Amanda Karnatz: It’s very gratifying to be recognized for the hard work that I put in on the field. Our team has a great dynamic and we get out what we put in. Being so committed can become stressful at times, but I am reminded by this [recognition], my coach, my team and my family that putting my all into everything I do is well worth it.
SG: You’re a dual degree student with a BA in Math, a BM in Vocal Performance, involvement in Delta Gamma and you’re an integral part of the softball team. How are you managing all of the commitments?
AK: I have a great support system. I have an awesome relationship with my coach who provides me with leadership and also a personal investment. My mom is always on the other end of the phone when I’m stressed out and I have a great team. I really look up to the seniors too who are supportive and helpful, but really everyone on the team is someone I can look up to. They model great work ethics and remind me to keep going.
SG: The softball team was recently recognized for its staggering amount of community service hours. What does the service mean to your team?
AK: Our team is focused on direct impact service and it really shapes the nature of our team and is what I think makes our team special. Our coach places a heavy emphasis on service and giving back to our community. We enjoyed participating in the Polar Plunge and we have, as a team, made really strong and unique connections with people through the Friends of Jaclyn program.
SG: Throughout recruitment you kept the LU name in mind. Is there anything in particular that drew you to Lawrence?
AK: My coach is a huge part of the reason that I came to Lawrence. I knew that if I were to come here I would be able to do what I wanted to do—I’m able to sing and pursue a dual degree in mathematics and be a part of Greek life and play softball. In the end, it came down to where I felt the best about going.
SG: What are you looking forward to for the next season in terms of growth?
AK: I was two bases away from breaking the conference record of stolen bases, so I’d like to become faster and more agile. I know that our whole team is looking forward to trying to make it to conference. I’ve fallen in love with the game, which trumps fatigue and stress. At the end of the day, I enjoy what I do. It’s a great physical outlet and I have fun when I’m on the field. I’m ready to keep working hard and giving my best efforts to something I love to do.