Q & A with Senior Softball Third Baseman Cici Alvarez

Jan. 22, 2007

ORLANDO - The UCF Golden Knights softball team is preparing for its upcoming season which kicks off on Feb. 9 at the FAU tournament in Boca Raton, Fla. Senior third baseman Cici Alvarez is excited for the new season to begin. Last season Alvarez started all 56 games at third base for the Golden Knights and led the team in batting average (.313), on-base percentage (.409), runs scored (30), hits (52), walks (27), sacrifice hits (16), stolen bases (22) and assists (168). Alvarez recently took time to discuss the upcoming season and how her senior status is going to impact the Golden Knights.

Q: What would you say is your role on the team this year as a senior?
"I want to be a leader for sure. We have four seniors and it is going to be tough on us being our last year here but I definitely want to step up and be a leader for the team."

Q: How do you feel about playing at the brand new softball facility?
"It is so exciting. Last year we played half our games there and it was really exciting but now this year we really get to call it ours and it's just amazing."

Q: Which team/teams do you look forward to competing against the most this season?
"UCLA, for sure. They were in the top 10 last year. It will be exciting to play against them and see how they work as a team. We have never played them so it will be a big challenge for us."

Q: What are some of your goals for the season?
"One of my main goals is to maintain a batting average that is over .300. I also believe that I am 11 steals away from breaking the (UCF career) record so that would be a great accomplishment for me."

Q: As a senior, what are some things you are going to do to help lead the team this year?
"Basically to be a mentor to them and show them what it takes to do well. Since we were in a new conference last year we lost 18 in a row because of the change and not being fully prepared for the competition. But now that we know what our competition is going to be like we are going to be better prepared to play and everyone should be ready to play up to our true potential."

Q: What do you tell the incoming freshmen that helps prepare them for the upcoming season?
"I tell them basically not to be nervous and to play how they have been playing their whole life. It`s really no different from summer ball or anything. I tell them just to relax and play their best and not to stress out."

Q: How has the off-season prepared the team for the rigorous schedule of play ahead?
"Our strength and conditioning coach has been very supportive and we do a lot of agility drills to get us faster. I think that we are in great shape for the season. The coaches have been very positive about the season which has helped a lot. We are really looking forward to it."

Q: How are the freshmen adjusting to the team?
"They are adjusting very well. Our team bonding is very good. We hang out a lot when we aren't playing softball. We are a very close-nit team and I think they have adjusted well with our support."