Jessica Phillips – softball – red-shirt junior, OF
Aaron Gottlieb: I was reading through the Jessica Phillips fan page on Facebook …
Jessica Phillips: Oh no …
AG: How much of that stuff is true?
AG: So Santa Claus doesn’t really write letters to you?
JP: No, no.
AG: That’s depressing. What’s the story behind that page?
JP: [Sophomore pitcher] Demi Laney and I were walking up to class one day and I don’t remember how we got into it, but she was like, “I’m gonna make a Chuck Norris fan page, but instead of Chuck Norris, they’re going to be you.” And I was like, “Oh, geez.” So then we’re sitting in class and she’s just laughing hysterically because she was making up all of these things. It was a joke at first and then the whole team continued to add stuff to it and it took off.
AG: And now maybe the rest of school will follow after they read this. Are you superstitious at all when it comes to softball?
JP: Yeah, I definitely am. When I was in high school I used to be really insane about it, like I used to eat the same meal the night before a game, but now I have to listen to the same song and if I do poorly one game then I have to take that song away.
AG: Are you the most superstitious on the team or are there others who are more into it?
JP: I’m not really sure, actually. Everyone does it so nonchalantly so that nobody really notices, so it’s not really to an extreme. But I used to play with people who would have to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before a game, but I don’t think anyone on our team is super into it.
AG: What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
JP: I really like animated movies.
AG: Which one’s your favorite?
JP: That’s tough … My favorite movie of all time is “Cat in the Hat.” It’s not animated, but that’s my favorite movie.
AG: How do you feel about “Finding Nemo”?
JP: I do like it.
AG: Phew. If you had to listen to one song before a must-win game, what would it be?
JP: “To Be With You” by Mr. Big. I don’t know why I like it, but I do.
AG: How can you get on coach Burrell’s good side?
JP: Talk about her dog — she loves her dog.
AG: You were named America East Co-Player of the Year last year; what was that experience like?
JP: That was a really cool award — I definitely didn’t expect it. I think last year we had a really competitive conference, so to get that honor was pretty humbling.
AG: So are you a little more likely to expect it this year?
JP: No, I don’t like to go into anything with any expectations. My goal this year is to try to stay as consistent as I was last year and to improve on the areas that I need to work on. I’m just hoping our team can make it to the conference tournament and do a little better than we did last year.
AG: What’s your favorite part of softball been? Either one specific experience or overall your favorite part of playing the game.
JP: I think it’s when you’re up to bat and you have control over the entire at-bat. Obviously, you can’t control where the pitcher is going to pitch it, but for a split second, you have that decision.
AG: You’re an English major; what’s your favorite part about that?
JP: Ryan Vaughan classes.
AG: Least favorite part of it?
AG: What are your plans for the future?
JP: I’m a red-shirt junior so I’ll have an extra year. I’m a senior in school this year and I just got accepted into the special education program here so along with playing softball I’ll be going to grad school.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.