Softball Countdown: Michelle Zoeller

Jan. 17, 2013

Softball Countdown: Michelle Zoeller

In our countdown to the start of the 2013 softball season, we will feature all 24 Hawkeyes over the next month.

Michelle Zoeller is a junior from Mequon, Wis. The former Homestead High School standout wears No. 14 for the Hawkeyes.

The infielder was named second team All-Big Ten in 2012 after batting .346 with nine runs and nine RBIs. In Big Ten play, Zoeller hit .405 with seven RBIs and seven runs scored. She played in 25 games with 17 starts. Zoeller has played in 70 games with 60 starts during her first two seasons.

Iowa opens the season Feb. 8 in Houston, Texas. The Hawkeyes face Lipscomb and UT Arlington at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.

What is it like working with Coach Looper and the coaching staff?
“It’s great. They do a great job stressing competition within our team. We are always working to beat out our teammates. Of course we all support one another, but we are also really competitive with one another so that by game time we are ready.”

What facet of your game has improved the most since last spring?
“Definitely, the mental aspect of my game. I had a rollercoaster of a season last spring, and I’ve really worked to clear my mind. I’ve also grown in some physical aspects, but I find that I play my best when I can control what’s going on upstairs.”

What are your individual goals for the upcoming season?
“To continue to work on my fundamentals and slow everything down, specifically, my footwork and glove work. I’m starting to use a smaller glove, so hopefully I will get use to that and that can help me improve my defense. Also, I am going to continue to work on keeping my head clear. Offensively, I had mechanics to work on, but I would like to become a smarter offensive player. I also want to get better as a leader and become someone that is able to push the other girls to get better.”

Is there any significance to the jersey number you wear?
“I’ve actually been No. 14 my entire life for every sport I played. Ironically, when I walked on to the team here, it was the only number available. It was meant to be!”

Who is the most influential person in your life?
“My mom. She has had a lot on her plate over the years, but I have never seen her without a positive attitude. I don’t know anyone else that could go through what she does while being so genuinely happy at the same time! My siblings and I are her biggest fan.”

What is your first softball memory?
“Playing tee-ball at the age of six in `girlie’ purple sweats. My dad coached almost every team I had been on, which definitely had its ups and downs, especially as a teenage girl.”

What is your favorite kind of candy?
“Anything chocolate.”

Do you have any hobbies?
“I love to go camping and skiing.”

Who is your favorite professional athlete?
“Clay Matthews; we’re probably getting married.”

If you were cast on a reality TV show, which one would you prefer to be on and why?
“Survivor; I’ve always wanted to be on a competitive TV show where there is money at the end.”

What is your favorite TV show?
“The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.”

What did you want to grow-up to be when you were a kid?
“Ski instructor in Vail, Colorado.”

What is your favorite place to be on campus?
“I like the little stores downtown.”

As a spectator, what is your favorite sport?

What is your favorite movie?
“Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

What is your most prized possession?
“My blanket that I sleep with every night.”

What is your favorite food/meal?
“Chicken Alfredo.”

What is your favorite restaurant in the Iowa City area?

What would be your ideal career?
“Working for a professional sports team in marketing.”

What is one word that describes you?