Softball Countdown: Malloree Grove

Jan. 18, 2013

Softball Countdown: Malloree Grove

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

Malloree Grove is a junior from Indianola, Iowa. She wears No. 15 for the Hawkeyes. Malloree is a triplet, along with UI teammates Brittanee and Steviee. She transferred to Iowa after playing her freshman season at Creighton in 2011. Malloree appeared in 32 games with 28 starts a year ago. She started the final 27 games of the season in right field. Malloree batted .200 with eight RBIs and six runs scored. She hit her first career long ball in a 9-1, six inning victory over Illinois on March 31.

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

What is your most memorable softball memory?
“My most memorable softball memory is when I was in eighth grade. I was playing on the SEP Pride, and we were in Olathe, Kansas for nationals. During my first at-bat, the other team’s coach yells at his players, especially the outfielders, to move in. He told them I would most likely bunt or not be able to hit it past them because I was so tiny. I only weighed 100 lbs. at this time. I remember being so mad at him for judging my ability based on my size. At that moment, my thoughts were, `good joke, I’ll prove him wrong.’ Glad to say that I did. I ended up hitting a triple; the ball flew over his outfielders’ heads. My teammates couldn’t have cheered any louder.”

What was the key factor in your recruitment that led you to Iowa City and the Hawkeye softball program?
“As a young girl growing up in Iowa, you always dream of becoming a Hawkeye. The school, campus, distance from home, and the softball program led me here.”

Is there any significance to the jersey number you wear?
“It’s Brandon Inge’s number when he played on the Detroit Tigers. They have been my favorite baseball team ever since I can remember.”

What is your first softball memory?
“When I was nine, my sister Steviee wanted to be a pitcher. We were playing on our small Runnells league team and my dad decided to try her out in a game. She pitched all of them over the catcher’s head and couldn’t throw a strike. My dad then decided to try me, even though I hadn’t even thought of being one. I went in and threw some strikes and decided I loved it. Every day after that, I came home from school and practiced my pitching because I had made a deal with my dad. The deal was I could only become a pitcher if I worked hard at it, whether it was pitching to my mom, dad, or the wall in the front driveway. Let’s just say I broke many garage lights in the beginning of my pitching days.”

What is your favorite kind of candy?
“Strawberry Sour Punch Straws.”

Do you have any hobbies?
“Reading, riding dirt bikes and four wheelers (back in the day), basketball, and golf.”

Who are your favorite professional athletes?
“Brandon Inge, Mike Mahoney, and Travis Pastrana.”

If you were cast on a reality TV show, which one would you prefer to be on and why?
“I would want to be on Nitro Circus because of all the crazy, fun things they do. I would only do the events I liked though. Also, this way I would be friends with Travis Pastrana, so it’s a win-win.”

What did you want to grow-up to be when you were a kid?
“I wanted to be the first girl in the major leagues, then later on a sports agent.”

What is your favorite place to be on campus?
“Iowa City Public Library.”

What is your favorite movie?

What is your most prized possession?
“My eye contacts; I’ve had glasses ever since I was 18 months old, so when I got contacts in fifth grade, I never looked back.”

What is your favorite food/meal?
“Taco salad with lots of salsa and sour cream.”

Do you have any superstitions, on or off the playing field?
“If I start with my hair in a ponytail I always have to have B ( Brittanee Grove) put it in a bun sometime during the game. I always have my hand over my heart and pray during the national anthem. I knock on wood a lot when it seems necessary, and I never talk bad about my glove or bat because they’ve gotten me through rough times.”

What is your favorite restaurant in the Iowa City area?
“Pancheros, Olive Garden, or Hamburg Inn for breakfast.”

What would be your ideal career?
“Being a CEO of a hospital. I want to make sure everything is running smoothly and to the best of its abilities. I want to be able to help out as many people as I can, including employees, patients, their friends, and their families.”

What is one word that describes you?