Softball Countdown: Megan Blank

Jan. 21, 2013

Softball Countdown: Megan Blank

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

Megan Blank is a sophomore from Culver City, Calif. She wears No. 4 for the Hawkeyes.

Blank became the ninth player in school history in 2012 to garner first team All-Big Ten honors as a freshman and ninth player in program history to earn all-region recognition as a freshman. The Culver City, Calif., native was a NFCA Second Team All-Midwest region selection. She started all 53 games at shortstop and led the team with a .390 batting average with 34 runs and 29 RBIs. Blank turned in a team-best 24 extra base hits with 17 doubles, five triples and two home runs. The 17 doubles are tied for fourth in the Iowa record books, the triples are tied for eighth and the batting average is tied for 10th.

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?
“Coach Looper and the coaching staff are great. They all have awesome energy that they bring to practice every day. It gets everyone excited to be at practice with that fun atmosphere.”

What was the key factor in your recruitment that led you to Iowa City and the Hawkeye softball program?
“I was familiar with Iowa because of my family connections to the town and university, but the softball program really stood out for me. The team was really friendly and welcoming, and the coaches were great. I really bought into the goals that the coaches had for the program to reach its full potential.”

What is the team goal for 2013?
“Our goal for this year is to clinch a regional bid. We were so close last year. We put ourselves in a good position, but in the end it was out of our hands. This year, we don’t want there to be any doubt that Iowa is going to be called during the selection show.”

What did you do during your free time over the summer?
“Over the summer I helped my mom out at her office, enjoyed hanging out with friends and family, and worked out. I went to New York City for the first time to visit my brother and go to my cousin’s wedding close by in New Jersey. It was a really cool experience because it was a traditional Hindu wedding ceremony. I also played on the same summer team as Kayla. Sydney joined us for about a month when she was out in southern California. We played every weekend for about eight weeks. We got first place in the state tournament and took second at the national tournament.”

Who is the most influential person in your life?
“I look up to my brother so much, and a lot of what I’ve accomplished in my life I can attribute to him. When I was younger, I wanted nothing more than to be just like him, which was my reason for playing baseball for all those years. He is so smart and is always looking to learn new things. He doesn’t let the opinions of others define him. I definitely wouldn’t be the person I am today without my big brother.”

What is your first softball memory?
“I didn’t start playing softball until I was 13 because I played Little League Baseball, so I pretty much remember everything. I really didn’t want to play softball because I was so in love with baseball, but my dad insisted. During my first softball tryout, I couldn’t make a single accurate throw. That was the first time I ever picked up a softball, so once I got used to the size and weight difference of the ball, I was good to go.”

What is your favorite kind of candy?
“Candy is one of my biggest weaknesses. I think it’s a tie between gummy bears and salt-water taffy.”

Do you have any hobbies?
“Even though I’m not very good, I really enjoy playing the guitar, bass, and drums.”

Who is your favorite professional athlete?
“My favorite professional athlete is David Eckstein. I always looked up to him when I was younger because he was a pretty small guy for a baseball player, and being one of the only girls in my Little League, I was one of the smallest as well. What he lacked in size, he made up for in attitude, desire, and work ethic.”

What is your favorite TV show?
“My favorite TV show is Friday Night Lights.”

What did you want to grow-up to be when you were a kid?
“I really wanted to be a marine biologist when I was younger and become a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld.”

What is your favorite place to be on campus?
“The Pentacrest during the fall is one of the most beautiful places on campus.”

What is your favorite movie?
“Either She’s the Man or The Parent Trap.”

What is your most prized possession?
“When I was in Little League, my brother and I were on the same team, and we beat the best team in the league. Our coach gave everyone on the team a baseball with the date and score of the game. I get chills whenever I look at that ball.”

What is your favorite food/meal?
“I love Italian food, so my favorite meal is the homemade lasagna that my family has every Christmas Eve.”

What is your favorite restaurant in the Iowa City area?
“I love Pagliai’s Pizza. It’s kind of a family tradition. Even when my dad was growing up in Iowa City, he would get pizza from Pagliai’s.”

Who are your favorite music artists?
“Jack Johnson and Taylor Swift.”

What is your most memorable softball memory?
“My most memorable softball experience was as a tournament in Colorado a few years ago over the summer. We were playing a team that we had already beaten once during pool play, so they wanted revenge. It was the 4th of July and we didn’t start the game until about 9:30, maybe even 10 at night; there were fireworks going off the entire game and eventually it was nearly impossible to see the outfield because of all of the fog. The team we were playing had no class at all; the girls and parents were making some very crude comments. The game went back-and-forth for all seven innings, and we came back and won in the bottom of the seventh. The coaches of the other team knew from the first time when we played them that we liked to pick visitors, so they took visitors after winning the toss before the second game, and it backfired. That was definitely one of the most intense and fun games that I’ve ever played in.”

What is one word that describes you?