March 13, 2011

Matador Minute with Mikayla Thielges

March 13, 2011

How has the season gone thus far?
"I think for the most part, it's been pretty good. We've had some rocky moments, but the preseason is there to work out the kinks. By the time conference rolls around, I expect us to be primed and ready to go."

"What's been the biggest difference between this year and last year for you?
"For me, it's really come from a change in my mental game. The coaches have helped me mature and some changes in my mechanics have really helped. The confidence I have at the plate has been the biggest change. I am now much more aggressive and focused in every situation."

How has the transition to the team's everyday catcher gone?
"It's going great. I love catching. It's been something I've done my whole life. I like being involved in every play. It keeps it fun."

What's your relationship like with the pitching staff?
"Well, Hannah Fraijo brings a veteran presence to the circle that makes my job easier. She is very comfortable out there. Ashley Aratow, Carly Wade and I spend hours every week working and getting better each day. And I have a lot of respect for what Leann Lopez has done. She really put the team first by moving to pitcher and never complaining even though she hadn't pitched in three years."

Can you talk about your power surge at the plate?
"It feels good to be producing some power at the plate. It certainly is a confidence booster. Having this success so early has driven and motivated me to keep it up throughout the entire season."

How was it going back to Nevada and performing so well?
"It was very exciting to go back and play well in front of so many friends and family members. Being successful gives you that want and desire to get better."

What are you majoring in now at CSUN and what would you like to do in the future?
"I am studying Kinesiology. I like the classes, but it has been tough. It requires a lot of studying and memorizing, but my ultimate goal is to become an athletic trainer. I see graduate school in my future."

Speaking of athletic trainers, can you talk about the team's relationship with its athletic trainer, Dunford Rodill, and his role on the team?
"The team loves Dunford. He's a great listener and he's on top of every issue that comes up with each player. He's always there to help and is never negative. He's cute too. And I know his wife is going to read this and we love her too!"

Can you talk about the team's upcoming schedule?
"We're always excited to play at home and we want to do our best to improve our home record. The tournament we'll be playing in San Diego offers some tough competition and some more at-bats to get ourselves ready for league play. Finally, playing three games at Arizona will be a test because they are such a great team. But, as Coach Flowers says, we're not going to worry about the name on the other jersey. We are focused on our dugout, what we can do to improve and get better every day."

Finally, what are your goals for the rest of the season?
"I think our team goal is to win the Big West again and get to the postseason. Playing in a regional against the best teams in the nation has always been a dream of mine. Personally, I want to keep playing at a high level and producing for my team. Winning and being successful is the greatest motivator."

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