Athlete Spotlight: Mathewson one of country’s top hitters
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 02:04
Having dedicated 17 years of her life to softball, it should come as no surprise that junior Lara Mathewson can play. And she can play well.
An all-conference selection as both a freshman and sophomore, Mathewson is a strong candidate for all conference nomination again this year.
Last season, Lara Mathewson led the team with a batting average of .386 and a slugging percentage of .601. This season, those numbers have jumped to a .431 average and a .843 slugging percentage.
Aside from being a power hitter, head coach Scott Peterson also cites her cool had as one of the reasons for her success.
“Lara is an offensive player. She is one of our best hitters and she can definitely play under pressure,” he said.
Lara doesn’t see things quite the same as her coach, though.
“I don’t see it as putting pressure on myself; I see it as putting more pressure on others to get me out,” said Mathewson. “So the feel of pressure never affects the way that I play. If anything, it makes me play harder.”
One person who has had a hand in Mathewson’s success on the diamond has been her dad.
“My dad has had a huge impact on my softball career,” explained Mathewson, “he is one of the most knowledgeable people when it comes to hitting.”
Not only can Mathewson play, but Mathewson is also very coachable and understands her own game well.
“I love her work ethic. She is easy to work with and takes all of our feedback well,” stated assistant coach Becki Pepper.
“She understands her offensive game more than anybody I have ever seen,” said Peterson. “That kid knows what she has to do and she gets the job done.”
Despite the personal success, Mathewson is also a great teammate, helping the team’s younger players whenever possible.
“She’s an encouraging person. A person that is there when you need her and gives you advice when needed,” expressed freshman Rheana Trujillo. “Lara is a leader on the field and she encourages others to step up. She sets the bar pretty high.”
During her three seasons, Mathewson has positioned herself to leave UCCS as one of the school’s best players of all time, but that’s not what it’s about for her.
“Softball has given me many qualities I use in my everyday life such as setting goals, time management, hard work, how to work with a team and leadership skills,” she said.
“But being able to meet some great people, make some close friends and having great experiences that some people will never have is what I cherish most.”