Jan. 16, 2013
Softball Countdown: Kayla Massey
In our countdown to the start of the 2013 softball season, we will feature all 24 Hawkeyes.
Krystal Shirrell is a freshman from Brownsburg, Ind. The former Brownsburg High School standout wears No. 32 for the Hawkeyes. The infielder was a two-time all-conference selection and an all-county selection as a senior. Shirrell, a four-time team most valuable player, was offensive MVP as a freshman, defensive MVP as a sophomore and MVP and team captain as a junior and senior. She hit .474 with 12 doubles, one triple and four home runs as a senior.
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 is new, different, and exciting to learn from such a knowledgeable and experienced staff. They bring so much to the field and can really help me develop as an athlete and give me the tools to take my game to the next level."
What was the key factor in your recruitment that led you to Iowa City and the Hawkeye softball program?
"Iowa City felt like Indiana, five hours away. The University has a nationally-ranked pharmacy program, a VA Hospital right on campus where I am able to continue my volunteer service, and a softball team that is built on five pillars that I truly believe in and want to contribute to as a team player."
What facet of your game has improved the most since last spring?
"Right now, I'm making a lot of changes so it's hard to say. Working with coach (Stacy) May-Johnson has opened my eyes to some things to change in my swing, so offensively, I will notice a big difference in the next few months."
Is there any significance to the jersey number you wear?
"My older cousin Christina was No. 32 when she played, and growing up, I wanted to be just like her."
Who is the most influential person in your life?
"My Grandma Soeurt passed away in December of 2011. She was the type of person who made you a better person just for knowing her. She lived her life for Christ and family and taught me to do the same. She was the first to pick me up when I was down. If I can be half the person my grandma was, I'll consider my life a success."
What is your first softball memory?
"I remember watching my cousin play and how mad I was that I couldn't play until I was five. I've been playing ever since."
What is your favorite kind of candy?
"Watermelon Sour Patch Kids or Dark Chocolate -- it's a toss-up."
Do you have any hobbies?
"Reading, writing, and playing bingo with homeless veterans at the Domiciliary in Indianapolis."
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
"Peyton Manning -- I admire how he studies his sport and is both a student and teacher of the game. I also admire his commitment to family and community."
If you were cast on a reality TV show, which one would you prefer to be on and why?
"What Not To Wear -- I don't know that I'd necessarily choose to be on it, but I bet if you ask my roommate, she'd agree that I could use it."
What did you want to grow-up to be when you were a kid?
"For the longest time I wanted to go into athletic training, but when I realized I couldn't tear tape, I started exploring other career options."
What is your favorite place to be on campus?
"Downtown; there's so much to do and so many interesting people."
What is your favorite movie?
"The Shawshank Redemption."
What is your most prized possession?
"The Bible my grandma and grandpa gave me for my 18th birthday."
What is your favorite food/meal?
"Chicken and rice."
What is your favorite restaurant in the Iowa City area?
What is your most memorable softball memory?
"The summer between my first and second year of 8U I threw in the driveway with my dad every night when he got home from work. Rain or shine, I'd be waiting in the garage with his glove in my hand and would throw it at him as soon as he got out of his truck. It was that summer when I really developed my passion for softball and knew I wanted to play at the next level."
What would be your ideal career?
"Working as a pharmacist at a VA Hospital, so I can give back in a small way to those who have served."
What is one word that describes you?