Feb. 1, 2013
Softball Countdown: Sam Valentine
In our countdown to the start of the 2013 softball season, we will feature all 24 Hawkeyes.
Sam Valentine is a senior from Centerville, Iowa. The catcher wears No. 12 for the Hawkeyes. The former English Valleys High School standout is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree. She has appeared in 43 games for the Hawkeyes, compiling 18 runs scored and six stolen bases.
Iowa opens the season Feb. 8 in Houston, Texas. The Hawkeyes face Lipscomb and Texas State at the Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.
What is it like working with Coach Looper and the coaching staff?
"It's great working with them. They continuously challenge us to be better, not just as players, but also as people."
What was the key factor in your recruitment that led you to Iowa City and the Hawkeye softball program?
"I was a walk-on, and tried out for the team a few weeks into my freshman year at Iowa. It was always a dream of mine to play the sport that I love and wear the Black and Gold, and I was blessed enough for that dream to become a reality."
How is your academic path coming along?
"It's coming along well. I'll be taking the MCATs early this summer and then applying to medical schools the following fall (for the 2014 year)."
Who is the most influential person in your life?
"It's very difficult for me to answer this question, simply because there are so many people in my life who are incredibly influential and important to me. I have the most wonderful parents and grandparents in the world -- they encourage and support me in whatever I decide to do."
What is your first softball memory?
"My first softball memory was pitching for our little league team in Centerville. I was terrible, but managed to get one over the plate. I was probably around seven or eight. The batter drilled the ball right back at me, hit me square in the chest, and knocked me right over."
What is your favorite kind of candy?
"I love anything with chocolate; chocolate is my weakness. If I had to pick a favorite though, it would probably be Reese's Peanut Butter Cups."
What is your favorite TV show?
"Hands down The Big Bang Theory. If I could choose a group of friends it would be Leonard, Raj, Howard, and especially, Sheldon."
What did you want to grow-up to be when you were a kid?
"I've always wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. I would always buy little First-Aid kits from Walmart when I had the money and would take care of my sisters whenever they got a scrape or a bruise."
Is there another talent you wish you had?
"I wish I could cook like my sister. She can throw ingredients together willy-nilly and come up with something delicious. I have to follow a recipe, and even then it usually doesn't turn out that great."
What is your most prized possession?
"It may sound nerdy, but one of my most prized possessions is my Xbox. I'm a big gamer, and I have all the seasons of Big Bang Theory and That `70s Show on DVD that I watch every single day."
What is your favorite food/meal?
"My mom and my grandma make homemade noodles and fried chicken that are absolutely to die for. I'm all about comfort food!"
Do you have any superstitions, on or off the playing field?
"I'm not incredibly superstitious, but I always have to put my socks on first, right foot then left foot, then my shoes in the same manner. It feels weird otherwise."
What is your favorite restaurant in the Iowa City area?
"I love going to Mekong. It's a Chinese food place on Riverside and it's absolutely delicious."
What is your most memorable softball memory?
"Definitely, the first time I put on my Iowa uniform. I started crying a little bit because I just couldn't believe I was actually wearing Iowa across my chest."
What would be your ideal career?
"I would love to be a cardiologist. Then I would be Dr. Valentine, the heart doctor! That field of medicine has always interested me."
What is one word that describes you?
"Loyal. I would do anything for my friends or family."