Q&A with MacKenzie Dorsam

Caleb Riley

MacKenzie Dorsam is catcher for the USI softball team. The junior nursing major is having an impressive season. She is currently hitting .388 with 47 hits and 4 home runs.

The Shield: What brought you to USI?

MD:  always wanted to go into the nursing program and I knew we really had a good nursing program here. It just felt right for me.

The Shield: When did you start playing softball?

MD: I started in fall of 2011 here. I played t-ball when I was 5 years old, so I’ve been playing for quite awhile.

The Shield: What position(s) do you play?

MD: I play catcher, some second base, shortstop and occasionally first base.

The Shield: What do you think it takes to play college softball?

MD: It takes a lot of heart and dedication and time management. You have to focus on your studies as well as softball. You definitely have to have time management.

The Shield: What do you enjoy the most about the sport?

MD: I enjoy the team and how it feels like a family. The coach is like my mom and the girls are like my sisters. The upperclassmen showed me around campus when I first came here. If I came to college without a sport to play I’d feel like an outcast.

The Shield: How do you motivate yourself for a big game?

MD: (I) listen to some music, sometimes. I also have a motivational book called “Mind Gym” by Gary Mack and David Casstevens that I’ve been reading. It kind of talks about how to come out of slumps and setbacks so I don’t get mad on the field and mess up my game.

The Shield: Are there any professional athletes that you look up to?

MD: This year, Matt Carpenter, who plays for the Cardinals. I try to do a lot of the same things for my team that he’s been doing for the Cardinals.

The Shield: Do you have any other role models that inspire you to do well at the sport?

MD: My mom and dad. They push me and they expected a lot (out) of me growing up. They’re the reason I’m where I’m at today. Without their support and drive, I would not be here.

The Shield: What have you done to improve your game during the time you have been playing?

MD: I’ve been working a lot on my mental game. The game is very physical, but you have to have a good mental state for the game. Also, I’ve been spending time in the gym and I’ve put in a few extra hours here and there. All those things together got me here.

The Shield: Do you have any goals you’d like to achieve in the sport?

MD: My biggest goal is to be an All-American, but you have to take steps and achieve little goals to get there.

The Shield: What is your favorite moment in your softball career so far?

MD: It would be when our pitcher, Brooke Harmening, threw a no-hitter while I was catching. Just to be part of that was a great experience for me.

The Shield: How is the team doing?

MD: We’re actually third in the east division. It’s a little under our expectations but we’re on an upward slope and with a good push here at the end of the season hopefully we’ll achieve our goals.

The Shield: What do you think of your team’s chances for success this season?

MD: I feel like if we keep going at the pace we are going, we can hopefully excel at regionals and get the championship.

The Shield: Do you have any plans to stay connected to the sport after college?

MD: Right now, I’m thinking about going into a graduate program. I’m very much thinking about coaching in the future. I definitely want to keep the sport in my life.

The Shield: What is your career plan?

MD: Coaching, if that works out. I’m a health administration major so I’m looking into maybe working at a nursing home or hospital. I haven’t really figured it out yet.

The Shield: Any final comments you’d like to say about the team or yourself?

MD: This team is a privilege to be a part of. We are full of seniors and they have been exceptional as leaders. It’s going to be different next year, but I can’t wait to see what it holds for us.