Plate-striding music

Doug Gulasy

Each KSU softball player swings to a different tune

Senior Brittney Robinson bats against Pittsburgh last Wednesday.

Caitlin Prarat | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: Ron Soltys

Hitting a softball requires many talents. A good eye and quick reaction time are crucial. Not to be underestimated, however, is a good ear.

Each Kent State hitter selects the song that accompanies her to the plate, and from hitter to hitter the selections are certainly eclectic.

From Alan Jackson to Michael Jackson, from hip-hop to disco, music of many genres blasts from the loudspeakers at the Diamond at Dix during home softball games.

“I think our whole team basically, we all like everything, from rap to country,” senior third baseman Megan Verde said.

Senior second baseman Jessica Kramb added: “It’s a good mix of songs.”

At-bat music has become commonplace in softball and baseball, all the way up to the professional leagues. In Major League Baseball, even closers come out to a theme song each time they enter the game — think Mariano Rivera and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.”

While the music for the Kent State softball team isn’t on the same level as the pros — “We’re happy if they play our right song,” Verde said — the same idea is behind it.

Just as the members of the softball team choose a variety of music, there are a multitude of reasons behind the selections.

“For (senior pitcher/outfielder) Brittney (Robinson), it’s probably superstition,” Verde said. “Brittney’s the most superstitious person I’ve ever met.”

Kramb, who comes to the plate to the sounds of Rascal Flatts’ “Life is a Highway,” said she chose her song because it’s just a song she likes.

As Kramb comes to the plate, part of a verse plays before the song’s familiar chorus: “Life is a highway/ I wanna ride it all night long/ If you’re going my way/ I wanna drive it all night long.”

“I love Rascal Flatts, and it’s kind of a song that I guess fits my life,” Kramb said. “Just go with it, have a good time. It kind of keeps my mind off thinking about hitting.”

Meanwhile, “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters blares as Verde comes to bat. She said she uses the song because it’s different than what other players have chosen.

Even though “I’m So Excited” was released in 1982, Verde insists she enjoys contemporary music as much as her teammates.

“I love rap, but all the rap songs that people choose, I knew they would be choosing,” she said. “So I wanted to pick something that I knew they wouldn’t.”

The players have heard the same song before each at-bat this season and the same part of the song each time.

So doesn’t it get tiring to hear the same chunk of the same song over and over all season long?

Verde and Kramb insisted that wasn’t the case.

“You’ve got to pick one that you’re going to want to listen to for the whole season,” Kramb said. “But this year, we didn’t have many home games, so it wasn’t like you were going to get sick of it.”

The team has played just 11 of its 43 games at home this season.

Besides, Kramb doesn’t understand why she would grow weary of hearing her song anyway.

“How can you get sick of Rascal Flatts?” she asked.

The Kent State softball team will conclude its regular season schedule with four road games this weekend: a Friday doubleheader at Ball State and games Saturday and Sunday at Miami.

50, you too hot

Though the softball players’ at-bat songs aren’t usually changed in midseason, there was recently an exception to the rule. Senior pitcher/outfielder Brittney Robinson had been using a 50 Cent song — the song, of course, had explicit lyrics — this season, but for Wednesday’s doubleheader against Pittsburgh, the song was changed to the more family-friendly theme song from The Natural.

Here are some song choices from other members of the Kent State softball team:

  • Freshman catcher Amy Hair — “Maneater” by Nelly Furtado
  • Junior center fielder Kim Hamilton — “Let’s Go” by Trick Daddy featuring Lil Jon and Twist
  • Junior first baseman Jamie Fitzpatrick — “Where I Come From” by Alan Jackson
  • Junior left fielder Corey Houk — “Go Getta” by Young Jeezy featuring R. Kelly
  • Senior catcher Lauren Ellis — “Black or White” by Michael Jackson
  • Senior third baseman Megan Verde — “I’m So Excited” by the Pointer Sisters
  • Senior second baseman Jessica Kramb — “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flatts

    Contact softball reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].