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Athlete of the week: Lucy Decker ’21

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Lucy Decker ’21 has become a key contributor to the softball pitching staff in her first year at Swarthmore. The right-handed pitcher from Walnut Creek, Ca., has six wins on the year, a team high for the pitchers. Most notably, Decker threw a complete game shutout against Washington College this past week, leading the Garnet to a 2-0 win in the second half of the doubleheader. The Garnet concluded their season on Tuesday with losses against Haverford to miss out on the Centennial Conference playoffs, but finished with the highest number of wins in a season for the team since 2013.

Ping Promrat: What is your intended major? Why are you interested in it?

Lucy Decker: My intended major is Physics. This field contributes so much to our knowledge of the way the world works, and I find that the more that I learn the more questions that I have. That’s why I like physics so much; there is just so much to be discovered, which is really exciting.

PP: What got you into softball as a kid? How did you find out about Swarthmore in the recruiting process?

LD: I started playing softball as a natural next step after tee-ball when I was seven or eight. I played a lot of different sports as I was growing up, but softball was the one that I liked the most and the one that ultimately stuck for the long run. I’m from California, and I played on a travel-ball softball team through high school that was pretty intense with recruiting, and I had several teammates come play at elite liberal arts schools like Swarthmore. So I kind of got the idea of going to a school like Swat from them, and I followed their lead and eventually ended up here! The recruiting process was a little difficult, being from so far away, but after I came on my recruit visit, I knew that I wanted to come here.

PP: What’s been the hardest adjustment for you this year?

LD: I think that the hardest adjustment for me this year has been to learn to manage my time and my priorities. Especially in season, I don’t have a lot of free time, so it has been really important to figure out a way to get all of my work done as well and efficiently as possible while also finding time to enjoy myself. It has been a difficult balance to find, but with the year winding down, I think that I’ve figured out what works best for me.  

PP: Where is your favorite spot on campus and why?

LD: My favorite spot on campus is probably the Wharton Courtyard. We don’t get snow where I live in California, so I remember looking out of my window into the courtyard the first time that it snowed this year and being completely mesmerized. I think that it’s one of the most beautiful places on campus no matter the season, but especially in the winter.

PP: How did it feel to pitch a shutout? What goals do you have for the rest of the year individually and for the team?

LD: It was really exciting to pitch a shutout, especially against Washington College. It was a game that we really needed to win to keeps our hopes alive in making the Conference playoffs. I was really happy that I was able to give my team the best chance to win the game, which is all that you can hope for when you step into the circle. In terms of the rest of the season, we are looking to keep winning and make it to the Conference tournament. This has been a really pivotal season for us, and we hope that we can continue to build Swat softball into a winning program. I just hope to contribute as much as I can to help the team win.

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