Peterson Accepts New Role, Keeps Producing
April 13, 2007
By Rhiannon Potkey, Ventura County Star, story released on April 8
VENTURA, Calif. - Amber Peterson (Oaks Christian) expected to be catching a majority of the innings for the Southeast Missouri State softball team this season.
But a few weeks ago, head coach Lana Richmond asked the sophomore to share the duties behind the plate and log more time at designated hitter.
The competitor in Peterson didn't want to accept the proposal. But the teammate in Peterson knew what was best.
"I am an athlete and every athlete wants to play their position as much as possible," Peterson said. "But I have learned over the years you have to be positive in any situation. My coach wanted my role to be DH, and I said, 'I can do that for you.'"
Peterson has made the most of her opportunity. Last week, she was named Ohio Valley Conference Player of the Week after finishing 4 for 5 with two home runs and four RBIs in two games.
"My goal is to be able to produce when I am needed," Peterson said. "That is hard to achieve in this game because it's a game of failure, but I want to be able to give my coach and teammates whatever I can."
From the moment she arrived at Southeast Missouri State, Peterson felt right at home in Cape Girardeau.
"I absolutely love the school," said Peterson, a sports management major whose dream is to manage a professional baseball stadium. "I am excelling in my classes and I love studying. I couldn't ask for anything more. This is an amazing part of my life right now."
Peterson's comfort level increased even more once her parents moved from Camarillo to Arkansas. Their new home is only a five-hour drive from campus.
"I am an independent girl and can hold my own, but it's always nice to have your mommy and daddy around," Peterson said. "I've had a couple of big dinners out of them. I am not going to lie."
Mired in a slight slump, Peterson recently switched bats from a Synergy to an Easton Stealth.
"My hands are more comfortable and loose and I can get through the ball more," Peterson said.
But her parents and former coaches think something else may have sparked her hot streak.
"I broke up with my boyfriend and ever since my batting average has climbed," Peterson said. "I cut him loose and my hands get quicker."
Although Peterson would rather be calling more pitches, she realizes there may be an added benefit to not squatting behind the plate as much.
"I will be able to walk until I am 60 now rather than 40," she said. "That is a good thing."