GBI Magazine

Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 87 of 88

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 4 88 "She's one of those athletes who comes in and hits on her own all the time, who does mental work on her own all the time, who goes to leadership conferences and things like that to try to develop off the field," De Oliveira said. "I think that's a big difference, probably in the last two years, she's really taken an interest in developing her leadership, not just her softball game. You're seeing the results in her softball game, but it's because of all the work she's doing on her mental game and on our her leadership ability that that's allowed to come out now." When Hughes added the vocal piece to the leader- ship puzzle, it was quickly accepted because of Hughes' personality and work. Her "old soul" personality brings a certain maturity to how she processes the interwork- ings of the team, which De Oliveira appreciates, instead of having players come on a "whim," Hughes makes sure to be a filter and put fires out before getting the coaching staff involved. And Hughes' experiences — as a multi-year starter who'd rode through the highs and lows — supply gravitas when she speaks to teammates. Baker called Hughes a "good confidante," adjusting to whatever is needed in the moment, whether that's being a calming pres- ence, a cracking-a-joke one, a listening one or a truth-talking one. Those qual- ities extend to more than just one-on- one interactions, though, too. "She's always going to be real with you, no matter what the scenario is," Baker said. "It's intimidating some- times when controversy comes up and you don't want to talk to your coaches or your teammates, and she does a really good job of just laying it out there, not trying to offend anyone or hurt anyone's feelings. She lets it be known that this is directed at the team, not any individ- ual, and that's really important. "She kind of just says it. Obviously, she's a senior. She's a starter. She knows what she's talking about, so when she says something, you listen because you look up to her." So, maybe, that's how Hughes will rock her role — a common refrain of the team — in her final season: As a mentor on a team that has 13 first- or second-year players among the 25- man roster. Because with an infusion of talented rookies, it's possible Hughes will have to fight for on-field time as a senior. she may have to fight to display what she hopes is an even greater evolution of hitting — the power el- ement to the slap game. To fight to retain a leadoff spot she excelled in a season ago. To fight to be the person directing the outfield from center field. Through nine games, Hughes had started only five times and played in eight. She hadn't hit in the leadoff spot or played center field. But, by this point, Hughes is well-versed in fighting. And rising. "Over the years, I've gotten an opportunity to see my- self at my worst and to see myself come out of that and to see what I'm capable of," she said. "This is my last year (so) to harp on the bad things is pointless because I don't get many more chances after this. So I am just kind of going into my senior season wanting to have fun and play softball for my last year." j Warren Hill, PE, ME '63 Jim Hill, MET '95, MBA '03 Jim Billard, LA '90 Brian Teyema, ME '87 Scott Dierking, IM '77 Russ Nelson, BCM '00 David Pikey, PH '97 Rhonda Orange, BS '03, MBA '07 Bill Silfies, MBA '03 Nick Muscolino, MET '06 Bob Hill, BCM '06 Anthony Camasta, MET '04 Deborah Toth, MET '07 Daniel Gasser, BS '04 Jason Jones, MET '08 Nick Johnson, BCM '09 Bryan O'Neill, BCM '09 Steven Sitkowski, BCM '10 Isaac Townsend, ME '10 Don Wunderlich, ME '13 Taylor Spaulding, PE, ME '12 Jessica James, BS '13 Robert C. Krier, MET '13 Joseph Schraffenberger, ME'13 Michael Rish, BCM '13 Brandon Goldstein, ME '14 Jared Schreiber, MET '14 Dan Schmidt, BCM '04 Grant Fillipitch, MET '12 Chaz Usher, BCM '17 Andrew Swibes, ME '15 Chris Spesia, MET '15 Phil Treely, BCM '16 Ryan Kissane, ME '19 Patrick Flanagan, ME '19 Bryan Prechtel, BCM '17 Jack Erdman, BCM '17 80 + YEARS OF BUILDING EXCELLENCE THE HILL GROUP

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of GBI Magazine - Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 4