Feb. 22, 2016
As told to Teagan Dillon (’18)
Caitlyn Brooks is a Notre Dame softball freshman pitcher from Burbank, California. In her college debut against No. 18 Kentucky earlier this month Brooks collected three hits and four RBI at the Kajikawa Classic in Arizona, including a three-run home run. As a senior at Burbank High School, Brooks had an 18-5 record, 0.66 ERA, 264 strikeouts and only 18 walks. In addition, she tallied over 1,000 strikeouts in her high school career. We asked Cait a few questions to get to know her better.
Q: What is your 0-2 pitch?
A: I don’t want to give that away! My favorite is a changeup, though. I love that pitch. Right now it’s my best.
Q: What is your go-to karaoke song?
A: I did once kill “Rich Girl” by Hall and Oates. That was a really good performance. I did it with Karley Wester, who is probably one of the best girls on our team. She’s amazing.
Q: If your team had to compete in a triathlon, who would come in first? Last?
A: Dana Bouquet or Maddie McCracken would come in first because they’ve done it before. They did it earlier in the year. Who would come in last? This is tough…That’s not a nice thing to say. Our team’s very athletic.
Q: Do you have any pregame rituals?
A: No, I just do my hair. I like doing my hair for softball. I put it in a certain style, it’s like a bubble style. Or the rope twist–that’s a classic.
Q: What is your favorite memory at Melissa Cook Stadium so far?
A: I actually hit my first home run here in 8th grade (during summer softball camp). I hit the scoreboard. That was cool.
Q: How do you expect to translate your success in high school to the collegiate level?
A: I expect it to be more of a challenge to face the top hitters in the nation, which is definitely not the same as high school. It’ll be a higher level of athleticism in the hitters, and I can’t wait to meet that challenge.
Q: Who do you look up to in the softball world?
A: I have two people: Laurie Healy, my pitching coach for over 10 years, and Nicole Giordano Stoll, my hitting coach and an All-American Olympian. Nicole is amazing. I’ve been hitting with her since I was 10. They’ve inspired me to pursue my dream and get me to the next level. I went to them over (Christmas) break. My pitching coach even sent me a really nice text before (my first tournament) saying you’re going to do amazing with a little quote.
Q: What is Coach Gumpf’s spirit animal?
A: It would definitely be an Orca whale because she is an intense being, but she also likes to have fun. #DeenaLovesFun. Can you put a hashtag in there? That’s a common hashtag on the team.
Q: Where can you be found when not at Melissa Cook Stadium?
A: On the beanbag in one of my sophomore friends’ rooms next door to me in Farley.
Q: What is your favorite Notre Dame sport besides softball?
A: Probably men’s swimming because they’re really good people. They’re fun to hang out with.
Q: If your life was a movie, who would play you?
A: Sandra Bullock. I want to say Melissa McCarthy, too… Oh, Amy Schumer! Definitely Amy Schumer.
Q: What do you miss the most about California?
A: Great question. The beach. The temperature. The tacos.
Q: What is your walkup song?
A: I have three. “Big Spender,” “Summer Love” by JT, and when I’m pitching it’s “Diva” by BeyoncÃƒÆ’Â© [proceeds to play each one].
Q: Do you wear sunscreen?
A: Yes I do. It’s called putting it on once, then not reapplying so you look less like a lobster and more like a little salmon.
For the latest news and updates on all things Notre Dame softball, visit www.und.com/softball, follow the Irish @NDsoftball and @NDcoachGumpf on Twitter and at Instagram.com/notredamesoftball, and Like the team at Facebook.com/NDSoftball.