As a leadoff hitter, Hampshire sophomore Bria Riebel wants to set the tone early.
The Whip-Purs’ catcher-shortstop has done an excellent job of that this season, but she was on another level during the week of April 3.
Riebel went deep in three straight games, hitting .706 (12 for 17) with four homers and 13 RBIs. She almost had a perfect day at the plate in a doubleheader sweep against Elgin, finishing 8 for 9 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Riebel homered yet again Monday last week against Crystal Lake Central, giving her home runs in four straight games.
“For me, the key was just hunting my pitch,” Riebel said of her week. “Being a leadoff hitter, I try to start my team off with some energy, so looking for my pitch and not chasing helps me stay locked in. That, along with not putting too much pressure on myself, helped me stay loose and locked in.”
The Whips are off to a 4-6 start and will look to turn things around in Fox Valley Conference play this week with games against Jacobs, Huntley and Cary-Grove.
Being a leadoff hitter, I try to start my team off with some energy, so looking for my pitch and not chasing helps me stay locked in.— Bria Riebel, Hampshire sophomore
For her standout performance, Riebel was voted the Northwest Herald Athlete of the Week by readers. Riebel answered a few questions about her week at the plate, the toughest part about softball, pet peeves and more.
Which one of your teammates makes you laugh the most?
Riebel: One teammate that gets a laugh out of me nine out of 10 times has to be Lily Sippel. Me and her have the same sense of humor, and she just never fails to make me laugh on the field and off.
What would you change about softball?
Riebel: One thing that I would change about softball would be the fact that you fail more than you succeed. Although it teaches you good lessons, I think it also makes players think about it so much, and mentally that can be draining.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Riebel: Softball-wise, my biggest pet peeve has to be when people ask if the ball is actually soft, but outside of softball, when people chew with their mouths open or repeat themselves a lot.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
Riebel: My favorite ice cream has to be either plain vanilla or pineapple Dole Whip because they are so simple, yet so good.
What are some your favorite TV shows or movies?
Riebel: My top three TV shows and movies have to be “Criminal Minds,” “The Conjuring” and “All American.”
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
Riebel: I have quite a few superstitions, like when we warm up and play catch, I have to have the same partner and be on the side farthest away from the foul line. Another is I have to put my left batting glove on, then my helmet and then my right batting glove on if I want to have a good at-bat.
What musical act would you most like to see in concert this summer?
Riebel: Drake because I have always wanted to go to his concerts. Or a Luke Combs concert or country [concert] in general.
You just won a million dollars. What’s the first thing you would buy?
Riebel: The first thing I would do is probably go to the mall with friends. I wouldn’t spend it all or even half because I would most likely donate it to people who need it more than I do.