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Baruch softball batting to defend its CUNY title

LOIS ELFMAN Special to theAmNews | 5/31/2013, 12:32 p.m.
Baruch softball batting to defend its CUNY title

When the Baruch College Bearcats head to the CUNY AC softball championships tomorrow, they'll be aiming to defend their title--something they haven't previously done.

This year's roster is a bit short on names but long on heart. One of the team's most crucial players is Courtney White, a junior history major and psychology minor in her second year with the team.

"Courtney is a good player who has many different types of abilities in terms of being flexible with playing different positions," said assistant coach Penny Weiner, who helped found the softball program at Baruch in 2000. "She's always concerned about her team and has her teammates' best interests at heart."

White, a Bronx native who graduated from Aquinas High School, took up softball at the age of 14. She immediately liked the sense of solidarity and community the sport provided.

"You have to play cohesively to produce and win games," White noted. "At Baruch, I've made the greatest friends on my team. We stick together through everything." She also appreciates how close all the male and female athletes at Baruch are.

A lefty, White said her natural position is first base. She also learned how to play outfielder during high school, where she played on her school team as well as on travel teams--the Kips Bay Divas, Pelham Bay Belles and Total Chaos. At Baruch, she said she's found the ideal balance of strong academics and competitive athletics.

"I want to be a teacher," said White, who said she'll pursue teaching certification at another CUNY school after graduating from Baruch. "My grandmother was a teacher and my aunt is a teacher. ... I will hopefully be a history teacher in the next three years."

She manages school and softball with a job at Footlocker. At times it's stressful and she plays on only few hours of sleep, but she enjoys her job and softball, so she takes it in stride. She also thrives on being part of a team.

"In every sport, Baruch is always the outsider," White said. "As long as my teammates and I play together like we have been playing, we're going to be fine for playoffs, but we can't be comfortable. ... We know it's possible to win, but on any given day, anything can happen."