April 18, 2013
By: Jocelyn Perry
SEATTLE - Bottom of the seventh, two outs and two on. Husky junior Hooch Fagalysteps up to the plate and hits a line drive down right field for the winning run. The RBI would earn the Huskies a sweep over Oregon State, and their seventh-straight win.
Recruited as a catcher, Fagaly came to Washington and had to shift roles. She began her freshman campaign in 2010, the season after the Huskies won the National Championship. With fellow freshman Shawna Wrightcoming in as the starting catcher, Fagaly moved to first base.
To say Fagaly had a stellar freshman year would be an understatement. Coming into a program on the heels of a national championship is never an easy feat, but Fagaly made it seem effortless.
Her transition to first base was seamless; she had a great supporting cast of experienced veterans who helped her develop the necessary skills at the collegiate level.
"They were awesome upperclassmen, Danielle (Lawrie), Jenn (Salling) and Ashley (Tuiasosopo)," said Fagaly. "They were really good about helping us out as freshmen so I try to incorporate that into what we learn."
As a freshman, Fagaly recorded two home runs, 11 runs, five doubles and 21 RBIs. Her performance on the field earned her Honorable Mention All-Pac-10, First-Team Pac-10 All-Freshman and the co-recipient of the Husky Golden Glove award.
Fagaly was eager to begin her sophomore year. She had worked out in the off-season and fall ball had finally arrived. On a routine run-down drill, Fagaly took a misstep and her leg twisted in an awkward fashion.
After taking her MRI, her worst fears had materialized. Fagaly tore her ACL, LCL and meniscus.
She took a redshirt season, had surgery and began rehabilitating her knee. Her job went from the infield to the dugout. She would chart pitches thrown against the team and caught the Husky pitchers in the bullpen.
"Right after I tore my ACL I had to focus a lot on the mental side of the game," Fagaly said. "There was a lot of film, taking bats with other people, performing and practicing every day to get better and to strengthen yourself better."
Fagaly physically prepared herself for her return and her sophomore year. She spent countless hours rehabbing her knee and was cleared to play by her doctors. Despite being physically ready, something was missing. Something was off. Fagaly struggled as a hitter and at making some defensive plays, all movements which used to be fluid.
The first baseman made simple changes to her training to get back to full-form. She started to practice run-down drills again to help her regain strength and confidence. "The mental side is great to have but actually physically performing has been great," thought Fagaly. "Practicing every day and working before practice has definitely made me where I am today."
The 2013 season rolled around and Fagaly vowed to step up. Going into the second half of Pac-12 play, Fagaly has taken over the reins as an upperclassman leader.
"I think we do a good job of getting team chemistry together on this team," said Fagaly. "Being the older one is different because I've always been the younger one on older teams, but as a whole team we don't focus on older-younger. We all just gel well together."
Now, Fagaly's goal is with the team. "We want to win the next game," said Fagaly. "We want to win today. We have to keep doing what we do in practice, keep watching film and staying focused."