A Quiet Leader
May 4, 2001
Her electric smile and strong defense are hard to miss on the Husky softball field. A constant force at second base, senior Christie Rosenblad has a habit of making the spectacular look routine and letting her performances on the field speak for themselves in each of her 255 career games for the Washington softball team.
"I'm not a very vocal person," Rosenblad says. "I like to lead more by example and prefer to be the quiet one."
Rosenblad started playing baseball at the age of five on an all-boys team. At age 12, she moved on to softball.
"I just wanted to try something different," Rosenblad said. "My parents never made me do anything that I didn't want to do, and they were always there for all of my games and practices."
Rosenblad has fond memories of playing catch with her father, Terry, in the street outside their Fillmore, Calif., home. Terry passed away in 1999, and she has since dedicated each of her last two seasons with the Huskies to him.
"It was his wish that I finish school, because he knew it was a great opportunity for me. I play this game in memory of him, knowing how much he enjoyed watching it," Rosenblad wrote in this year's Husky softball media guide.
Though quiet on the field, Rosenblad has always been competitive in everything she has done. "I will compete in anything from video games to softball. It's just my way," Rosenblad says.
Although Rosenblad considers competition to be one of the highlights of playing softball, she also says meeting so many great people and playing in such a supportive atmosphere are two of the things that drew her to Seattle in the first place.
"I just wanted to go to college and play softball," Rosenblad said. "The Huskies have an outstanding tradition and the people, no matter which sport they're involved with, have always made me feel at home."
One of the other things that has made the transition so easy was the fact that Rosenblad and three of her current teammates - senior Kelly Hauxhurst, sophomore Jaime Clark and freshman Rita Roach - all played for the same summer team, the Orange County Batbusters, at different times growing up.
"It just kind of happened that we all ended up here," Rosenblad said. "But I am glad all of us are here, because we are all a part of a really fun team."
Rosenblad's personal goals for the 2001 season are to make a stronger impact offensively during every game. Currently, she is second on the team in home runs with seven and boasts a .282 batting average, almost 25 points higher than her .258 career mark entering her senior campaign.
"As a team, we just want to get better each game, especially with all of the newcomers we have this year," Rosenblad said. "The most important thing is to peak at the end of May to get back to the world series."
Two of the most important things Rosenblad has learned in her four years as a Husky are hard work and optimisim.
"When I am on the field, I have learned to channel my energy from negative thoughts about a play to positive thoughts about a play," Rosenblad says. "Even at rough practices, I realize we have to work as hard as we do if we want to continue to have the same success."
Despite the team's success over the last four seasons, Rosenblad is still surprised at all of the fan support the program has received.
"The support from the fans has been incredible, even when we weren't playing well," Rosenblad said. "They are exciting to play for and we all appreciate their support."
Rosenblad plans to return to California after she graduates this June with a degree in anthropology, and although she will miss her teammates, is excited to be moving on.
"I have been playing sports a long time, but it's time to venture out in the world and be able to do something different at this time next year," Rosenblad said.
The young girls who watch and follow Rosenblad's every move on the field will miss her amazing defense, composed leadership and obvious love for the game.
These young girls also may in turn leave their own mark on the Husky softball tradition, just as Terry knew his daughter would.
By Theresa Ripp