April 8, 2010
Stockton, Calif. - Tiger freshman Nikki Armagost has been a force for the softball team both in the circle and at the plate. She talks about her first year at Pacific and coming to California.
1. You came to Pacific after a distinguished high school career; do you have any particular favorite memory from your High School career?
My favorite High School memory is winning the state title. It took us three tries to finally win state. Each of my first two years we lost to the team that eventually won. My sophomore year we lost in the first game. My junior year we lost the second game which sent us to the third place game. So it was a great feeling to obviously finally win during my senior season.
2. During your high school career you recorded a perfect game, could you describe what you felt after it?
I remember that game, it was against the team that won state the previous year. They had beaten us to get to the state championship game, so it developed a bit of a personal rivalry with the team. I did not really know about it until the 7th inning when my coach said something about. It was great to get it against them because they returned most of the team that had won the title the previous year. It was freezing, probably about 40 degrees, and I also did not have all my pitches that game.
3. Not only were you an accomplished pitcher in high school, but you were also a very good hitter, so which do you prefer pitching or hitting?
I get this question a lot. I cannot really decide between the two. Growing up I liked hitting more, but through high school I really liked pitching. I keep going back and forth about which I like better. I just want to be out there playing, if I am not hitting then I want to be out there on the mound, but if I am not pitching then I want to be in the batters box. I really love to do both.
4. Making the step from high school to Division I is a big leap, what do you feel are the biggest differences between the two levels?
I can break down the differences with hitting and pitching. With pitching, the hitters are bigger and stronger. They will also make you pay if you make mistakes, you could get away with mistakes in high school, but not here. In high school, if the hitter made contact on a mistake they only usually got a hit, but here hitters will hit home runs. The pitchers are better here too. They have a plan on how they want to pitch. In high school, pitchers would just try and focus on throwing strikes, but here they know where they want to go with it. Pitchers also are just better with more movement and they throw a lot harder.
5. What expectations does your team have for this season?
As a team our goals have really been to do our best and to just get better with each game. We had a rocky start to our season with a lot of up and down play. We just want to get more consistent as a team. We are just looking to take it step by step and not look at the big picture so much. Our coach tells us "Get better by 1% every day."
6. What are your personal goals that you wish to accomplish during your career at Pacific?
I have a lot of personal goals. With pitching, my goal is to keep a low ERA, because that means I am giving my team a chance to win. I want to try and make it easy on our offense, because with every run we give up on defense and pitching there is that much more pressure on our offense. When I am in the field, I just want to give 100 percent on every play. I want to make sure I make a play on any chance that comes to me. My goal with hitting is to make sure I capitalize on every mistake made by the pitcher. If they make a mistake to me I want to do something with it.
7. How do you like the change of moving from Kansas to California?
I love living here. The weather is so nice. It doesn't change dramatically, like sunny and hot during the day to freezing at night. If it is sunny it stays warm. It is very pretty as well, I love palm trees. The only big difference between here and Kansas is the weather and there is more stuff to do here than in Kansas.