Her smile is probably what people notice, especially as she high fives her teammates after just having crossed home plate. That’s when people realize she is not just another pretty face in the crowd.
She has just captured someone’s attention, and why not? She’s already got the attention of everyone else at the game.
Her name is Callie Bundy and she’s been seizing the attention of fans, players and coaches alike since High School.
She has a talent that far exceeds mediocre. But her talent is not the only thing that keeps people interested. She’s a great leader and proves it as a senior tri-captain of the 2002 Quinnipiac Women’s Softball team.
But her place as an exceptional softball player and senior captain was not simply given to her. She had to earn that place. Even before becoming a member of the Quinnipiac team, Bundy was earning honors and awards in High School.
A native of Mansfield, Conn., Bundy was voted Most Valuable Player at E.O. Smith High School for two years, in addition to earning All-State honors and rank as captain of not only the softball team, but of the basketball team as well.
As a freshman on the Quinnipiac team, Bundy played in 19 games. In her sophomore year she appeared in 31 games, starting 27 of them. She was also ranked second on the team for three stolen bases and fourth on the team for 39 assists.
She excelled even more last year by starting all 43 games, batting .321 with two homeruns and 15 runs batted in, ranking third on the team with 80 assists and earning second team All-Conference honors.
In Bundy’s first three years she played three different infield positions before settling as a starter on third base. With that kind of resume under your belt, people would think that there was almost nothing left to accomplish.
Bundy has one goal left to fulfill before she graduates. “In my three seasons, I’ve never made the Northeast Conference Tournament. My only goal for this year would be to make the tournament.”
That goal should not be too hard to accomplish seeing as her team this season is top seed tournament material. Both see this years team seeding higher than eighth in the NEC and improving on their record from last year, which was 17-26 overall and 10-12 in the NEC.
“I think we will improve on that record greatly,” said Fairchild.
Bundy also knows that the team’s record hasn’t always reflected the talent equally. “We’ve always had a better team than our records actually show. This year we want to go out there and show we are really contenders and to have our record reflect that.”
In order to live up to their hype the team is going to have to pool their talents and work as a team. Bundy doe not see that as being a difficult task.
“The team chemistry is really good,” she said.
And thats not just on the field either. “We spend a lot of time off the field, even when it’s not required,” she continued.
The atmosphere amongst the team almost resembles that of a family.
Bundy also feels the make of this year’s team has a lot to do with the new coaching.
“The coaching this year is much more focused,” said Bundy.
Each coach of QU’s softball team had a different style of coaching. This year Fairchild has a completely different style than her predecessor, Maribeth Clifford who resigned as head coach after last season.
No one ever said being different was a bad thing.
“She runs practices more efficiently and is always willing to put in extra help,” Bundy said of Fairchild.
“It was harder for coach Clifford because she had a full time job in addition to coaching.
She could not put all her time into coaching, never mind make extra time to help players out individually,” said Bundy.
Bundy also feels Fairchild has more experience with the sport because she’s also a top-level player herself. She is one who the girls on the team look up to and learn from.
“She works hard and she’ll teach you that in order to get where you want you also need to work hard,” said Bundy.
Bundy’s work ethics are probably not far off from her coach. If you ask her teammates, they will probably agree that it was not just her talent that earned her the spot as captain, she was deemed one of the hardest workers on the team.
As the season draws nearer and the excitement and nerves start to build for some of the younger players, the veteran third base starter remains calm and relaxed.
“Its wasted energy to worry,” said Bundy.
So how does she keep her mind off the games? “I like to watch Major League the night before,” said Bundy with a laugh.
Maybe it’s the prevailing underdog theme of the movie, or just the fact that it keeps her amused. Whatever it is one thing is for sure, when it’s game time Bundy will be ready to play.
And when she plays, she plays with passion and enthusiasm for the game she grew up around. That’s the kind of thing that makes her so successful and it’s what is sure to make her last season as a Quinnipiac softball player one to remember.
“She’s going to have an amazing season,” said Fairchild. “Of that I have no doubt.”
So, if her smile is what catches your eye, just remember it’s going to be her ability to amaze you with her many talents that holds your attention. Look around, she’s already got the attention of everyone else.