Ramblin’ With: Danielle Dike

Technique: How old were you when you started playing softball?
Dike: When I started playing, I was five, maybe six, but I started learning the game when I was two, whenever I started walking. My grandfather went out and bought me a plastic bat and would take me out to hit.

Technique: Do you have any pregame superstitions?

Dike: I don’t, actually. There are some people that put on their shoes a certain way, or one before the other, but I don’t. I don’t really care, I guess. I just go into the game the same way every time with the same attitude.

Technique: How did you end up at Tech?Dike: I got recruited late, actually. I was at a tournament in South Carolina, and the assistant coach at the time saw me there and he got me to come down on a visit and as soon as I came down on my visit I loved it. He found me in the middle of nowhere because I’m really from a small town, and none of the big schools had really seen me.

Technique: Do you have any nicknames on the field?
Dike: I have several nicknames. I have DeeDee, Danny Dee and Danny Dike.

Technique: How do you prepare in the off-season?
Dike: During the summer, I play travel ball, and it’s only three tournaments through the whole summer, or my dad and I will go hit at the high school. When I get here in the fall, since it’s still the offseason, we have individuals, and we can only do softball eight hours a week, but I’ll still go in for extra stuff and hit on my own.

Technique: What does your typical day look like in the spring?
Dike: In the spring, my typical day is usually at least three classes a day. This semester, it’s starting at 8 a.m. and not ending until 3 p.m., and then after that, it’s usually practice for two or three hours. So I’m not usually done until about 6 p.m., like a full workday.

Technique: Do you have any hobbies outside of softball?
Dike: I like to bake. I have a couple little cookbooks that are like 100 different things you can do with cake batter, like cakes and cookies.

Technique: As a senior, what are your plans for after Tech?
Dike: Right now, I don’t have any plans, but I’m hoping I can find a coaching job. I really want to take what I’ve learned here from doing our camps and take it to a program and maybe help rebuild it or keep it going in a positive direction.

Technique: Do you have any role models?
Dike: Shaina Ervin, one of our pitching coaches. She is so calm with everything and has a positive attitude about everything. She is like a role model for me for when I want to be a coach. She even comes and works out with us, so even if I see her dying through something, and I’m dying through something, I know we’re going through the same thing. It motivates me to keep going, and that’s what I plan to do when I become a coach.

Technique: If you could change one rule of softball, which one would it be?
Dike: I think the subbing rule because I’m a pitch hitter. I go in once, then I come out once, and I’m done for the game. I wish I could go in again and again, and go in and hit when there is a pressure situation and we need a power hitter to go in.

Technique: What’s your favorite movie or actor?
Dike: My favorite movie is probably Sweet Home Alabama, and my favorite actor is Johnny Depp. My mom and I always go and see his movies together. It kind of sucks when I’m eight hours away, and I can’t go see his new ones with her, but she waits for me.

Technique: Who is your favorite athlete?
Dike: Stacey Nuveman, catcher of the Olympic team. She was by far my favorite; you know, she had a good arm, she was a good power hitter. Her job was to hit line drives, hit gap shots, or hit it over the fence for that matter.

Technique: Do you have any advice you live by?
Dike: Honestly and truly, my motto is to just have fun with whatever you’re doing. Find something that you want to do and love to do and just have fun with it. I came into this year, just wanting to have fun because it’s my last year. I just want to have fun every time I go out on the softball field. Or even in class, I don’t want to go to some wretched, boring class, so I make it as fun as I can.

Technique: What’s your least favorite thing about playing softball?
Dike: The bruises. I’ve been hit 14 times. Quite honestly, when I try to wear cute clothes they don’t even look cute because I have these huge bruises on my legs.

Technique: Do you have any goals for yourself or the team as a whole this season?
Dike: I want to make it farther in post season. I want to at least go back to super regionals. We got to super regionals my freshman year and that season was a blast. That way, at least you get to those final 16 teams and the whole country is watching you to see if you’ll get any further.

Technique: What’s your favorite meal?
Dike: My favorite meal is actually chicken tenders, macaroni and cheese and baked beans. It was my favorite meal when I was younger, and even now when I go home, my mom still makes it because she knows that I like it.