Ramblin’ with Sam Pierannunzi

Photo by John Nakano

Technique: What are the best and worst aspects of being a student athlete and why?

Pierannunzi: Let’s do worst first because there are fewer of those. Essentially, it is just the time fact. Being a full time student is like having a full time job. You not only have to work in class, you have to study and do homework and everything. Then your sport is like a second job, and so you are working two jobs, and you have to balance. What a lot of people do not realize is being an athlete is not just showing up to practice and games. It is putting in lots of extra time and preparing mentally to be on the field. Plus here at Tech, we push community service, and that is not a five minute thing—that is a huge time commitment as well. That being said, I think that is all one of the benefits of it too. It makes you a better person. People respect student athletes for that reason, and people hire student athletes for that reason. We know how to work hard and manage our time. Being part of a team is really cool. You come to a big school, and maybe you do not know anyone, but in our case, we have seventeen sisters basically, and so you are just brought into this softball family or whatever sport you are in.

Technique: What was your inspiration to begin playing softball?

Pierannunzi: I played tons of different sports when I was little. I started softball, basketball, soccer and horseback riding when I was four. Then as I got older, I just kind of picked softball and a couple different sports. I narrowed it down to softball by the time I was in middle school, and I just loved it, especially when we started pitching and moved from coach pitch to fast pitch. I played travel, and I have just committed everything I had to it since then. Watching softball on TV growing up was also so cool for me. People do not realize that it is pretty heavily broadcasted, especially today. This year, 2015, will be heavily broadcasted. So to see girls that are doing what I want to do is really cool.

Technique: What type of job do you dream of having after you complete your degree at Tech?

Pierannunzi: You know that is funny, I do not really have a dream job. I would love to work for Coca-Cola someday, just because I have grown up in Atlanta. I have gone to the Coke factory; I have seen Coke everywhere. For whatever reason, I just think it is a really cool corporation, and I would love to be a part of it. I am concentrating in marketing, and I think that the marketing at Coke is awesome. You cannot market any better than Coke markets. I want to be a project manager or a marketing manager of some sort. I have learned as an athlete that you have to work hard and set a good example for people, and all those basic skills that you learn as an athlete would be good in a business.

Technique: If you had to pick a career completely outside of your major, what career would you like to have?

Pierannunzi: Sports journalism or an elementary school teacher. I have two older brothers that love sports, so I always watched SportsCenter growing up.x I would see female broadcasters, and I thought I want to do that.

Technique: What are your personal goals for the upcoming season?

Pierannunzi: I would love for our team not only to make it to regionals but also to host regionals this year. We have the capability, we have the talent, we have the drive, and we all want it. So I do not see why we couldn’t do that and even do more. Honestly, that is what my mind and my vision are set on: to do well in the tournament and do well in the ACC games. Also that means we need to do well in the midweek games and all of our non-ACC games, which we can definitely do.

Technique: How do you balance your personal goals for the athletic season with your academic goals for the semester?

Pierannunzi: That is funny because it takes some time to figure out. You have to figure out what it is that you want and then how you want to get it, and then you have to arrange it all in a schedule. So if I know there is a week where I am struggling with something in softball, and I want to work on it, I know that I will need to spend extra time outside of practice with my coach in the cage working on it every day. At the same time, if I have a test coming up, maybe that week I have to turn The Bachelor off, or instead of going out to eat, I eat quickly in the dining hall and then go home and study. You have to plan out your time weeks and months in advance.

Technique: Other than softball, what is your favorite sport to watch?

Pierannunzi: Probably baseball. I love to watch baseball. It is the same concepts and mindset. I like that you can watch baseball and you can learn from it and apply it to softball. Boys have a different mentality than girls. They are going to see the ball, hit the ball and they do not really think much about it, but girls have to analyze everything. We have to think about it, overanalyze it and then do it. So it is fun to watch baseball because guys just play to play and play to enjoy it. That is something that us girls strive to do.