Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Getting to Know... Kristyn Sandberg

Hello again readers! I hope you all are ready for a good read because in this blog you will get to know my fellow Pride teammate and former SEC rival Kristyn Sandberg. As many of you know, this stud rookie just finished playing four years at the University of Georgia. Although her main position is catcher, she has also played first base, third base, and even short stop… A very versatile player if you ask me! Besides her remarkable defensive skills, her offensive skills need no explanation. After only playing with the Pride for three NPF series, she is already hitting a whopping .556 with one homerun and seven RBIs. Needless to say this girl can crush the ball! As a former rival, I must say I HATED pitching against Kristyn! It didn’t matter where I placed the ball or how much it broke, this girl always seemed to get the barrel on the ball and drive it in the complete opposite direction. I remember this past season I threw a screwball on her hands and she somehow gets a shot between first and second base… What the heck! I’m sorry Kristyn, but there were times when I just wanted to hit you and be done with it! But I guess other pitchers did that enough for me this past season... Mwah-ha-ha! I still love you though! Especially now that you’re on my team and I don’t have to face you anymore! Hurray!

Moving on, I must say that my favorite thing about Kristyn is her energy. For those of you who have seen me play for LSU, there is no way that you could have missed my own energy and serious amount of fist pumping. I am proud to say that Kristyn is also a major fist pumper! We both just get so sucked into the game that we express our feelings of excitement after every play! I have already received messages on Twitter and heard from others that our pitcher-catcher duo is a fist pumping frenzy. I absolutely love it! Honestly, I think our fist pumping extravaganza brings twice as much energy and entertainment throughout the entire stadium! Our fellow Pride teammates say they love it and so do the fans. So for all those in favor of witnessing this entertainment, watch our games live on our website at

Now that you know Kristyn is a fist pumping catcher who drops bombs, let see what else there is to know about her. Kristyn grew up in Island Park, New York with her mom Susan, dad Robert, and her, soon to be, 14 year old younger brother Ryan. Kristyn graduated from West Hempstead High School before attending the University of Georgia where she is majoring in Health and Physical Education. Kristyn will officially graduate in December of 2012 after she finishes her student teaching in the fall.

Since I’ve had a lot of down time these past few weeks to get to know my new teammate, I’ve learned that she loves to play hockey. Kristyn started playing hockey at age 8 and actually won the New York State Championship at age 14. So for a fun inside joke, some of us on the Pride call her Goldberg, which if anyone has seen the movie the Mighty Ducks knows that is the name of the goalie on the hockey team. How this nickname came about for Kristyn is actually due to the creative combining of part of her last name with the last name of a former teammate from Georgia, Alisa Goler. Goler currently plays first base for the Chicago Bandits. Fellow Georgia teammates were torn between which NPF jersey to represent, Goler or Sandberg. So they decided they would buy both jerseys, cut them down the middle and stitch the halves together. As you can see, combining Goler with Sandberg gives you Goldberg! I think it is quite ironic how Kristyn has this nickname due to the fact that she also plays hockey. I also think it’s ironic that even though she is not a goalie in hockey, she plays the one position in softball where she must wear a mask to protect her face. So tell me readers… Do you see a resemblance?

Ha-ha! Sorry Kristyn! I just couldn’t resist putting these pictures side by side! At least I didn’t post this picture of Goldberg as a resemblance…

(Even though this picture is from the movie Heavy Weights, it’s still the same actor!)

Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, let’s get back to finding out more interesting things about Kristyn Sandberg. What better way to get to know the famous Kristyn than hearing from someone who has played with her for a few years. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the inside view from Alisa Goler!

I was lucky enough to live with Sandy for 3 years at UGA. The first thing I realized upon being stuck in the same apartment with her 24/7 was that I better be a fan of Toy Story. Between the dishes in our kitchen, her comforter on her bed, and the Disney Collector's Items of all 3 Toy Story Movies, our place was an 8 year old's paradise. BUT, don't let that fool you, Sandy is one of the most competitive players and people you will come across, and she isn't afraid to tell you. She even used to challenge my puppy, Colbie, to Tug-A-War matches with a sock. She wouldn't stop until my poor dog was passed out on the floor from exhaustion. Reallllllll cool, Sandy.

“Also, we must touch on her infamous hairstyle. PTG, or Pony Tail Girl, as some of her friends from home call her, rocks her unique up-do like a champ. Good luck trying to mimic it because it cannot be done, I have tried many a time. It is literally impossible to get your hair to stay as high on your head as hers does. Apparently it's a hairstyle suited for her and only her.

“Now, let's also throw in the fact that Sandy enjoys some PlayStation 3 gaming. I used to wake up at 2am and walk out to our kitchen to get some water only to see Kristyn parked on the couch playing Madden 12, NCAAFB 12, or NHL 12. One guess which teams were her favorites (Mets, Islanders, and whichever school had the best mascot). Never a dull moment with this one!

“One of my favorite things is the fact that Sandy can surf. When she told me she had a surfboard I mocked her shamelessly because I did not understand how one could surf on waves that were 1-2 feet tall off the shores of New York, but apparently it can be done. So Sandy, I apologize. She loves being by the water and you could usually find her at the pool studying or laying out when she wasn't on the diamond. I'm sure all of her USSSA teammates can attest to this also.

“Lastly, Sandy has some crazy stuff wrong with her, like the fact that her fingers consistently turn purple. On Halloween, we could have hid her hand in a bowl of candy and scared small children by telling them it was a dead person's hand. So nasty.” On a funny side note, the Pride has developed a new nickname for her extremely purple index finger… ET!

Back to you Goler!
“To round things out, Sandy is super hard-nosed on the exterior, but a big softy deep down. She has a huge heart and is always willing to help a friend in need. Although it's weird playing against her now on a regular basis, I can say that I'm extremely proud of her and hope that she is able to win this season's NPF Rookie of the Year because I know how hard she works each and every day. You'll always be one of my best friends, Sandy. Love ya!”

So a quick recap on things to know about Kristyn: she LOVES Toy Story, she’s very competitive (I mean she won’t even let a little puppy win at Tug-A-War!), she has three nicknames (Goldberg, PTG, and ET), she loves to play sport games on her PlayStation, she likes to surf, and she has purple fingers… I guess she would have fit into the LSU fan club seeing how we bleed purple and gold! Aside from all this, the most important thing to take away from this blog is that Kristyn is a fantastic ball player and an even better person. She is a true teammate and loves the game of softball! I asked Kristyn to answer a few random questions so that everyone out there can learn a little more about her from her own perspective. Enjoy!

When did you start playing softball?
I first started playing baseball when I was 5 years old. I didn’t begin playing softball until I was in 7th grade. 

Coolest moment with the Pride so far:
It’s a toss-up between getting my first professional hit against the Bandits or my first professional homerun against the Diamonds. 

Favorite softball memory:
One of my favorite softball moments was reaching the Women’s College World Series in 2009 for the first time in program history. Oklahoma City is an amazing place where only the best in the country get to experience. My other favorite softball memory is hitting my first homerun over the fence at 14 on Father’s Day and doing it every Father’s Day since then. 

Which game this season are you most looking forward to and why:
I look forward to playing every game. Getting the opportunity to play professionally is something that only a few girls get to experience and I just love being at the ballpark every day and being on the field with my teammates. 

Who is your role model?
My parents. My parents were always in the yard playing with me and helping me get better at whatever sport I was playing. They attended as many of my games as they could as I was growing up whether it was hockey, basketball, soccer, baseball or softball. 

Best advice you were ever given:
There’s a choice you make in everything you do and you must always keep in mind the choice you make, makes you. 

Your advice to young people:
You have no one to impress but yourself. DREAM BIG. 

One thing about you most people don’t know:
In middle school I was first chair violin. In 6th grade I switched to playing the stand-up bass and was first chair throughout the rest of middle school and high school. 

What is the best present you’ve ever received growing up:
When I was younger I always wanted a little brother. Now I realize that’s not something you go to the store and buy but at the time, having a little brother was the only thing I wanted. In 1997 we went on a family vacation to Woodloch Pines in Pennsylvania. One night they had horse races and my parents bet on the horse and named it Baby Makes 4. That’s when I found out I was going to have a sibling. When he was born I was the happiest 8-year- old ever. Having my brother Ryan around was great because I always had someone to play with. Even though he’s 8 & ½ years younger than me, we compete against each other in sports like we’re the same age whether it’s basketball in the drive-way, hockey down at the roller rink, or whiffle ball in the back yard. As I’ve watched him grow up and take on new challenges, I couldn’t be more proud of the boy he is becoming and can’t wait to see what accomplishes in his life.

If you could have dinner with one influential person in the world, who would it be and why?
Walt Disney – what he’s built is incredible, it brings a smile to your face no matter how old you are. “All our dreams come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” 

What is one word you would use to describe yourself and why?
Realistic - I like to keep things in prospective. 

What is your favorite sport to watch or play other than softball?
Ice Hockey  

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
Toss-up between Mike Eruzione who scored the game winning goal to beat the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympics & Ken Marrow who won an Olympic Gold medal in 1980 and multiple Stanley Cups with the New York Islanders. 

What do you plan on doing with your Health and Physical Education major?
Hopefully, I will be able to get the elementary school position in my hometown when the current teacher retires in the near future. A part of me would also like to test the waters of becoming a college coach.

I think I am addicted to… shopping-mostly buying new athletic sneakers. 

If you could go back in time, what would you do or see?
If I could go back in time and see one thing it would be the 1980 Olympics. I would love to watch Herb Brooks and the American hockey team beat the Soviet Union and go on to win the Gold Medal.

Craziest ambition:
When I was a kid and I was playing baseball I dreamed of becoming the first girl to play for the New York Mets.

Favorite candy – Mike & Ikes
Favorite food – Chips & Queso Dip
Favorite drink – Snapple Ice Tea
Favorite color – Blue
Favorite vacation spot – A Royal Caribbean Cruise
Favorite song on your iPod – I have a lot but currently, Payphone & Call Me Maybe
Favorite book – Through My Eyes
Favorite movie – Toy Story
Favorite TV show – Law & Order: SVU
Favorite athlete – Mike Piazza

So quick note for all you readers out there, if you ever want to get Kristyn a surprise gift, I’d go for Toy Story items or Mike and Ikes! I hope you all enjoyed learning more about one of the newest Pride members, Kristyn Sandberg. Stayed tuned to see what’s coming up on the next blog!

Geaux Pride!

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