NT Softball Opens Fall Season This Weekend

DENTON, Texas (10/6/11) - Sophomore Jackie Miller and the North Texas softball team open the fall season this weekend when they compete in the Texas A&M Fall Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 8. The Mean Green faces Texas A&M at 12:15 p.m. and then plays Sam Houston State at 2:30 p.m.

Miller returns for her sophomore season after playing in 24 games as a freshman. Following Brooke Foster and Ashley Kirk, Miller saw the most action as a newcomer in 2011. The sophomore is the first North Texas softball player to come out of the state of Georgia.

The Mean Green started team practice this week and has a competitive start to the season when it faces Texas A&M on Saturday. The Aggies are coming off of an NCAA Super Regional appearance in 2011. The team broke a program record as it went undefeated in all 25 home games, including each game of the 2011 NCAA College Station Regional.

Miller sat down for a question-and-answer session following practice this week.

What did you do over the summer to get ready for softball?
"Over the summer I really wanted to run a ton with the mile time we had to make. My family spent the summer in a cabin in north Georgia and there weren't any free weights so I had to focus on running. I ran 3-4 miles a day. I threw a lot with my dad and brother in the backyard, trying to stay in shape."

How much more prepared do you feel than last year?
"It's different. The year before I was playing travel ball so it's a different mindset because this year I wasn't playing. I was working on the workouts. Once I got here, I had to switch gears to the softball gear instead of the working-out gear. It's completely different than last year. I feel more in shape this year so it helped a ton."

Did you make your mile time on the first try?
"I did! I'm so proud."

What do you think you learned from your freshman year?
"What didn't I learn from my freshman year? Time management was probably the biggest thing. I learned a lot of study habits. I know that sounds basic but I kinda had to learn that the hard way. As a freshman, I tried to work as hard as I could. So I learned a lot about the amount you put in, is the amount you get out. So, work ethic. And a lot of life skills."

What position do you see yourself playing?
"I want to play anywhere. I don't want to touch the bench if possible. Right now, I have been practicing at third mostly and a little first. So, it's completely different from last year. I was outfield, did a little pitching and then at the end, I started doing some infield."

Did you grow up in Texas?
"I lived 10 years in Flower Mound, Texas. I grew up there but I feel I learned the most life lessons in Georgia. I consider Georgia home."

Did you have culture shock moving here?
"A little bit. I grew up here, but I didn't remember much. I came here and everyone has all this Texas country music and I have no idea what is going on. I get called Georgia peach. It's a little different because Texas is its own place.

What are your expectations for this weekend?
"I just want to see how hard this team can work. Obviously, the other teams have been playing more than we have. I want to see how everyone is with just a little practice. We haven't even seen the freshmen play yet. The team is completely different this year so we will see how things are and from there we can work on stuff. I'm excited because my dad and brother are coming. My brother is visiting Texas A&M so it works out perfectly."

How is team practice going?
"This year we are focusing on working as hard as we can with the time we have. We are splitting it up so we have weights and running in the morning so when we get here, it's strictly softball. It's been nice to separate the two."


North Texas Mean Green