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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Athlete of the Week: Callista Balko


    Callista Balko, senior catcher for the No. 8 Arizona softball team, hit five home runs – including a grand slam – in last weekend’s Wildcat Invitational, in which Arizona won four of five games. She only hit 10 home runs her entire junior season. The Arizona Daily Wildcat caught up with Balko yesterday to discuss her newly added power, her boo-bear and how LeBron James is better than Kobe Bryant.

    Wildcat: So, how does it feel to be named Athlete of the Week?
    Balko: It feels good. I don’t think I have ever been Athlete of the Week.

    W: Do you see that section of the paper?
    B: Yes.

    W: Is athlete of the week something you have always aspired to become?
    B: Oh yeah. You always want to get your name in the paper.

    W: What was working for you in the Wildcat Invitational that enabled you to hit that many home runs?
    B: It has been a while since I have felt relaxed at the plate. I just get kind of anxious sometimes and I think this past weekend I just felt very confident, very relaxed and on time.

    W: As one of the more reliable players on the team, why is it that you get anxious?
    B: Sometimes you just get over-excited to hit. In this game some people are so relaxed when they play it, but I kind of get over-excited. I always just need to work on slowing things down.

    W: Is power something you would like to add to your game?
    B: I have had power, but I am not trying to hit a home run every time. Hopefully this year I will be able to get a little bit stronger and get a few more than I did last year.

    W: What is your favorite movie?
    B: “”The Goonies.””

    W: What is your favorite part of the movie?
    B: Chunk. I love Chunk.

    W: Well it’s good to know at least some girls do. Everybody loves the fat kid. Moving forward, what kind of music do you like?
    B: I like bands like Panic At the Disco and that kind of genre.

    W: When you step up to the plate, is there something you think about every time?
    B: I try to clear my mind. Everybody can be a mental case sometimes. You’re hitting the best when you are not thinking about it.

    W: What is your favorite sport besides softball?
    B: I love football. If I were a guy I would be playing football. For a womens’ sport, I would love to play volleyball.

    W: What male sport has the cutest guys?
    B: My boo. My boyfriend. Rick Elmore. He plays on the football team (and plays defensive end).

    W: Is he your boo-bear?
    B: Yeah, he’s my boo-bear. He definitely has my heart.

    W: He is always at the games. Is it nice to have the support?
    B: He is always right there to put a smile on my face when I’m not feeling good. He actually gives me a lot of confidence off the field. We talk a lot about it, and as an athlete, he knows all about it.

    W: Who is better, LeBron James or Kobe Bryant?
    B: LeBron.

    W: Oh, thank God.
    B: (Laughs.)

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