Nel numero del "Baseball Clipper" del mese di maggio abbiamo pubblicato l'intervista a Kylee Studioso, protagonista di un perfect game nella gara di esordio nel campionato italiano con il Collecchio. Ecco a voi l'intervista in lingua originale:
1. Then, Kylee. Where do we start? Or maybe we should call you "Ms. Perfection "?
- No need for that. I’m far from perfection. Maybe we should start with where I’m from and who I am. I’m Kylee Studioso, I’m 22 years old from Edmonds Washington. I have 3 younger sisters, named Kaysea, Jaymie, and Kelci, and a younger brother named John. My parents names are John and Jackie Studioso.
2. Apparently you are blessed on April! Last year, on the 14th, you tossed your first PG against Mississippi Valley State; this year, on the 2nd, you did it again versus Sestese in the first day of the Softball Italian Championship. Do you believe that last year's experience has helped you in managing the pressure of the latest pitches this time
- I believe that last years’ experience was completely different than this year. Last year’s game was only 5 innings and we were winning by 8 runs. This year it was a battle until the end. Not very many perfect games are the full seven innings none the less 8 innings. I truly am blessed to have been a part of a great team win.
3. In the game against Sestese your “pitching duel” was with Monica Perry, and the level of this “clash” has been incredibly high. Are you convinced (as we are) that the new trend of engaging US pitchers can help the improvment of Italian Softball
- I do believe that the American pitchers will help improve Italian softball and the players involved. With bringing in American pitchers on teams it will help push the other girls on the team to work harder. I also believe it will help draw more attention to the sport.
4. A couple of questions about US softball. While the NCAA championship produces so many players of absolute level (who go on to play around the world), the rise of NPF (as the former Pro Leagues) seems to be slow, if not sluggish. Do you believe that the competition with the male baseball is too strong in your Country? Or the Americans still cannot accept the idea that women can also rise up good shows on diamonds?
- I believe that the growth of the NPF is slow but it is growing and growing popularity. I do not believe that it has to do with mens baseball, but growing a league from the bottom up is a hard task. One day Professional softball will be a bigger part of the culture. Especially because of how many people watch the NCAA tournament every year on ESPN. It is just a matter of time.
5. Between the Olympic Games, World Cup and Pan American Games, since 1965 the American National team took part in 39 International events. They got 30 gold medals, 9 silver and (between the other things) an incredible streak of 185 Test matches won lasting 12 years, between 1996 and 2008. Honestly, how many times you have dreamed about yourself playing with the jersey of your Country during a Major International competition?
- When I was younger I wanted to be a part of team USA, 3 years ago I was lucky enough to play on a 23 and under team in the Canada cup. We played against team Venezuela and got to watch team usa play against japan, two of the power house teams in the world. It was such a great experience. Still to this day if I got an opportunity to play for my country I would be ecstatic.
6. Let's go back to Italy and to your Perfect Game, trying to make a sort of parallelism with some of the guy that tossed the PG and their interviews. It 's true, as quoted by Sandy Koufax, Tom Browning, David Wells, that at some point of the game you feel like walking on a cloud, and join the knowledge that the game may last for days, but no one could hit your pitches?
- The perfect game could not have happened without the defense behind me. Yes, I did have 12 strikeouts but 12 outs were also made in the field. This is why softball really is a team sport.
7. During the Game, you and Monica have been hammering all batters faced, and you both came out with a lot of strikeouts. 12 for you, 17 for her. In 2014 with Central Arkansas you got 219 K in 181 innings, 265 in 244 innings last year. Do you think that your variety of launches is the best weapon to strikeout more than a batter for every inning pitched?
- I do believe that the variety of pitches that I throw is a great advantage for me But it is how we use them in a game to complement each other that is the real advantage., but also my delivery, I have been told that I hide the ball very well. So it is harder for the batter to pick up where the ball is.
8. Meadowdale High School, Central Arkansas, and now Collecchio. How has changed your relationship with softball during these three experiences? And when you've realized that a game could also become a job?
- I have locked the game of baseball and softball since I was 5 years old when I started played t-ball and I have never stopped. Yes, from Meadowdale high school I went to a junior college in Ft. Worth Texas called Weatherford College, from there I was recruit for Central Arkansas. When I went to Texas for my first 2 years of school I really remembered why I play the game and I learned how much fun it really could be. I still to this day think that going to the junior college before division 1 was the best decision I have ever made for myself. At UCA I learned what It means to win, and what it means to be at the top. We were lucky enough to win the conference tournament last year and go to the NCAA regionals for the first time in school history. That was an experience that I will never forget. Now Collecchio, This is when I realized that playing the game I love could be a career. I am blessed to have this opportunity to play softball on the other side of the world.
9. By the way. What level of education you have achieved by Central Arkansas?
- When I was at central Arkansas I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science and I am currently enrolled in the Masters Program and will graduate in December. I am studying to be a college softball coach.
10. How did you find the level of the game in our country? You thought it was higher, or lower?
- The level of the game is different than at NCAA division 1. I wouldn’t say it is higher or lower it is just very different. The way pitchers spin the ball and the hitters approach are very different. It is also different because there is a wide variety of ages playing on the same team form girls at the age of 14 to women over 30.
11. Could you tell us some background story about your deal with Collecchio? How come you get in touch with them? What prompted you to accept the Italian adventure?
- The coach in Collecchio first contacted my coach at central Arkansas, and when the message came I had already come to terms that my softball career was over and I was okay with it. I had achieved everything I could have dreamed of for my college career. But the message came and I had told my parents the only play I would even think about playing again was Italy. The reason I would go to Italy is because of our heritage, I have family that we have never met that live near Naples. On top of that Italy is a place that was on my bucket list to travel around. So I had until Christmas day to make my decision whether I was going to play again and I told coach on Christmas Eve that I was ready to take on this adventure. It was a hard choice to make since I took a year off of doing anything softball related.
12. What about you and of your "Italian" days?. Are you learning our language?
- I am trying to learn the language as much a possible. I want to be able to know what people are saying when they are trying to talk to me. It is hard when I am still doing classes and playing softball but I have picked up on some important softball words. I personally try to learn a new word every day.
13. I won't ask you questions about Italian cooking, prosciutto and tortellini, pizza or ice creams, but one thing must be asked: are you learning to cook our food, or you limit yourself to eat them all?
- Being here, so far, I have tried to pick up on some cooking skills, along with eating skills. The food here is all so good and so fresh. But I will say that Gelato has been my favorite thing so far, I try to have a cup of gelato everywhere we travel too.
14. Going back to softball and the Collecchio Team. Your impressions about the Italian Tournament? Which teams you think can be the favorite to win the League?
- The italian tournament will be tough just like any other tournament. I don’t know enough about the teams in the other divisions to be able to say who the favorites are, but from our side I do believe that Bussolengo ,Sestese, Forli and Collecchio will be a favorite to make the tournament we just have to see how the season plays out.
15. Have you found differences between the different sports cultures, the American and the Italian? How these differences change the way to approach the single match? (in other words, do you live the pre-game hours in the same way here as you did while in US?)
- I try to do everything the same every game day. I do pack the same lunch every game day and still drink a blue PowerAde before and during every game. The only thing I am missing is peanut butter M&Ms and zebra cakes which I have yet to find here in Italy.
16. In which way you think this Italian experience can improve your playing style?
- I think that playing in Italy will help me understand the game more and how different places practice the same sport that I have been playing since I was 5. I love to learn about the game of softball and this is just another chapter of learning. This experience will also help me speak from experience when I have my own team, so I can tell them about softball around the world.
17. You may have noticed that, unfortunately, softball and baseball in Italy don't have the media attention they deserve. Frankly speaking, are you surprised about this situation? Were you aware of the fact that here in Italy your sport does not go on the pages of our newspapers?
- I am surprised of the situation, because I did not know that the baseball/softball culture was only so large in the USA. I think over time that the culture here will grow too. Because there is a large following of both sports.
18. Are you in touch with your former teammates of Central Arkansas? Do you think they will come to Italy to see you play and spend few weeks of vacation?
- I am still in touch with my teammates from UCA. I do watch as many of their games as I can online. And I wish them luck before every game. My roommate from school I talk to just about every day, we lived together for 3 years. I wish some of them would come visit and they wish they could too. It is just so expensive to fly out here form Arkansas. I also still talk to the coaches and players from my college in Texas on a daily basis. I wish that my best friend from there would come visit out here too but I’ll be here with no visitors from home. The people that I want to visit the most is my family. I wish they would take a full family vacation out here so we could all travel together and they could experience an ISL game, but ill be lucky if only my father makes it out here with the work schedule and the other kids sports schedules.
19. A million dollars question. If at the end of the season will come an offer from an NPF franchise, will you return to America or would you rather stay in Italy for a longer time?
- I wish I knew the answer to that. There’s benefits of both. I would love to stay in Italy it is a beautiful country, but being able to play in the NPF would be amazing too. I would love to be closer to my family so they could watch me play as well.
20. Last question. Do you follow MLB? And which team you root for?
- I follow the MLB. My favorite teams are the Seattle Mariners of course and the Washington Nationals.
Thank you, Miss Perfection.