Sarah Pauly of the USSSA Pride is all too familiar with not having much down time. During her “off-season” she has been competing in the professional softball league in Japan.
In 2010, her second season with the USSSA Pride, Pauly continued to be a threat in the circle. She won 15 games tying her for the League most wins. With her 1.98 ERA, 108 strikeouts and 137 innings pitched, Pauly added another outstanding season to her NPF resume. In the 2010 playoffs, Pauly won 2 games and sported a 1.24 ERA on her way to an excellent showing and a Cowles Cup in the NPF Championship Series.
Following the completion of her college career in 2005, the Phoenix, Arizona native joined the Raybestos Brakettes and was named an Amatuer Softball Association Women’s Open Division First-Team All-American, in her first season. Pauly followed that performance with a 2006 season that saw her earn Most Outstanding Pitcher honors in the NPF with a League leading 1.24 ERA and League-high 15 wins and 138 strikeouts. As a Connecticut Brakette, she was also named an All-NPF selection as she helped lead the Brakettes to a runner-up finish in the League. In 2007 with the Washington Glory, Pauly went 13-6 with a 1.35 ERA and struck out nearly a batter an inning with 122 strikeouts in 124.2 innings. She went the distance in six of her 18 starts and allowed only 24 earned runs as the Glory won the National Pro Fastpitch Championship. In 2008, she helped the Glory reach the NPF finals for a second consecutive season. Pauly led the League in ERA from start to finish and struck out 112 batters to hit triple-digits in strikeouts for the third straight season.
Sarah talks about her preparations for the upcoming NPF season…
Q: Right now you are playing in Japan, what has your experience been like? Pauly: It has definitely been a learning experience. Not only about softball, but about life as well. Their work ethic is completely different from what I am used to, but I am managing it just fine. The girls on the team are great and are always teaching me new words.
Q: How is the food over in Japan? What has been your favorite thing to try? Pauly: We eat a lot of protein! My team has a cafeteria with two chefs who cook us two hot meals a day, so we have a variety of different foods each night. There is always some type of soup, a salad, fruit and yogurt. The main dish is always some type of meat--whether that be fish, pork or chicken. My favorite so far has been the curry. The plate is served with white rice and a curry sauce that has steak pieces mixed in with it.
Q: What are you most looking forward to for the 2011 NPF Season? Pauly: I am looking forward to reuniting with my teammates and having the opportunity to play at our many different locations, in hopes to promote our game to those who are unaware of professional softball.
Q: During the Opening week of the NPF Season there will be a match-up of the Final game of the Championship Series. What can fans expect from this game? Pauly: The fans can expect a game somewhat similar to the one in the Championship Series. I know both teams will be eager to perform well, so it will be as if the game never finished in the first place.
Q: Besides playing in Japan, what have you been doing to prepare for the 2011 NPF Season? Pauly: Well playing in Japan has pretty much prepared me for the 2011 NPF Season. Before coming to Japan I was in training for it since November. Of course weight training and a lot of running is taking place over here to get ready for the summer.
Q: You and your Dad have started PaulyGirl Fastpitch, what does it mean to be able to work with your Dad? Pauly: Its so much fun! It has always been a dream of his for us to work together and we are finally making it happen. He is my hero and has taught me everything I know about pitching, so to be able to work beside him is a true blessing and honor.
Q: If you could have lunch with any 3 people, who would it be and why? Pauly: At the moment I would love to have lunch with my parents and my best friend crystal, because I miss them from being over here in Japan.
Q: What are the last 3 songs in your IPOD? Pauly: 1) Shut It Down--Drake
2) With You--Lil' Wayne ft. Drake
3) Don't You Wanna Stay--Jason Aldean
Q: Describe to the fans a day in the life of an NPF Player during the Season. Pauly: The life of an NPF Player varies depending on whether or not we have a game that night or if it's an off day.
Game Day: Wake up, eat breakfast. Workout at the gym and relax until we have to leave for the field. BP takes place first and then we play catch & take ground balls. Most pitchers start warming up about 30 minutes prior to the game.
Off Day: Some sleep inn and some wake up early to work out. Laying out by the pool, going shopping or just relaxing inside and watching movies are a few of the activities that take place. We catch up on reading or laundry or skype with our friends and family. It just depends.
Q: If you won the lottery what would be the first thing you would do? Pauly: Put my money in my savings account, maybe eventually take a vacation, but I wouldn't go crazy with it.