WORTHINGTON -- Stephanie Kazemba has six sisters. They all play softball.
Steph, a sophomore with freshman eligibility on the Minnesota West Community and Technical College fast-pitch softball team, grew into the sport along with the rest.
She believes that if she had never wanted to play the sport, no one in her family would have complained. But, of course, that was never an issue. Softball is as natural as breathing.
There are eight children in the rural Round Lake family. Besides Stephanie, the sisters are Katherine, Christine, Rebecca, Faith, Hannah and Rachel. Their father, Jim, is a longtime youth softball coach who took up the role 16 years ago as a way to stay in touch with his kids at summertime.
Stephanie is appreciative of the togetherness softball has provided.
“It’s nice to have that many people to keep on working on it during the summer. They all have helped me, going forward, playing softball. I definitely wanted to continue that and take that into the college level,” she said.
In 2020, Stephanie practiced only briefly with the Minnesota West softball team before COVID-19 became an issue and the season was canceled before the first game. It was a disappointment for everyone, but the new Lady Jay continued to practice from home.
“I worked on it a lot at home and improved on my own,” she said. “And also, the coach (first-year coach Jeff Jager) kept in contact with us and gave us drills -- kept us updated on the team, and so we were ready to go this year.”
Today, it looks like the Lady Jays will get to play. And with Kazemba, they have a dedicated player who will see a lot of action as a pitcher. She throws a fastball, a changeup and a rise ball and a drop. She’s also an outstanding hitter.
The Globe was pleased that Stephanie agreed to be a subject for its weekly sports feature, The Drill. She’s not a person who enjoys talking about herself and she’s naturally shy. But she seemed to have a good time during the interview, which can be accessed along with video footage through The Globe website at www.dglobe.com.
Here’s a sample of the interview:
QUESTION: Tell us something not everyone knows about you.
ANSWER: “One thing that not a lot of people know is I’m a very shy person, and I’m not always the best talking to people. But I do love being around kids. So I want to go into general education, work with younger kids, and teaching.”
QUESTION: Do you have a favorite sports memory to share?
ANSWER: “I’d have to say some of my favorite memories of softball are playing with my siblings. Just being a fun group, both competitive, and yet also knowing their strengths and weaknesses, and to work with them and build each other up.”
QUESTION: Not including sports, what do you like to do with your free time?
ANSWER: “Outside of sports, some new hobbies I’m kind of taking up are stilts, like walking on stilts. I’m feeling a little bit taller, that’s nice. Kiting -- just basically anything outdoors, definitely, I enjoy doing.”