Not only is Sam Marder the reigning NPF Offensive Player of the Year but shes also an Akron Racers leader, fan favorite, and Ohio State Buckeye! Her award winning season featured 8 homers, 27 RBI’s, 24 walks and a .343 batting average. That amazing production was preceded by 7 homers, 17 RBI’s and a .403 average in ’11. This year Sam hasn’t missed a beat, while cutting her strikeouts in half she has 6 homers, 26 RBI’s and 23 walks. Her honors are well deserved and the best part is she is so appreciative to be a Racer and she proves it everyday on the field and in her interactions with fans. Hopefully Akron gets the honor of seeing much more of Sam in the future!
2012 Offensive Player of the Year…how’d it feel to end the season with such an accomplishment?
“It was great, and honestly it was so…I was shocked first of all! It’s so humbling to be in a league that’s so offensively powered and to be recognized like that by opposing coaches and owners, it’s an incredible feeling. I was honestly most proud to win it for the Racers, to represent this kind of organization with Kelley winning Defensive POY, it was just a really good moment for our team in general.”
How does it feel to be honored with a Sam Marder Night?
“It was awesome. I think playing for this organization is so great, it just meant so much. The fan support here and Joey, shes just such an incredible person. It felt really really special to be out here and be honored like that, just to be part of this great organization.”
How’d you like the bobblehead?
“I love how the bobblehead turned out! I think it attributes how much Joey cares about her players because all the small details like the braid, eye black, and event the slight head tilt when I bat are all there. She even made me look 20 pounds lighter which I thanked her for! haha!”
You got off to a slow start this year, what do you think was going on for you?
“I kind of had a slow start last season too. A lot of hitters need to see a bunch of pitches and settle in and get comfortable up there. I really wasn’t swinging at great pitches to hit.”
Whats the biggest change you’ve made to get hot?
“I’m a lot looser, a lot more relaxed. I’m working the counts a lot more. My game has always been seeing good pitches and having long at bats, at the beginning of the season they lasted about 30 seconds.”
How is the team taking the long losing streak?
“I think it was motivation. Last year when we lost we got completely blown out, this year even in those seven games we were in some really good games. If a couple things could have gone our way we could have won some of those games, so I think we took it as a positive thing like we’re right in this! So we just tried to stay confident and not press and now it’s starting to pay off in this series.”
How would you measure the teams progress this season?
“When we first started playing we were fresh, we were brand new, now you can see how much confidence we have in each other. Going into these series’ we have to expect to win.”
How do you see the shift in leadership with all the new faces and losing so many veterans?
“The girls who returned had to step up. We’ve focused on doing that. Even though we lost some leadership the young girls provide so much energy, fun and a spark…and they’re REALLY good! Even though we lost leadership we gained so much youth and energy.”
Wheres the confidence after going into the Pride series with high hopes and losing 3 out of 4?
“I think we’re still really confident. It’s going to be a really important series for us coming up against the Bandits. It’s important for our team to play with them, they’re the one team we haven’t got a lot of wins from. So its going to be important to have a good week of practice and go in there and have 4 real good games against them.”
Knowing how important you said the Chicago series was where does that stand now after getting swept?
“Obviously the Chicago series didn’t go as we would have liked, but it was still a series we could take a lot of positive things away from and definitely made us better. Now it’s up to us to take what we learned and use it this series against the Comets so we can be the best team possible in our win-or-go-home game at Championships.”
What’s your message to the players about going into the Championship Series, having only one chance?
“Number one it’s to play and have your emotions be like it’s any other game, but also go out there and leave nothing. One game take all isn’t the time to be nervous, or hold back, it’s the time to play with your hair on fire! Win or lose at the end of the game you know you left nothing behind.”
Special Thank You to Sam ( @Sam_Marder ) For Taking the Time to Sit Down With Us!