An interview with Derby Girls Combats Amanda Pantley!
Interview conducted on 1/11/2015
Who are you playing with in 2016?
What positions do you play and what is your best position?
I have always played middle infield but since Derby, I’ve been utility. More so 1 bag.
Who is the best softball player you have ever seen play?
Pertaining to women’s…Christan Dowling for hitting. Hands down. And she’s been my teammate / sister for the last 4 years!
Why do you like the game of softball?
The competitiveness! I’ve always been competitive so being able to be on a team that has 15+ girls who have the same mentality as I do makes for a great time! Our camaraderie is unlike anything any team could ever have. Not to mention all the traveling I get to experience!
What is your nickname in softball and how did you get it?
Angry Barbie / Barbie. What had happen was…I can get intense sometimes. Intensity can come off as anger, if people don’t know you. So being the tall blonde I am, it became “Angry Barbie”. And there you have it. 🙂
Where do you call home?
Home is anywhere my husband and two girls are…Tacoma, WA.
What's your favorite way to spend an off weekend?
Off weekend? You funny! I’m a 50+ hour work week employee, a full time mom and full time softball player. When time allots, I like to hang out with my family and few close friends laughing at our stupidity.
What do you do for a living?
I am a Solution Associate / PMO Analyst for a large consulting firm. I wear many hats in my position.
Did you play sports in High School / College / Pro?
I played 4 years of varsity for Volleyball and Fastpitch in High School in Onalaska, WA. Originally went to college in Walla Walla, WA for Volleyball but switched back to Fastpitch and then transferred to Olympia, WA to finish my college fastpitch career.
How did you get your start in softball and how did you get to the upper level?
I went to watch my best friend play in a women’s tournament, which I had no idea even existed for slow pitch and they had four remaining tournaments (worlds included) and needed a girl. So I played at the D level for those tournaments and then jumped to B and never left. 7+ years now.
What would you say is your career highlight to this point? Maybe one play or game that sticks out to you in particular?
Winning B USSSA Worlds twice before I was 30 and making All Tournament Team both times probably has got to be the best.
In your career was there a single person (player/manager/coach) who had the most significant impact on your approach to the game? Why?
My mother. By far! She put me into 10-U when I was 6 (I skipped T-Ball) and I have never stopped playing. She was my coach for as long as she could be. Aside from my kids, husband and friends, she is by far my #1 fan and supporter. She watches every game streamed and comes to as many games as she can. Without her push and continued support, I wouldn’t have ever played sports.
What advice can you give a young player trying to break into the upper level?
Put your work in! If you are made for the upper level, you’ll get there. People talk. You will get seen by someone. And be humble! Always stay humble! After all, it is underhand slow pitch. 🙂
What type of batting grip do you use and what ounce bat?
I use conventional fastpitch grip; nothing fancy! I swing a 27oz balanced.
What do you do in the offseason to prepare for the next softball season?
I will take BP, weather permitting. Play in some tournaments to get a “game like” feel to work on situational hitting and tweak whatever necessary.
What is your favorite sports team and your favorite sport other than softball?
Obviously I’m a Seattle Sports fan! Baseball and Volleyball season are my absolute favorite.
Do you have any superstitions and if so, what are they?
I have to wear crew socks to play. Nothing shorter, nothing taller. I have to wear an undershirt. Regardless of how hot it is. And everything has to be freshly cleaned.
What would be your "at bat" music selection?
Anything with punk rock / alternative. Those are my jams!
What is the best improvement upper level softball could make?
Growing the upper program. Gives everyone more competition.
What is your favorite non-World tournament and why?
Queens of the Northwest. Because who doesn’t want to be a Queen!
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen on a softball field?
Playing in a tournament with backwards base running always makes for some funny memories. I’ve added a few of those myself. It’s not as easy as it sounds, people!
Tell us something about you that most would never know about you?
Most people know I have two younger sisters who are my best friends (that I’m very protective over) but most people don’t know I have a brother. He’s three months younger than me. We look like twins.
What was your favorite sports related gift you have ever given or received?
My teammates that have turned into best and close friends. And I met my husband while he was umpiring my game. Those are the greatest gifts of all.