University of South Florida, Veronica Gajownik practising her swing

USF’s Veronica Gajownik on what the future holds

Star softball player explains pressures of senior year

TAMPA — Being a senior at a major softball school has its challenges and no one would better understand that than star Veronica Gajownik.

As a senior infielder at the University of South Florida, not only does she have the pressure of playing well, but she also has to face the same question all other fourth year students do: what do I do with the rest of my life?

“I am very stressed out, but I am trying to be more relaxed,” Gajownik said, during an interview at the Bulls’ facility. “When I was a kid I had 1,000 more softball games but now there is a time as to how many games I have left to play, so that is pretty stressful.

“But I have to remember to play for my eight-year-old self, so I am trying to relax more.”

Part of that future involves coaching in Central Florida and becoming a physical therapist.

“Another option is that I want to become a softball coach and so that is another reason why I came to USF is because I knew that coach Ken (Erikson, also the U.S. national team boss) had a lot of connections and knew a lot of people.”

Those aspirations may lead her outside of South Florida.

“I would want to coach out west, so Colorado, Idaho, Montana, California – somewhere out there,” Gajownik said. “I love the west and hate the humidity, so I want to get out of the east coast and be in a D1 school, and I will have to make my way up to that, but I am willing to do that.”

Although being a coach or physiotherapist are significant parts of her plans, softball will still be on Gajownik’s mind after college.

“If I got the chance to play for the pro league that would be great – I will definitely take that up,” Gajownik said. “I also made the first cut for the USA women’s baseball team, so if I have the opportunity to play for the pro league, I would love that, but if not I would still love to play for USA in women’s baseball.”

Follow Martha Kruk @1Misstennis