Words by: Juliana Cimino
A balancing act. That is how one would refer to Emmanuel College junior Tianna Dawe’s everyday life. She spends her days at Emmanuel balancing being a student as well as a pitcher and hitter for the Saints softball team. She is also one of three captains for the squad, if you were not already impressed.
Dawe is highly effective at the plate. She finished last season with a batting average of .375. She ended with four home runs, 21 hits, and 19 runs batted in (RBIs). Dawe also made a significant impact on the mound. She finished last season with a 2.84 earned run average (ERA), meaning she gave up an average of 2.84 runs per game. She had 10 wins and a total of 62 strikeouts on the year.
When she is not leading her teammates on the field, Dawe is in the classroom, or more likely, the lab. She is studying Biology with a concentration in Health Sciences in hopes of becoming a Physician Assistant. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) majors typically carry a heavy workload. Labs are a few hours long and with them comes pre-labs and lab reports.
Dawe was named to the 2021 GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) Academic All-Conference squad. According to the GNAC website, to qualify for this honor, “a student-athlete must maintain a 3.25 cumulative GPA and have reached/completed second-year academic status” (“GNAC Announces 2020-21 Academic All-Conference Team”). She is very dedicated to her studies.
Dawe spoke with Juliana Cimino about her workload on the field and in the classroom.
How would you describe the difficulty level of the courses required for your major?
Depending on the course, it can take up a lot of time, especially when they have labs to go along with the regular class. Some classes are harder than others, like it is with every other major too. You have to find a balance for practicing and playing games, especially now that we’re in season, and there are games during the week. You have to have really good time management.
How often do you have softball practice and classes? What does a typical day look like for you?
We practice and have games six days a week. I have classes Monday through Friday. During the season, our coach wants us to take morning classes, so if we have an away game or a game later on during the week, we have the whole afternoon open. On a typical Tuesday, I’ll have classes from 8:00AM-12:00PM. Then, we usually have lift from 4:00PM-5:00PM and then practice from 5:30PM-7:30PM. Sometimes the times differ. I love softball so much that it doesn’t seem like a burden to have to balance it with school even though it can be hard.
Describe the moment when you realized the ball was going to clear the fence and tie Saturday’s contest against Wentworth Institute of Technology.
I didn’t even know it went over. I just hit it, and I know it felt good. When I was rounding first, I turned to find the ball, and I saw the outfielder hit the fence and the ball drop on the other side. As I was rounding second, I found my coach and was just ecstatic because I had been in a slump before that. Since it was the tying run, I felt overwhelming emotions. Rounding third and seeing my team at the bench celebrating was just awesome.
You also pitched 8 innings that game and finished with a 6-5 win, how did it feel to make such a big impact on offense and defense?
It’s always awesome. I love being able to contribute to my team in as many ways as possible, and I’m grateful to get the opportunity to do it both defensively and offensively. Having my team behind me makes it a lot easier on the mound. Being able to go up there and contribute to the score, after having the one inning where we let up back-to-back home runs. That impacted the game, so being able to tie it and pump the energy back up was great. That was our first win since one of our games in Florida, so it was awesome.
Being both a hitter and a pitcher is not very common in college, what is it like balancing the two roles?
I like to go against that stereotype. I feel like more and more now pitchers are hitting. I love hitting, like I view it very separately, especially from when I’m on the field. When I’m pitching, I have one mentality and then when I’m hitting, it’s another type of mentality. I’m a lot more serious when I’m pitching because I’m involved in every play. Whereas with hitting, it’s more like something I love to do, and I just want to go up there and have fun.
Dawe described her love for batting, pitching, and softball overall as well as school in her responses. She is a very dedicated person. Although she has a lot on her plate, she enjoys filling all of her roles and is passionate about every one of them.