Chat with Team USA softball player Stacey Nuveman
A former All-American softball player at UCLA and current member of Team USA, Nuveman also serves as an analyst for ESPN's softball coverage. In other words, you'll be hearing her voice quite a bit on ESPNU's broadcasts. A three-time winner of Pac 10 Player of the Year honors, Nuveman is the NCAA's all-time leader in home runs and slugging percentage.
Stacey will be stopping by at 2 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon, so send in your questions now and join us for the chat!
Buzzmaster (2:04 PM)
Helloooooooooo! Stacey Nuveman is here!
Stacey Nuveman (2:04 PM)
Hello! Thanks for checking in! Fire away!
Scott (San Antonio, Tx)
If you weren't playing softball, what would you be doing?
Stacey Nuveman (2:05 PM)
My ultimate goal is to break into ESPN's broadcasting ranks and do that full time. I'd like to do that when my playing days are over.
What is your take on Cat's ability in the circle? What are her strengths and weaknesses?
Stacey Nuveman (2:07 PM)
Cat Osterman has all the tools to be successful for a very long time. Great work ethic, very competitve and just so gifted as a pitcher. It was exciting to work with here at the Olympics. She has a long future ahead of her. She could be the best.
Who is better Arizona, Cal or UCLA.
Stacey Nuveman (2:08 PM)
UCLA always has my heart, as a Bruin. But it seems like both Cal and Arizona are making their case to be No. 1. They both have experienced pitching and Senior leadership. But at the end it is anybody's game and you will see all of them battling for the championship.
What changes should be made to the game? Does scoring need to be increased? And if so, how?
Stacey Nuveman (2:09 PM)
There have already been lots of changes made in the past few years. We have tried to increase offense because people want to see runs. The game itself, college and internationally, has tried to help the situation. Games used to always be 1-0 or 2-1 but the scores are creeping up if you look.
Stacey, you are a textbook hitter!! What's your strategy, up in the box to catch it before it breaks, or back in the box for another split second to pull the trigger?
Stacey Nuveman (2:10 PM)
Hitting is all about adjustments. Some situations I'll move up in the box to beat the break. In other situations, I'm toward the back to give myself more time. If I am seeing the ball well, I'm right in the middle so I can do a little of both.
Hey Stacey, do you think that moving the mound back another foot or two would help increase scoring in softball and help make the game more offensive? Thanks!
Stacey Nuveman (2:11 PM)
Moving it back will help certain pitchers and hurt others. Somebody like Cat, you move her back, it won't matter. She has such great movement. It will hurt the pitchers that throw harder. Their velocity will not be as big a factor. It would help offense but it would hurt pitchers. I think where we are is a good place to be. 46 would be tough. Not many pitchers would be successful.
Mark (Texas Tech)
What's up with starting an inning with a runner on second? That just doesn't seem right.
Stacey Nuveman (2:12 PM)
I tend to agree. The international tie breaker which is the official name of the rule was put in place to get things going. They were trying to create an opportunity. I think it's a rule that takes away from the integrity of the game. I understand the intent, but it does not seem very kosher.
Pablo (St Louis)
I'm mean you're hotter than Texas in July! SMOOOOKIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stacey Nuveman (2:13 PM)
Thanks. Look out Jennie Finch!
What do you think of Oregon State's softball team this year? They almost made it too the World Series last year! Any chance of making this year?
Stacey Nuveman (2:15 PM)
Oregon St. is a top 10 team that doesn't get much recognition. They slowly but steadily have gained a foothold in the rankings. They have done a great job recruiting and quietly making their way. I'm not sure this year is their year but they are on the road and have a bright future.
Hey Stacey, now, be honest, aren't softball pitchers total headcases!!
Stacey Nuveman (2:16 PM)
The rumor can sometimes be true! There are definately pitchers with interesting quirks that make a catchers job exciting. But across the board they are just really focused. I joke about it a lot and give them a hard time, but that mindset is what makes them good. As crazy as they might be, it works for them!
Hey Stacey, I'm a big fan of yours! What do you think is the most athletic position player on a softball field?
Stacey Nuveman (2:17 PM)
I think different positions require different abilities. Shortstops might be more athletic in raw talent terms, but pitchers are such athletes as well. What they do is so pinpoint. I like to think as a catcher there is a lot of specific athletic talent needed there as well. Everyone has their place. Put me in LF though and I'm in trouble.
Collin (Franklin, MA)
How superstitious are you?
Stacey Nuveman (2:18 PM)
Not really. I tend to think that my preparation is how I have prepared. I'm going to be ready no matter what socks I am wearing. I want to let the game take care of itself.
Brian (Englewood, NJ)
Love the wedding photos on your site. How is married life treating you?
Stacey Nuveman (2:19 PM)
Married life is awesome. It does take work, but the rewards are amazing. It's nice to be home after being on tour basically for the first year of my marriage. It's nice to feel like a married lady finally.
Sarah Rose (Camp)
Hey Stacey! I'm a catcher, doesn't it tick you off when runners on second are stealing your signs?
Stacey Nuveman (2:20 PM)
You know, it's part of the game. The little things can be the difference in winning and losing. Our team is doing the same thing! It keeps us on our toes.
Stacey, Will you step on the lines as you walk on the field or are you one of those who hops over 'em?
Stacey Nuveman (2:20 PM)
I step on the lines. I step on the plate and whatever is in my way!
Jonathan (Lockhart, TX)
What is your favorite pre-game music?
Stacey Nuveman (2:22 PM)
I've got my Ipod stuffed with all kinds of music. At the Olympics I got into a routine with the same songs on the way to the field. But normally I listen to whatever strikes me on that day. At the Games, I was listening to Black Eyed Peas, Coldplay, a bunch of stuff.
Tisha (Las Vegas)
Stacey, when a pitcher is completely wild and you have to walk out and calm them down, what's your approach. Joke? Be serious? Stall?
Stacey Nuveman (2:22 PM)
Every pitcher is different so I approach each one differently. Some pitchers want a kick in the rear and need a forceful discussion. Others need a pat on the back. That is the hardest part of being a catcher.
Has the women's college world series grown in the past few years?
Stacey Nuveman (2:24 PM)
The WCWS has hugely increased and largly in part because of ESPN and ESPN2. Getting it on TV is half the battle. Women's sports struggle and it's due to not being on TV a lot. The sky is the limit. The super regionals are on TV this year!
Hey Stacey! What's your best advice to get out of a slump? Hit the cages hard? Relax? DO you drill it out of you or does pressing only make it worse?
Stacey Nuveman (2:26 PM)
I think being in a slump is part of the game. It's just a matter of how long you stay in it. You tinker a bit with your mechanics but 98 percent of the time it is mental. You just have to remember that you can hit. Positive reinforcement is the key.
Stace, have you ever been called for catcher's interference?
Stacey Nuveman (2:27 PM)
I have! I've been called several times and they were all deserved. I have a tendancy to reach for the ball when I'm catching and it's a bad habit.
Stacey, from a catcher's standpoint, what's the hardest part about a suicide squeeze in softball?
Stacey Nuveman (2:28 PM)
The hardest part is defending the ball and the play. My first priority is to protect home. But I'm also trying to focus on the plate and the runner. There is just so much going on at one time.
Thanks for chatting with us Stacey! What's your favorite spot to hit in the lineup?
Stacey Nuveman (2:29 PM)
My favorite is behind Crystal Bustos. She is the most powerful hitter in the world. Nobody wants to pitch to her and gives me pitches to hit!
Stacey Nuveman (2:29 PM)
Thanks for the questions! Be sure to tune into ESPNU and the Women's College World Series and support softball!