Home Featured News Stephanie Kruskie leading the Raiders’ softball team on and off the field

Stephanie Kruskie leading the Raiders’ softball team on and off the field

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The GRCC Raiders facing the Jackson College Jets on Tuesday, April 2 at Belknap Park in Grand Rapids. (Aaron Stoner/The Collegiate)

By Matthew Scheidel

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with the dedication, determination and hard working mentality of Grand Rapids Community College sophomore softball player Stephanie Kruskie.

Kruskie, 19, of Harbor Springs, Michigan, comes from an athletic family, where she isn’t the only one who has played a sport at the collegiate level.

“I have been a part of softball all of my life,” Kruskie said. “My mom played softball, my dad played baseball, and my brother actually played baseball collegiately at Delta College.”

Kruskie chose GRCC because she wanted to continue her softball career while attending a college that wouldn’t cause her to break the bank.

“I wanted to attend a community college because of how cost-effective it was and I wanted to continue my softball career,” said Kruskie. “I also wanted to get away from the small town life and experience the city life.”

Kruskie, listed as both a catcher and an infielder, said that it’s hard to pick her favorite position because “it’s nice to switch things up.”

“Right now it’s catcher,” Kruskie said. “I love calling pitches and throwing runners out. I also love being able to see the whole field and call out everything.”

Softball takes up most of Kruskie’s time, but she also enjoys outdoor activities and most recently, weightlifting.

“Softball is pretty big for me, so that takes up most of my time,” Kruskie said. “But I like to do anything outdoors because it keeps me active. Over the last couple of years I’ve really gotten into weightlifting. During the offseason, I lift weights everyday, while most of the others girls lift two or three days a week.”

On March 28, Kruskie was given the Merle Storr Award, which is given to a student athlete who demonstrates outstanding athletic achievement, leadership and character. She was honored to receive the award.

“It feels great,” Kruskie said. “I’ve always been super dedicated to school. I have super high expectations for myself. It feels great to be recognized for all the hard work I put in.”

Kruskie says that the softball team needs to keep up the energy in order to finish the season strong and keep improving.

“Right now we’re playing well in the first game (of the doubleheader), but we’re too relaxed in the second game,” Kruskie said. “We need to keep the energy high for both games.”

GRCC softball coach Brian Skudre said that Kruskie’s hard work and dedication has been incredibly important for his team.

“She has been an amazing player for us,” Skudre said. “She gives 100 percent in practice and in games. Other players see that and they feel inspired to do it, too. Without players like Stephanie, it’s hard to get a team to its full potential. She has helped our team in so many ways, the main one being her versatility. I can literally put her at any position with confidence.”

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