Friday morning, I had the opportunity to interview Olympian and former softball player Jennie Finch. Currently, Jennie is promoting the Capital One Cup in Oklahoma City, the locale for the Women’s College World series. The Capital One Cup is given to the best Division I men’s and women’s athletic programs in the country. Additionally, student-athletes are awarded scholarships for their achievements on the field.
What brought your attention to the Capital One Cup?
Well, I’m honored to be on the advisory board and the Capital One Cup is a trophy that is given to the best program in NCAA Division I women’s and men’s athletics for their performances all across in multiple sports. I love the fact that Capital One is committed to the achievements of student athletes not only on the field, but off the field and that’s why the Capital One Cup was created. As a former student athlete myself and a big fan of collegiate sports, this is very important to me. It’s exciting to see and follow who’s leading the Capital One Cup and the winner will be announced at the ESPY awards in July. Not only will they win the trophy, but they’ll win a total amount of $400,000 in total scholarships for the student athlete.
So, the Capital One Cup not only recognizes achievements on the field, but off the field, as well?
It is, yes.
How do they determine both on the field and off the field performances to give the award to?
How do they determine off the field…?
They just get points for championships. It helps then off the field by supporting them with the scholarship money. But they get points from the championship and the national champion is awarded 60 points.
Now, with the women’s college world series this summer, do you have any predictions?
Oh, it’s gonna be a tough one. There’s so many good teams. Cal’s been ranked number one the whole year, so they have a ton of talent. Then there’s Oklahoma, who is local here. And then Alabama from the SEC is trying to get their first national championship. I don’t know, it’s gonna be a battle and I think it’s gonna be a fight all the way to the end. That’s what I think makes post-season so great in collegiate sports and you never know on any given day. Anyone can win.
Are there any players that stand out to you?
So many. I think Valerie Arioto from Cal — she’s great, not only on the mound, but with the bat, kind of power. And then there’s Keilani Ricketts, who does the same thing. Lefty who throws hard, she has an incredible changeup. And then Jackie Traina, with Alabama, also. Great pitcher and hitter herself. So there’s so much talent. ASU is the defending national champion, so they kind of have that experience with having been here and having played in the finals last year.
You played in the final year of softball at the Olympics. How do you feel about being part of that team?
It was bittersweet. Obviously, it was an honor to be at the Olympics once again and to be able to play at that level and at the greatest sports stage of all. But at the same time, knowing that it could possibly be the last team to ever play softball in the Olympics, it’s tough to swallow. But at the same time, you have to face reality and be proactive and what can we do to get it back in. Right now, we’re petitioning and campaigning for it to be back in for 2020.
How do you juggle life between softball, marriage, and motherhood?
It’s a balancing act, I think. It’s never easy. It’s trying to be the best I can be at that moment. And giving whatever I’m doing at that moment my full attention, and of course, my family comes first and I think that’s so important because for me, that’s what makes it all work – it’s sharing those moments with my boys and enjoying that time that I do have with the family.
Thank you for doing this interview!
Thank you, I appreciate it.
For more information on the Capital One Cup, visit www.capitalonecup.com.