Sept. 2, 2009
By Allison Taka, UCLABruins.com contributor
Senior Megan Langenfeld of the softball team is featured in this week's UCLABruins.com Summer Spotlight. Langenfeld, a two-time All-American, helped lead UCLA to its ninth Pac 10 title in 2009. This past season, she earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and led UCLA with a team-best ERA of 1.24 with a 17-3 record and 112 strikeouts in 141 2/3 innings. This summer Langenfeld helped Team USA capture the gold medal at the Pan American Qualifier in Maracay, Venezuela and was named the tournament's Best Hitter.
Q: This summer you were selected to the USA Softball Pan American Qualifier Team. What was it like playing for Team USA?
A: It was an amazing experience playing for Team USA. It brought me a new sense of pride for your country and what it means to wear the red, white and blue.
Q: You were also named "Best Hitter" on the team. How did it feel to be so successful at the plate, and what does this honor mean to you?
A: I was just seeing the ball really well when I was in Venezuela. I was proud of myself for doing so well and excited to help our team bring home the gold medal. This honor also helps boost my confidence for this upcoming softball season at UCLA.
Q: What was your favorite part about visiting Venezuela?
A: My favorite part about Venezuela was being able to play with all the girls that I look up to. It was so much fun playing with veterans like Monica Abbott, Vicky Galindo, Andrea Duran, and Caitlin Lowe.
Q: As a senior, what are your goals for yourself and for the team this season?
A: Our goal is to win a National Championship. With the experience and talent we have coming back this year, I believe we will put ourselves in the best position to win a National Championship. As for goals for myself, I want to be a great leader and do whatever I can to help this team win.
Q: How are you going to bring in your experiences with Team USA into your game at UCLA?
A: When playing for Team USA, I gained additional strengths to never hold back and to never regret anything. I want to inspire my teammates at UCLA to strive to be the best that they can be and always say that they gave it everything they had.
Q: What goes through your mind as you're on the pitching mound?
A: When I'm on the mound, I always strive to put the team in a position to win a ball game. As a pitcher you want to work down the line: you start with a perfect game, then a no-hitter, then a shut-out and finally a win.
Q: How did you get your start in softball?
A: I started playing tee ball with my brother, and then my parents saw an advertisement in the newspaper regarding a girl's softball league called Bakersfield Amateur Softball Association (BASA). I started playing when I was eight years old, and the rest is history.
Q: Who has influenced you most in your life?
A: My brother has been a great influence. He is a true testament of perseverance and determination. When he gets challenged, he never backs away and takes on every test face-to-face. Another person who has had a tremendous impact on me is my dad. My dad has taught me how to work hard and gave me my foundation of softball and how to play the game. He always told me that everything will work itself out as long as you put the work in. We could talk about softball strategy and the game for hours and hours.
Q: Why did you decide to attend UCLA?
A: It was my dream to play softball at UCLA. UCLA has always been the powerhouse when it comes to softball, and I wanted to be a part of the greatest softball program in history.
Q: What is the best part about being a Bruin?
A: The best part about being a Bruin is being surrounded by athletes who will work hard to achieve greatness in both the athletic arena and in the classroom. Being a Bruin is being a part of a tradition of excellence.
Q: What are your post-graduate plans?
A: After graduation, I ultimately want to coach Division I softball. I also want to continue to play softball either on the PFX tour (Professional Fastpitch X-treme), in the professional softball league, in Europe, in Japan or even in Australia.
Q: What are your nicknames?
A: Lang and Pony
Q: If you could be on any T.V. show, which one would it be?
A: Deal or No Deal
Q: Your dream vacation would be:
A: A week at Walt Disney World with my family
Q: What is your favorite song?
A: "Let It Rock"
Q: One word to describe your game would be:
Q: Funniest moment with the UCLA softball team:
A: We have a lot of fun on the softball team. One of the best times is when we have team bonding in Lake Arrowhead. We tell a ton of stories and laugh the entire time. Two years ago, Julie Pacino had everyone rolling. She told us a story about living in New York and how she got her driver's license taken away. Everyone, including players and coaches, were crying from laughing so hard.