Today I caught up with former All-American softball pitcher Taryne Mowatt. She played for the Arizona Wildcats from 2005-2008. In the 2007 Women’s College World Series, she led the Arizona Wildcats to their second consecutive and 8th overall national softball title. Mowatt also won two ESPY Awards during her Wildcat career; Best Female Athlete and Best Female College Athlete.
Where has life taken you since wrapping up your collegiate softball career at Arizona? What are you doing now?
My life has been pretty amazing since I finished playing college ball in ’08. I got my degree and started playing professionally afterwards. I’ve been fortunate enough to play all over the country and even internationally. I am now a college coach at California Baptist University where I will get to coach my younger sister next year when she gets into college. That is something that I think will be very special for my family.
What was/is it like to play professional softball? How did/does it compare to your collegiate experience?
It’s a whole different feeling playing professionally. It’s a lot more laid back than college. In college, you have set schedules and you’re always busy with something whether it be practice, lifting, study hall, school, etc. Pro ball is only in the summer so there is nothing else going on besides the game. You get to spend all day just relaxing and getting ready.
You were a high school all-American in California. What made you choose to attend and play softball for the University of Arizona?
I think every young softball player dreams of winning a National Championship and that’s exactly what I grew up wishing for. I knew that I would have the best possible chance to do that at the University of Arizona. I used to watch them on TV and wish that I could be the next pitcher to go through that program. When I visited the campus, I fell in love with everything about U of A so it was an easy decision for me to go there.
What was your greatest memory (or memories) from your time as a Wildcat?
The greatest memories would definitely have to be winning the championships in 2006 and 2007. You can’t beat that feeling and it’s a special bond you have with your teammates because you’ve spent just about everyday with them going through all the hard work and fun times. And then when you come home from the World Series and McKale Center is packed with all the amazing fans who were there with you through every pitch of every inning, they just want to congratulate you in person. It’s amazing to hear their cheers and you know that we truly have the best fans in the country.
How did your life change after winning multiple National Championships and two ESPY Awards in 2007?
It was pretty hectic afterwards. I got a lot of attention and people wanted to know what it was like to win the championship and the awards. I absolutely loved the attention that our sport was getting and I think it only continued people’s love for softball. I’ve been able to meet some very cool people because of the achievements.
Congratulations on being the first and only softball player to win an ESPY for Best Female Athlete of the Year award!! What were the ESPY awards like?
Thank you! The ESPY’s were amazing!! I was in awe of everything going on around me and just trying to take it all in. I wish I could go back and do it all over again because it went by so fast haha. I was constantly looking around at all the amazing athletes that I watch on TV, and they were coming up to me telling me how they watched our games. Wayne Gretsky came up to me to congratulate me and introduce his family and I was speechless. ESPN does such a great job with that event and you seriously feel like royalty when you’re there. Lots of flashing cameras, lights, microphones, beautiful dresses and jewelry..everything is top notch.
When you are not playing softball what are some other hobbies or things you like to do in your free time?
I am actually a closet nerd and I really like to read. I’m obsessed with coffee, books, yoga pants, and Hanes tagless tees. So anytime I am able to have all that going on at the same time, it’s a good day for me. You can find me curled up in my bed reading some fantasy book…or sleeping. I don’t get enough sleep now that I have a real job. I also love to go to sporting events. Nothing better than a competitive atmosphere.
Where do you hope to be in 10 years from now?
Well hopefully in 10 years I’m married with some little All American kids! Other than that, I’m not really sure where I’ll be in 10 years. Maybe relaxing on the beaches in Australia or somewhere awesome like that.
A big thank you to Taryne for taking the time to talk with me. This interview was a lot of fun! Softball has a rich tradition at Arizona and it is not covered often enough. It was nice to branch out. Show your support and follow Taryne on Twitter @tarynemowatt.
What did you think of the interview? What is your favorite memory of Taryne or Arizona Softball? Please feel free to leave your comments below! Thanks for reading!