Profiles M-Z

Megan Cross
Name: Megan Cross (nee Rock)
Position(s): Shortstop, second base
Place of birth: Portland, Oregon, USA
University: Southern Oregon University
City/State: Ashland, Oregon
Player bio: 2004 & 2005 Cascade Conference Champions
Degree: BSc: Health Promotion & Fitness Management, Minor: Business
Year started - completed: 2003-2006

Instagram account: @hotcrossmom

Where do you live now: Wellington
Occupation: Sales & Marketing Manager at Les Mills Lambton Quay
"Growing up in the states I was exposed to quite a bit of softball from an early age. I was used to training twice a day from the age of 14, having to attend early morning strength and conditioning sessions in addition to fitting in all of our games around my school work. So, going into the collegiate system, I had a very strong work ethic ingrained in me, and knew what the expectation would look like. It still didn’t make the transition any easier. You’re in a new environment, miles from home with new teammates, new coaches and new intense expectations; and more than likely you’re going through it alone. This is often what makes or breaks you. But when you make it and look back on what you’ve accomplished being a student athlete; your year-round training schedule, 60+ games played over the season, long night study sessions, early morning tournaments and your graduation- it’s well worth every sacrifice you made to get there. The dedication, determination and multi-faceted attributes you’ve gained during your experience, are also hugely advantageous when you’re ready to pursue new goals in the working world."
Mel Gettins
Position(s): Catcher
Iwi: Ngati Kahungunu
Place of birth: Hastings
National team honours: Junior White Sox 2007 and White Sox 2010-current
University: Iona College
City/State: New Rochelle, New York
Player bio: Here
Degree: Accounting
Year started - completed: Jan 2008 - May 2011

Where do you live now: Hastings
Occupation: Management Trainee, Tumu Timbers
"Attending college in USA while having the opportunity to play and train at softball day in and day out was the best decision I ever made.  Not only do you have an amazing opportunity to play softball at a great level and frequently, but you gain an education while making life long friends.  The entire life experience of being able to live in a foreign country and play the sport you love is not to be missed.  Whilst at times it can be difficult being so far from home, the experience can teach you numerous aspects about yourself, life and softball and the positives will always outweigh any perceived negatives.  If you get the chance, take it with both hands and don't look back!"
Nyree White
NYree correct
Position(s): Pitcher/First base

Place of birth: Sioux City, Iowa
National team honours: USA Junior National Team, Pan-American and World Champions 2011, White Sox 2017.

University: Stanford University

City/State: Palo Alto, California
Player bio: Here
Degree: Psychology, BA
Year started - completed: 2011-2016

Instagram account: @nyreezy

Where do you live now: Palo Alto, California and Eugene, Oregon USA
Occupation: Currently the Lab and Project Manager for the Suicide Prevention Research Lab at the Stanford School of Medicine, plans to pursue Ph.D in clinical psychology
"When I was young I set a goal to earn a college scholarship to play softball at Stanford University and that was, hands down, the best decision I have ever made. Being a student-athlete was the most fun and challenging experience of my life and I've grown immensly as a person because of it. The education I received will continue to create opportunities and freedom for me throughout the rest of my life and has helped me to grow as a person. I gained so much confidence from overcoming the everyday challenges of being a student-athlete and I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to because of it. Not only did I receive a world-class education, but I met lifelong friends and mentors, traveled the country, and learned more about myself than I thought possible. It was not a walk in the park by any means, with early morning weights/conditioning, difficult classes all day, followed by pitching and team practice after that. It was a lot of early mornings, late nights, moments of doubt, failures, homesickness, stress, and hard work physically, mentally, and emotionally. But I would give anything to do it over again because the positives far outweighed those challenges and it was the wildest ride of my life. It wouldn't have been so satisfying to receive my diploma and graduate in front of my family without overcoming so much to get there. Regardless of what level of play or education, I'd encourage any young girls who have a goal of playing college softball in the US to pursue it with everything you have. It was an incredibly empowering experience and even though it can be intimidating, put in the work and be proactive about reaching out to coaches because in my experience, it is definitely worth the climb. "
Rita Hokianga
Position(s): Pitcher

Iwi: Ngati Kahungunu
Place of birth: Hawkes Bay
National team honours:
2011 Junior White Sox
2016 White Sox

Eastern Arizona Junior College
West Texas A&M University
City/State: Thatcher, Arizona Canyon, Texas
Player bio: Here
Degree: Bachelors of General Studies
Year started - completed: January 2012- December 2015

Instagram account: @ritamay4

Where do you live now: Hawkes Bay
Occupation: Sales Assistant
"Attending college was one of the best decisions I have made. I got to play top level softball whilst gaining a degree on a full scholarship. Being a student-athlete becomes life. Your academics are just as if not more important than being an athlete. I was fortunate enough to be apart of a program at West Texas A&M University to where we trained hard everyday on and off the field.  As a result, we won the 2014 DII National Championships which was held in Salem, Virginia. I think the most unforgettable part was meeting teammates, coaches, and friends who turned into family. College Softball is such an amazing experience, and you don't realise how blessed you were until you become an alumni. It is a dream for American girls to get the opportunity to do what I experienced as a student-athlete. Take every opportunity and ride with it." :)
Stefanie Smith
Name: Stefanie Smith (nee Trutanic)
Position(s):  Catcher, Utility
Place of birth:  San Pedro, California, USA
National team honours: White Sox 2016
University:  California State University Long Beach
City/State: Long Beach, California
Player bio: USA born player.  Played at Torrance High School 2001-2005 and led the team to the championship in 04-05.  Received several awards including Pioneer League MVP and team MVP as a senior, Rookie of the year and Ocean League Second-team as a sophomore, Best Offensive Player, and named first team All-Ocean League and All-County (Los Angeles) her junior season.
Played three years of Club/Travel ball for South Bay Pride, a Gold travel Team.
Received scholarship to play at California State University Long Beach.  Received Student-Athlete Honours award for having a top GPA while playing each year.  Team attended NCAA Regionals to the world series and Big West season champions.
Currently playing for Otahuhu Premier Women in New Zealand as a catcher/utility.   Selected each year to participate in the National Fastpitch tournament for different provinces.  Played with the NZ White Sox in the Australian Down Under Series February 2016.
Degree:  Comparative World Literature- Classics
Year started - completed:  2005-2012

Where do you live now: Auckland, New Zealand
Occupation: Regional Development Officer- Softball New Zealand
"Having the opportunity to compete against the top teams in the USA was an absolute privelige and an experience that I’ll always treasure.  Competing at the Division 1 level and being part of the CSULB softball team made me the player and person that I am today.  It taught me several life values and proved that hard work and determination academically and physically pays off.  I wouldn’t be the player and person that I am today if it wasn’t for my college softball experience. Playing for Long Beach also gave me some life long friends whom I cherish to this day. The benefits of playing college softball are endless and I would highly recommend the opportunity to anyone who is willing to put in the effort."
Te Reo Powhiri Matautia
Position(s): Outfield/middle infield
Iwi: Nga Puhi
Place of birth: Auckland
National team honours: Junior White Sox and White Sox
University: Tallahassee Community College/Nova Southeastern University.
City, State: Tallahassee Florida, Ft. Lauderdale Florida.
Player bio: Here
Degree: Exercise and Sport’s Science. Human Movement and Sport’s Science
Year started - completed: 2012-2015, finishing up in Münster Germany
Instagram account: @tee_reoww
Where do you live now: Münster, Germany. Undertaking a scholarship at Munster University and playing for Tex Town Tigers in the Netherlands.
Occupation: Still a student haha

"It was definitely the hardest, scariest, thrilling experience I’ve had. To move across the world to a foreign land and meet new people from all over the states, and learn a new culture is an incredible feeling. A once in a lifetime experience. You learn so much about yourself and life in general. I was lucky enough to have such an amazing coach in Tallahassee. Personally, I think going to a Community College first helped me get used to the schooling system and get a taste of what it will be like to move onto a university. For some I think that would be the best option, especially if they struggle in the education department. Community college is basically the bridge from High School to University, in comparison it’s like Intermediate School (the bridge from Primary School to High School). Of course I went through hard times of home sickness and what not, but you grow a good foundation of friends/team mates while you’re there and of course develop new homes away from home. If I could I would live it all over again, because it really was the best time of my life (so far)."
Feature Video
See how the Florida State Seminole Softball team prepares for the start of the 2016 season. Video features White Sox Captain Ellie Cooper and former Black Sox player Travis Wilson.

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Click here to checkout images of Kiwi women playing abroad