Macchi reflects on time at BC
By: Joe GravelleseMany wondered how Boston College's softball team would fare in switching to the tough ACC in the 2006 season. Although it was a rough season for the team overall, one player, shortstop Jenna Macchi, didn't just survive, she thrived. Macchi, who hit .256 in 2005, BC's final year in the Big East, exploded in 2006, putting up a .379 batting average, with 7 home runs, 61 hits, 35 runs scored, and 14 doubles. These numbers were good enough to earn her second team All-ACC status.
It was only natural for Milford, Mass.'s Macchi to become a star athlete - and to play for BC. Her family has a great athletic background, and her brother, Brian, played baseball for BC, earning the Eagle of the Year award in 2002. He went on to play professional baseball.
"My family is very sports-oriented … my brother played baseball, basketball, and football, and as I grew up, I'd play catch with him every day … and my dad was one of my coaches for almost all of my sports, so it was all in the family," says Macchi.
"I realized I wanted to focus on softball when I played for a really competitive summer ball team in Worcester, playing with great players from all over New England… it made me realize it was something I wanted to work hard at."
Once she honed her softball abilities to the point where she was a Division I prospect, Macchi seemed ultimately destined to end up at BC.
"I knew I wanted to stay close to home so my parents could come out and support me at the games," she said. "I definitely wanted to give BC its due opportunity because of my brother. In the end, it came down to BC or UMass, and when I considered everything I wanted - with softball and with academics - this was where I wanted to be."
She says she has always been very impressed with BC's services for student-athletes. "The [advising center] is always there for us when we need help academically … it's definitely a challenge to balance time between softball and school … but the support system makes it something that can be done."
Although it's been a struggle for BC this season (1-11 so far), Macchi sees the program as being on the upswing.
"It was hard to come over to the ACC. The girls are bigger, faster, and stronger, and the pitching is much, much better … it was definitely an adjustment."
"In five years I see the program being at a much higher level. The players and coaches here now are very dedicated … and [recruiting] has been helped by the move to the ACC."
She says the team's goal for this year is to "just keep improving," adding that "we've played some really tough teams this year, and although the record wasn't that good, we were in every game. That's encouraging. We want to keep that up … once we get a few wins under our belt things will be a lot easier."
With her senior season winding down, Macchi knows that her softball days at BC are numbered. With that in mind, she has an eye toward the future.
"If the opportunity presents itself to play at the next level, I'd gladly jump at the opportunity … it's what I love to do and it would be amazing to be able to keep playing."
And if the right opportunity at the next level isn't there?
"Well, I guess that means it's time to get a job, make some money, and start my life."