Walk it out

Gophers softball and baseball players discuss their choices of walk-up songs.

Betsy Helfand

When the song “Enter Sandman” blared on the loud speakers at Yankee Stadium, everyone knew what was coming. Mariano Rivera was about to take the mound to close out the game.

Though current players on the Gophers baseball and softball teams may never reach the future Hall of Fame closer’s level of superstardom, a simple walk-up tune is a time when they can showcase their personality — even if it’s only for a few seconds.

Softball

Player: Tyler Walker

Song: “Do My Thang”

Artist: Miley Cyrus

“I love the beat of the song. I don’t really care what it says, but it talks about somebody ‘doing their thing,’ which is what I hope to do when I go up to the plate. I’m a big Miley fan, when she’s not being crazy.”

 

Player: Erika Smyth

Song: “Kung Fu Fighting”

Artist: Carl Douglas

“I’m half Asian, so it’s kind of a funny thing. I like being relaxed when I go up to bat, so having something that can make me smile is a good thing. … And it gets my teammates laughing, so that helps me out, too.”

 

Player: Kaitlyn Richardson

Song: “Happy Together”

Artist: Filter

“I heard it for the first time … on a commercial for a women’s UFC fight. It was different. I don’t usually listen to [metal] but … everybody does rap or hip-hop or whatever, so I decided to mix it up and go metal.”

 

Player: Taylor LeMay

Song: “The Way I Live”

Artist: Baby Boy Da Prince

“It has the perfect little head bob to it … and it’s a song nobody would have expected from me. They probably would have thought I’d go with country or something like that, because this one totally isn’t my personality, but I like it.”

 

Player: Sara Groenewegen

Song: “Magic Stick”

Artist: Lil Kim feat. 50 Cent

“My first choice of song was the one Tyler Walker has, but she pulled the seniority card, so I had to choose something else. I wanted something with a good beat, and kind of funny. … It kind of has something to do with softball, too, because I know if I can hit once, I can hit twice. … It’s an old one, but it’s a good one.”

 

Baseball:

Player: Neal Kunik

Song: “Fishin’ In the Dark”

Artist: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

“When I pitch, I’m a pretty loose guy, so I wanted a song that I could sing while I was out there pitching. … I figured that was a good one.”

 

Player: Connor Schaefbauer

Song: “Trophies”

Artist: Drake

“I just liked the song, and it sounds pretty cool, so I chose it. That was probably No. 1 all the way. I didn’t really have it figured out … [but] when the song popped into my head, it was kind of immediate.”

 

Player: Dan Motl

Song: “Brass Monkey” changed to “Can’t Tell Me Nothing”

Artist: Beastie Boys changed to Kanye West

“It sounded better on my iPod than I guess it did echoing through the ballpark. It was unique, but some of the guys gave me some crap for it. I liked it, but I just decided I wanted to change it because I wasn’t feeling it.”

 

Player: Dan Olinger

Song: “Right Where I Need to Be”

Artist: Gary Allan

“I’ve had three different songs since I’ve been here. … This is the song I used a few years ago when I had a pretty good year, so I decided to go back to that song for superstitious sake.”

 

Player: David Bettenburg

Song: “Timber”

Artist: Pitbull feat. Ke$ha

“I was just looking to do something fun. It’s my last year. … A couple years ago I had ‘Party in the USA,’ and I thought it was kind of like a crowd-pleaser and everybody liked it, so I was looking to do something fun for the fans. Some of them make fun of me for it. Some of them just understood it just because they know my personality.”