Making big strides: Austin grad Danielle Tschann has brought her game to a new level

Published 7:08 pm Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Austin grad Danielle Tschann plays first base for the University of St. Thomas at a recent game. Photo courtesy of the University of St. Thomas

Austin grad Danielle Tschann plays first base for the University of St. Thomas at a recent game. Photo courtesy of the University of St. Thomas

When Austin grad Danielle Tschann first arrived at the University of St. Thomas, she was a little overwhelmed. She was one of 20 freshmen fighting for a spot on the Tommies softball team, she had to adjust to college life and she also had the stress of being away from home for the first time.

“It definitely was a struggle, but I’m glad i was able to stick with it,” said Tschann, who is now a junior at UST. “You learn a lot about yourself by competing at this level.”

After having limited playing time in her first two years with the Tommies, Tschann has played in 31 out 32 games this season as she’s put in time at catcher and first base. Tschann has made big strides this year as she is hitting .323 with three homers and nine RBIs, and she’s struck out just twice in 31 at bats.

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In her last three games, Tschann is 3-for-10 with three RBIs for the Tommies (25-7 overall).

Tschann gave herself a confidence boost earlier this season when she hit a walk-off home run in the top of the eighth to beat Bethel University.

“I didn’t come here with the best swing and I had to put a lot of work in. That [walk-off homer] fortified that I am a worthy contender,” Tschann said.

Last season the Tommies made a trip to the NCAA Division III World Series behind a senior-heavy team that had a lot of success. This year UST, which has had a rich tradition in softball, is hoping to make another big run as it has eight games remaining on the season.

“The goal is to get back to the World Series,” Tschann said. “I would love a national championship for the team and for the alumni. We have a legacy to uphold and we feel like we belong there.”

Ever since Tschann arrived at UST she said the focus has been getting one percent better every day. She’s learned that softball actually helps her in school as her grades are better during the season, when she has less free time, but uses it wisely.

While Tschann had to work hard to get into UST’s rotation, she had no problem with it and she actually embraced the chance she had to learn from her older teammates.

“They put the time and work in and we went to the World Series,” she said. “It was their time to shine, not necessarily mine. That was probably one of the best things for me because I saw how much time they put in to have success. The more you put into it, the more you get out of it.”

Tschann is majoring in Exercise Science and she’s hoping to get into the chiropractic field eventually. Tschann said that being a student athlete at the college level has given her skills that will carry over to her work life.

“These habits correlate to how you will do in life,” Tschann said.