Bish gets back in the swing
by Matthew Ondesko, Managing Editor
Photos: Princeton Athletics
It’s been a long time coming.
Princeton University’s Caitlin Bish has been waiting a long time to get back on the softball diamond. After her freshman and sophomore seasons were wiped away due to civid, Bish was ready to get back on the diamond where she belonged.
However, that wouldn’t be the case, she was injured rely last season and had to miss the entire year due to injury. Basically, Bish hasn’t played softball since dominating at the high school level at St. Mary’s High School.
While most would be disappointed over the fact they haven’t been able to play, Bish took it mostly in stride. After all, there wasn’t much she could to do.
“It’s been pretty crazy. This is my first full season playing softball,” stated Bish. “My freshman and sophomore year got cancelled because of covid. The Ivy League was the only conference not to play my sophomore year. Last year, I had a season ending injury, that happened the second week of practice. It’s been a little bit of a crazy journey.”
Having not played in so long, it took Bish a little while to get in the swing of things. She worked hard during the offseason, and fall ball, to get back her timing - and to work on her fielding. She wanted to prove to herself that she belonged with some of the best players in the Ivy League.
Her first full season, Bish has shown what everyone back home in Western New York already knows, she is a ballplayer. She has appeared in 23 games, starting 9, and raking at a .278 clip with one homer and 7 runs batted in, while playing solid defense.
“It was pretty tough, It was just a lot of practicing with my dad and my brother,” stated Bish. “Now that I’m back, it really doesn’t feel like I left, which is good. But, it was pretty hard practicing without the expectations of games for two or three years. It definitely feels good to be back, and put my hard work to the test.”
While she was working hard on her game, and coming back from injury, Bish was also killing it in the classroom. Because covid wiped away the first two years of softball, Bish was able to focus more on the rigors of what an Ivy League entails.
Grant it, the first year wasn’t easy - having to take her courses online because of the pandemic. Bish was still able to get her feet solidly planted on the ground, and she juggled her athletics responsibilities with her academics.
So, when softball did finally resume for her this season, Bish didn’t seem as overwhelmed as she could have been.
“It was a little challenging doing classes from home,” stated Bish. “It was definitely a little bit easier, I guess, not having softball, and traveling, for two years. I love everything about Princeton academically for the past three years. I am majoring in neuroscience, which I probably wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t had two years to take a bunch of different classes to figure out what I wanted to do. I will have a little bit more time to work on my senior thesis, which will be really nice.”
Now that Bish is back in the swing of things both academically, and athletically, she is the first to admit that it’s been a little bit tougher than just having to go to class everyday.
Bish has to juggle all her responsibilities that come with softball, like traveling, working out and playing games, and mesh that with her heavy course load at Princeton. It could get extremely daunting at times trying to fit everything in, especially this being her junior year and her major really coming to the forefront.
“It really has been a little bit tougher having to balance school and softball,” stated Bish. “We had some preseason trips to Liberty University, University of Texas and Florida. So, there has been less time, given that we are traveling. It’s been an adjustment, but the professors, and teaching assistants, at Princeton have been awesome with meeting with me one-on-one. It’s tough, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I love my classes at Princeton, and I love traveling and spending time with my team.”
Having an Ivy League education is everything. It can open so many doors for a person, that would otherwise be closed. Bish loves everything about Princeton. Being able to get accepted back in high school was a big accomplishment for her.
It shows the hard work, and dedication, that she has put in not only on the diamond, but in the classroom as well. It doesn’t matter what type of athlete you are, you need the grades, and test scores, to be able to prove yourself at one of the top institutions in the country.
“The connections, and everything you get with a Princeton degree, are great,” stated Bish. “All the alumni I’ve met love Princeton. They love to mentor the younger students. It definitely opens up a lot of doors, and you are able top learn from some of the greatest minds in neuroscience, and all the science classes that I’m taking.”
Last semester Bish was even able to be in the same room with a Nobel Prize winner. That doesn’t happen too often in college. She is getting the best education possible, and will use that education in the future.
“In my one physics class that I took last fall there was a Nobel Prize winner like 20, 30-feet away from me while we where having class,” stated Bish. “There are just so many opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to to get at many other places. It’s great to be able to play softball here for four years, but getting the great education will last me through my entire life is definitely huge.”