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Q&A; -- Julianne Roper, Western Tech, softball

The Baltimore Sun

Western Tech senior right-handed pitcher Julianne Roper is 8-2 with a 0.67 ERA. She has struck out 85 in 63 innings. Roper, who also plays volleyball, is a certified nursing assistant who interns as a school nurse at a Catholic elementary school. She works in the kitchen at St. Joseph's Residence, a nursing home for retired nuns. Roper also plays softball for the Maryland Chill and will play for Villa Julie next year while she studies to become a registered nurse. She has a 4.0 grade point average and hasn't gotten a B since sixth grade.

What do you love about softball?

I like the girls and I like that it's not a contact sport, really, because I'm not that aggressive. I like softball and volleyball because you don't really have to touch the other team [laughs]. When I played basketball, I wasn't aggressive at all. Softball, as a pitcher, you have control over it, more than in most sports.

What are you working on now in terms of pitching?

I started to learn a dropball, but I'm still working on my screwball and curveball. My riseball is pretty good and so is my changeup.

What has been the highlight of your high school softball career?

It would have to be beating Catonsville last year for the divisional championship. That got us into the Baltimore County championship and we won that, 1-0, against Perry Hall. That was the best. That's kind of equal to going to states in my sophomore year, but I was happy beating Catonsville, because they're like our biggest rival and it was a good game.

What is your internship like?

I want to work in pediatrics and I was undecided if I wanted to be a teacher or a nurse, so I figured if I was at a school, I could see both sides. Kids are really funny, and a lot of times they'll come in and say they're sick, but they're really not. I like the kids. It's funny, too, because their parents know that they're not really sick.

You must have chosen Villa Julie more for academics than softball.

You really can't make a living off of softball, and they have a really good nursing program. I didn't want to go far away. ... I like Villa Julie, because it's far enough away that I can live there, but if I want to come home, I can. I also like the fact that they're small class sizes so you get to know your professors better. I like that, because my high school is small and I didn't want to be overwhelmed by the number of people in my classes.

What are you going to do on your summer vacation?

My family goes to Ocean City every year. We've been going ever since I was born. My mom has three sisters and ... there are 30 or more of us. We take up a whole section of the beach. I love it because I'm really close to my family.

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