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By Gus Bode

Editor’s note: 15 Minutes is a weekly feature in which the DAILY EGYPTIAN sits down with an SIU athlete or coach for a brief interview that touches on sports and lifestyle.

In this edition of “15 Minutes” we catch up with Alicia Garza, second baseman on the SIU softball team. She tells us about family, the hardest part of school and what she thinks of the dorm food.

DAILY EGYPTIAN: Tell me a little bit about where you’re from.

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Alicia Garza: I’m from Lafayette, Ind., which is about an hour north of Indianapolis.

DE: Did you always know you wanted to go to SIU or did something spark your interest?

AG: Well, Kerri (Blaylock) contacted me early in my high school career. I don’t remember when exactly, but it was always there. I signed here my junior year.

DE: What made SIU stand out compared to other schools?

AG: I liked the field and Kerri a lot. Kerri made it seem like it was going to fit. When I arrived on my visit, I met all the girls and they seemed like a tight-knit group and it felt right. They were all really down to earth and they were a lot like my high school and travel teams. It seemed like it would be a good fit because it looked like the transition would be easier on me. I also knew Tiffanie (Dismore) because she’s from Lafayette.

DE: How far away did you two live?

AG: I could pretty much walk through my backyard to get to her house.

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DE: Did she play a big role in coming to SIU?

AG: When I was going to come visit, I talked to her a lot. When I came here to visit I talked to her for a while and it was a lot of fun. It makes it easier when you know someone’s there, especially being four hours away from home.

DE: Has being far away from home been tough on you?

AG: It’s been tough at times but it’s kind of nice to get away from it. At the same time, when I hear about people that go to school here that live so close, it’s tough. I can’t really do that and I haven’t been home since Christmas break.

DE: Do your parents come to visit you a lot?

AG: Yeah, they’ll come to most of my games except the ones that are away.

DE: What do you think of the dorm food here?

AG: (Pause)�Ugh�we don’t eat there a whole lot. But it’s food.

DE: Where do you live here?

AG: I live over in Schneider.

DE: What do you think of that?

AG: I like it because we have a lot of fun in the dorms. I live with my teammates, Katie Wilson and Allie Hanson, so that’s been cool. It’s good to live with some of your teammates and we got another girl in there that doesn’t play but she’s really cool.

DE: What do you think of Charlotte West Stadium and how does it compare to other softball fields in the area?

AG: I like it because it’s very homey and most places you go, like Evansville (Ind.) aren’t the same way. I feel like I could live here.

DE: Who else were you recruited by?

AG: Well, I wasn’t really recruited by Evansville but I’ve seen it from playing there. I was looking at Louisville, Indiana, Eastern Michigan and Purdue.

DE: What’s been the toughest adjustment for you?

AG: Being as far away from home as I am is tough. I have more responsibility and my mom’s not there to take care of me anymore.

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