What It Was Like For Jess Forte To Transfer
Saint Peter's University transfer Jess Forte is currently in her first year with the Peacocks, and she has already made a big splash as their leading hitter. But Forte did not begin her college softball career with Saint Peter's.
Forte spent her freshman season at Seton Hall before deciding to transfer institutions following the 2022 season. After taking much time to think about her future, the New Jersey native knew it was time for a change and decided to continue her softball career in her home state.
Softball America caught up with Forte to discuss her experience as a transfer to Saint Peter's and her path throughout her softball career thus far.
Softball America: What led you to choose Saint Peter's after you entered the college softball transfer portal?
Jess Forte: I chose Saint Peter’s because it was the best option for me. After my freshman season was done, I took a visit to the campus and I loved the size of it. (It was) not too big and not too small. I also really liked Coach (Chris) Stelma’s attitude and the way he spoke so openly to me, so that was a big reason I chose Saint Peter's.
SA: What are the differences between coming into a program as a freshman and as a transfer?
JF: A huge difference between coming in as a transfer and as a freshman are the prior relationships that exist. All the girls already knew all the incoming freshmen from their previous visits and overnights, and the freshmen all knew each other, but I knew absolutely nobody, which was difficult. In the beginning of the semester, I was really trying to find where I fit in, but I got through it and I’m so incredibly happy that I did. I love all the girls here and everyone I’ve met so far.
SA: How have you adjusted to playing for a new program?
JF: I like to think I am a very flexible person, so I adjusted pretty easily. I am the type of person who kind of just goes with the flow and learns the ins and outs of people around me, so I learned the ropes of this new program quite quickly. The environment at Seton Hall was a lot different compared to Saint Peter’s. Here, I feel welcomed and comfortable with my coaches.
SA: Throughout your years playing softball, what or who has been your biggest motivator?
JF: My biggest motivator was 100% my brother. He was always my biggest critic, so I always tried to impress him. My brother, Jeff, is eight years older than me, so I basically followed in his footsteps. He played baseball all throughout middle school and on, up until he graduated college. Every number I have ever worn, whether it was for softball or basketball, was a number my brother wore. As much as I hate to admit it, I would not be where I am without him. He drove me to be the athlete and person I am today, and I am forever grateful for everything he’s done for me.
SA: What advice would you give to young softball players aspiring to play at the collegiate level?
JF: Advice I would give to young athletes is don’t let one bad inning, error, at-bat or game dictate how you play the next. In college, you are given so many opportunities to showcase your talents. Failure is a thing of life, it is going to happen, but it's not the end of the world. I know it may seem like it in the moment, but you have to remember that there will be plenty of other opportunities for you.