Why Keagan Rothrock Chose Florida
Keagan Rothrock has established herself as the top softball recruit in the class of 2023. With an ERA of 0.70 and a batting average of .523, Rothrock dominates on both sides of the field. The Florida commit currently plays for Roncalli High School in Indiana and the Lady Dukes club team.
Rothrock had plenty of options when deciding how to continue her softball career in college, but ultimately had her heart set on attending the University of Florida and becoming a Gator.
Softball America had the chance to catch up with Rothrock about her softball and recruiting journey to date.
Softball America: Why did you decide to play college softball for Florida?
Keagan Rothrock: Florida has always been my dream school. I grew up playing for the Indiana Gators when I was 10 to 12ish, and I always told my mom, “I want to be a Gator forever.” We were coming back from a tournament in Florida and we stopped at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium, and I was like, “Mom, I'm going to play there one day.”
SA: What was the recruiting process like for you?
KR: I would definitely say I still kept an open mind. After Coach Walton offered me my scholarship, he said he still wanted me to go look at my other top five schools just to be positive that this is where I want to go to school because obviously it's a decision for the long run.
I felt like I had a really good recruiting process. I honestly loved the recruiting process and I thought that it was great to get to experience all those different things.
SA: How long have you been playing softball, and when did you realize it was something you wanted to stick with?
KR: I was probably around three or four when I started playing. I started playing t-ball when I was super little. And then I kind of wanted to start sticking with it when I was around seven. I loved to pitch when I was younger, and my mom was a pitcher in college, so we would always mess around in the backyard with that. I loved it, so I decided to keep with it.
SA: What does being named National Gatorade Softball Player of the Year mean to you?
KR: It's a great feeling. All the other athletes who have done it before and all the other athletes who have their name on that trophy as well, it's just really awesome (to be among them). It's been one of my biggest dreams to accomplish that, and so just knowing that all my hard work has paid off to earn that is just a really great feeling.
SA: What has it been like balancing softball and academics, and do you have any tips for other athletes on how to do it?
KR: It’s definitely not easy. I have just found that taking it day by day and not getting ahead of myself works when it comes to balancing everything, and just managing my time well. So, for me, that would mean I go to school from 7:30 to 3:00 every day, and from there, I go straight down to the facility to pitch, to work out, to give lessons, whatever I have that night for a couple of hours. Then I go home and that's when my homework time starts.
SA: Going into your final high school season, what goals do you have for yourself?
KR: Probably some of my goals personally are to just break any of the records that I haven't broken yet, whether it be hitting or pitching. (I just want) to keep breaking the school records and the state records and to strive to be the best that I can be. One of my other goals as a team is to just play together and to play as one and not separated. (I want us) to just love what we do in the moment and to play for each other, and to go out there and have fun together no matter what.