Meet Badger freshman Stefanni Lajeunesse! She is from Los Angeles, Calif., and attended Mira Costa Manhattan Beach High School. The lefty batter was a four-year letterwinner and earned the Mustand Award, which is rewarded to four year starters. She received the Longest Ball Award, was named Most Outstanding Player and was a Scholar Athlete for four years straight.
Her head coach was Richard Amberick. She volunteered for three years with M.T.R.C. (Making the Right Connections) and also volunteered with an anti-drug, anti-gang organization educating children.
Her parents are Albert LaJeunesse and Sandra Ponce. She has a younger sister, Adriana. Her father, Albert, wrestled and was on the track and field team at the University of New Mexico for one year. Some of her hobbies include, volunteering at an inner city Catholic school in her community, spending time with her family and cooking with her tata (grandfather). Her major is currently undecided.
We took some time for a little Q&A with Stefanni:
Q: Who or what got you started in softball?
A: Baseball has always been my family's favorite sport. My grandpa loves to watch the games, and I love to do anything my grandpa loves to do. So when I was given a bat and hit the ball at such a young age, my family knew that I was a force to be reckoned with.
Q: At what age did you start playing softball?
A: I didn't start playing or even knew softball existed until I was 12. I had played baseball all my life.
Q: If you didn't play softball, which sport would you play?
A: I would definitely play soccer. Put me in as goalie and we are golden.
Q: What is your dream job?
A: My dream job is to open authentic Mexican restaurants in the Midwest and East Coast called "Las Chenchas". The goal is to bring the Mexican flavor from Los Angeles, Calif., to other parts of the United States, because I sure do miss the home cooking from Los Angeles out here.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: I have two all-time favorite movies. A Walk to Remember, I mean who doesn't love a great Nicholas Sparks love story, and the must see classic, A League of Their Own. My favorite line is, "There's no crying in baseball!"
Q: Who is your favorite athlete/athletic team?
A: My favorite athletic team is the LA Dodgers.
Q: Describe your dream vacation
A. If I could go anywhere, I would choose to travel all over Europe and visit many historical locations from The Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona, to the concentration camps in Germany and Poland.
Q: What is your favorite sports/softball memory?
A: My favorite softball memory was when I got recruited to play here. At that moment I knew that all the years of playing the sport I love had finally helped me achieve my dream of playing softball at a great Division I program.
Q: Do you have any pump up or pre-game music or rituals?
A: The first song that I have to listen to is Sail by AWOLNATION before any game. It's the perfect song to get you in game mode, and then I proceed to listen to Eminem, Drake, Nicki Minaj, and some Al Green.
Q: What is the best part of playing softball at Wisconsin?
A: The best part of playing softball at Wisconsin is the family you have here. The girls are like my sisters here and the coaching staff is amazing. The camaraderie and friendship on this team is amazing, and I am so grateful to be a part of such a great family.
Q: Where is your favorite spot on campus?
A: My favorite spot on campus would have to be Camp Randall. If I'm not at the softball field or at my dorm, you can be sure to find me studying at Camp Randall.
Q: What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
A: My favorite ice cream would have to be Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.
Q: What is your favorite Crayola crayon color?
A: My favorite color is Hot Magenta.
Q: What TV show do you wish you could be in?
A: I wish I could be on Grey's Anatomy, by far the greatest show ever created.
Q: If you could be any person for a day, who would you be?
A: I would be Madea from the Tyler Perry movies. She is such a crazy, witty person. I love it.
Q: If you were stranded on an island and could only have three items with you, what would they be?
A: I would have my 1,001 ways to survive being stranded on an island survival guide, a water bottle with a water filter in it and a picture of my family.