Graduating Illini outfielder is a picture of improvement
For outfielder Danielle Trezzo, the past four years have been a fun and successful college career at the University of Illinois.
But, as they say, all good things must come to an end.
"After ending my career with an amazing senior season led by Coach (Tyra) Perry and the rest of the awesome coaching staff, it is hard to believe that my college softball career has come to an end," Trezzo told the DuPage Policy Journal.
Following a successful career at Downers Grove High School that saw her named three-time West Suburban Gold All-Conference, three-time Reporter All-Area, and 2010 Daily Herald DuPage Valley and Bugle All-Area, Trezzo transitioned to Illinois and didn't miss a beat. After a warm up freshman year where she played in 19 games, starting four, Trezzo played 111 games in her next three seasons, starting 54 of those in the Illini outfield. From no hits in four at-bats to a .274 average her senior year with 26 hits, Trezzo's average improved every year. She attributes that to practice and focus.
"I just continued to stick to my hitting style and work on the little things that would continue to help me improve," Trezzo said. "I tried to stay within myself each year and not press too much. The coaching I have received as well has given me the confidence to keep believing in my swing and trusting the process. Also, each summer when we would all be at home on break, I never stopped working on my game and pushing myself individually to become better than the previous year so I could contribute more to the team."
Trezzo also shined in the field, finishing with a .935 fielding percentage (.958 in both her sophomore and senior seasons). She had five assists in a game against Indiana State, and four putouts in one against Wisconsin.
"I had it instilled in me when I was younger that 'defense wins championships,' so this was something that I always took a little extra pride in," she said. "Every aspect of the game is important to me, but fielding is something that was always a strength of mine. I never just went through the motions; and even the smallest drills that can seem unimportant to some, I always got something out of it and made sure to go all out all the time on the field."
As strong an athlete as Trezzo is, she's also an award-winning student. She won multiple awards for academics in her time at Illinois, including multiple Academic All-Big Ten awards. Trezzo attributed this to learning how to divide her time.
"I’m extremely competitive and this includes in the classroom as well, so I was always pushing myself to be the best I could be in that aspect, along with on the field," she said. "We had a lot of help academically with the resources that were given to us, so I utilized those and found out what worked for me and what didn’t. The older I got, the easier time management came to me and this allowed me to balance academics and athletics and still put as much effort as I had into both."
Trezzo said that now that she has graduated from Illinois, she will be completing an internship in the fall, and then will pursue a career in athletics, preferably softball.
"Softball has been a constant part of my life since I was 5 years old, and I am sure I will continue to be involved in the softball world to some extent," she said.
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