McGlaughlin an RBI leader with a job after graduation

BY MIKE SLUSARK | APRIL 22, 2009 7:26 AM

There’s a lot to be jealous of with Colleen McGlaughlin.

Not only is the Iowa softball player second in the Big Ten in RBIs, she has something that every senior would kill for — a job after graduation.

McGlaughlin is going to be an actuary for State Farm Insurance in Bloomington, Ill.

An actuary?

“My uncle was an actuary, and ever since I was like in first grade, he’s been trying to get me to be an actuary, and I finally listened to him,” she said. “I had an internship there over the summer, and they immediately offered a position.”

For those unfamiliar with the insurance industry, an actuary evaluates risk and sets premiums for clients. It’s a field that requires an understanding of several disciplines, but McGlaughlin has shown as much skill and determination in the classroom as at the plate. Last year, she was named a first-team Academic All-American by ESPN: The Magazine, an achievement she considers the proudest of her collegiate career.

Did I mention she’s a damn good softball player?

After Iowa’s 5-3 win over Northern Iowa on Tuesday, McGlaughlin has 42 RBIs this season, tying her with Northwestern freshman Adrienne Monka for the conference lead.

“I love coming up to bat in an RBI situation,” she said after Iowa’s April 18 double-header against Michigan State. “I think the top of the order has been doing a great job of getting on base.”

She is also tied for the Big Ten lead now with 54 hits this season and leads Iowa starters with a .367 batting average.

“What Colleen does is she is really good at knowing her zone,” Iowa head coach Gayle Blevins said April 18 after the Hawkeyes’ sweep of Michigan State. “She doesn’t swing at a lot of bad pitches. That’s such a big difference with a lot of hitters.”

In the two games against the Spartans last weekend, McGlaughin was a combined 4-for-6 with three walks. In the bottom of the sixth, with her team down one, she smacked a double to left center to lead off the inning and scored the tying run, which sent the game into extra innings in the Hawkeye victory.

Despite entering the lineup mainly as the designated player this season, she looked sharp in the outfield against Michigan State, making a nice grab against the wall in foul territory after a full sprint from her position in right field.

In high school, McGlaughlin was also her team’s best pitcher, although it didn’t enjoy much success.
“We were not particularly good in high school,” she said. “I had like 300 strikeouts my senior year, but I also hit 30 people, so I was pretty wild.”

She said the Iowa coaching staff noticed her as an outfielder and third baseman for her Amateur Softball Association team, the Illinois Southern Force. McGlaughlin was on the team when the Southern Force won the under-18 Gold Division national championship in 2004.

Since arriving at Iowa, she has not made any major changes in her swing or how she plays defensively. Blevins attributes her success to a good work ethic.

“She has that ability to come in and take extra balls or get extra cuts in the cage,” Blevins said. “She’s always had that mentality and I just think good things happen for people that just work really hard.”
With an outstanding season and a secure job, good things are certainly happening for McGlaughlin.

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