April 9, 2008
Erin Howe has had many different roles at Stanford. She had to adjust to playing catcher, first base, and other roles on the team. She played her sophomore year behind the plate, as a catcher. And spent last season at first base.
Howe started her softball Elkins High School, in Missouri City, Texas. She was a four-year letterwinner in softball. She was a four-time first-team All-District selection and a two-time first-time All-Regional selection. She was a 2004 first-team All-State selection, and was a 2004 High School All-American first-team selection.
She was also a two-time NFCA National Scholar Athlete and a 2004 Houston Softball Scholar Athlete.
"It was great!" said Howe. "It was a great experience, as the teams during my junior and senior years went to the State Championship. My senior year, we actually went undefeated. Most of the players, who want to play in college, use this time to prepare themselves for college."
She also competed in volleyball in high school. She was a member of the volleyball team during her freshman and sophomore years.
"I really liked it," said Howe. "It's a lot different than softball, and I wanted to be competitive in other sports. I played it just for fun."
During the recruiting process, she received several offers. She said she received scholarship offers from Northwestern, Notre Dame, Harvard, Yale, and Stanford. She said her final two were between Northwestern and Stanford. She would choose to continue her education and her sports career at Stanford.
"I choose (Stanford), because it really is the best of both worlds -- academically and athletically," said Howe. "I always wanted to use softball to get into a great school. That was my first priority, and so I knew I had the grades to be able to do that. Coach Rittman saw me at a camp, and once I came here and met the girls, I knew it was a great fit for me."
As a freshman, she appeared in 53 games, with 42 games coming in the starting lineup. She had a .274 batting average in 113 at-bats, 31 hits and five doubles. She was able to hit four home runs and have 21 RBI's, while scoring seven times. She hit her first college home run, a two-run home run, against Hofstra.
"I just think he saw something in me," said Howe of her freshman year. "And I was able to transfer to the position really well after coming in. And I was able to learn the position and picked it up really easily. It was just a good fit."
As a sophomore, she appeared in 57 games, with 56 games coming in the startling lineup. She played mostly at catcher, while also seeing time at first base. She had a .185 batting average, with 28 hits, including four doubles, and 21 RBI's. She was able to score 13 runs and steal two bases. She had seven multi-hit games and seven multi-RBI games.
"Erin is somebody that provides versatility to us," said Stanford softball coach John Rittman of Howe's time at catcher. "She's played first base, she's caught, played the D. P. role -- and she's a very good hitter."
Last year, as a junior, she appeared in 51 games, with 50 games coming in the starting lineup at first base. She had a .248 batting average and a .397 slugging percentage on the season. She had 30 hits, including five multi-hit games, and scored 16 runs. She ended the season on a season-long four-game win streak.
"She is a great defensive player, with her versatility," said Coach Rittman of Howe's time at first base. "Asking her to change positions really helped our team."
This year, as a senior, she has appeared in 34 games, with 32 games coming in the starting lineup. She currently has a .286 batting average in 63 at-bats, with 18 hits, including 6 doubles and one home run. She has a .429 slugging percentage, 9 runs, and 11 RBI's, while walking 17 times and striking out 11 times.
"Individually, I would like to continue to do well," said Howe of her final season. "You always want to finish on a high note, and right now, we are doing so well. Our chemistry is so good this year. I am having more than this year than any year in the past."
She is majoring in economics at Stanford. She said she came to Stanford and was hoping to do business, as her major, but because Stanford is a liberal arts school, they do not have a business degree. She said economics is the closest thing to business, if you're interested in business. So, she decided to major in economics and is really glad she did.
Last year, she did an Investment Banking internship and had an opportunity to learn a lot about the industry. She is hoping to work there full-time after graduation. But, she said, hopefully, one day, her ultimate goal is to be in finance and possibly do something in public policy. She said I know what I'm doing for the next two-years, and we'll see where the rest of my life will take me.
"She is going to do extremely well," said Coach Rittman. "She has done some internships, like all of our kids, and she is prepared for life after softball."