Jaqueline Zacharias: ‘The Game Is Just Part of my Blood as a Zacharias’


Junior Jaqueline Zacharias, often on the mound for the NDA softball team, is one of the veteran players on a very young, small squad.  When she’s not pitching, she plays either third or first base.  She is also the baby sister to five older brothers who had stellar baseball careers at NDA that continued into college.

Q. What words would you use to describe your softball experience at NDA? 

A. My experience with NDA softball has definitely taught me grit and leadership. For a team like ours it is imperative that we are able to push through tough situations as a team.

Q. You come from a “heritage” of baseball players.  How has that affected your interest in softball, and how long have you been playing the game?

A. This question feels very fitting to reflect on as I am answering these in the car as we are driving to my brother Jon’s senior baseball weekend at Cornell University. He will be the final Zacharias to play baseball as he is the youngest boy. I have been interested in the game since I was born. I grew up constantly at baseball games as all five of my older brothers went on to play college baseball.

What inspired me the most was watching the success each of them had in their high school careers. I watched the program advance to four state tournaments, two of those advancing to the state championships with my brothers on the mound. It was always my dream to be just like them. The game is just part of my blood as a Zacharias. I finally began playing in second grade and have played ever since.

Q. As a “veteran” or upperclassman on a very young squad, what do you feel is your role or responsibility? 

A. I feel the role to be a leader for these girls. Softball is a very mental game, and I just want to help the girls push through tough spots and keep composure during tough moments.

Q. Who has been the biggest influence on you as a player, and how did that person influence you? 

A. I think it’s safe to say that all of my brothers have had a huge role in shaping me as a player in leading by example. One brother who has especially made an impact on me is my brother Tony. I have had several phone conversations with him coaching me on the mental sides of the game.

Q. Do you participate in any other sports?  Play softball year round or just during the spring at NDA? 

A. Yes! I am a three-sport athlete! I am a middle blocker on the NDA volleyball team as well as playing club volleyball. In the spring I play both softball and throw shot put and discus for the track team. I also play for ISA softball where I train over the winter and play during the summer.

Q. What potential for growth and improvement do you see for the team?  Team goals?  Personal goals?

A. I think there is so much potential for this team in the future. We have so much young talent. I think it will benefit these girls facing such good competition this young. These girls will grow as players, and I have big expectations for these girls as they develop as players.

Q. What part of the game is most challenging for you?  

A. Although I am not a big fan of cold games, the most difficult part of the game for me is the mental aspect, especially when I am pitching. Pitching is not particularly my first position, but for this team I’ve had to fill the role as our starting pitcher. I’ve had several moments when I’ve found it so hard to push through innings, especially against some of the good teams in our conference like Preble and Bayport. 

Q. Do you want to play softball in college?  What are your plans for the future?

A. I still have my options open as to which sport I would play in college, or even if I’d play one at all. Academics are definitely my number one priority going into my future, and if a sport can bring me to a college that will provide that for me, that would be great!

Q. What is a little-known fact about yourself that would make our readers smile? 

A. I drive a big green van. It has been in my family longer than I have been alive. My parents bought it after my fifth brother was born to fit my whole family in one car. It has been passed down to each of my brothers and now it’s mine. It’s sort of a rite of passage I guess.