Huntley's Tiffany Giese had a season to remember, shattering multiple school records and adding onto her stellar four-year varsity career. Giese led the the Red Raiders in the pitcher's circle and in the batter's box as Huntley won its fourth consecutive Class 4A regional title and third straight Fox Valley Conference championship.
After setting Huntley's single-season wins record as a junior, the NCAA Division-I Wisconsin-Green Bay commit became the program's all-time winningest pitcher with 89 career victories.
Giese finished 24-3 as the Raiders won a program-record 32 games, which broke the previous mark of 29 wins in 2017 and 26 wins in 2016. As good as Giese was in the circle, her numbers atop Huntley's lineup were eye-popping.
Giese's 83 hits this season ranked just outside the top-five all-time in the state, according to IHSA.org, and she set a single-season Raiders' record with a .597 batting average. She led all area players in both runs scored (64) and steals (40), reaching base at a 64.3 percent clip with 17 doubles and 24 RBIs.
For her performance, Giese was named the 2018 Northwest Herald Softball Player of the Year, chosen by the sports staff. The pitcher and outfielder recently spoke with the Northwest Herald about her most memorable game, what she is looking forward to at the next level, and her pre-game rituals.
What is a sport you are bad at?
What is your favorite MLB team?
Giese: Chicago Cubs.
Is there any significance to wearing No. 2?
Giese: When I was little and first started watching baseball, (former Cubs infielder) Ryan Theriot was No. 2. That was my dad’s favorite player, and he always wanted me to play second base or shortstop.
What would be your dream job?
Giese: Ever since I was in second grade, I’ve always wanted to be a special education teacher.
What is your biggest pet peeve?
Giese: Tapping your pencil.
What is your favorite class in high school?
Giese: My criminal law class.
What is your favorite kind of ice cream?
Which one of your teammates makes you laugh?
Giese: (Freshman pitcher) Briana Bower. She’s kind of an airhead sometimes. It’s hilarious.
Which one of your teammates inspires you?
Giese: (2016 Huntley graduate) Hayley O’Mara. She is the reason I started playing softball.
What is one game this season that sticks out in your memory?
Giese: My freshman year when we played DeKalb for a regional championship. It was such a big deal when we were batting against (Northwestern pitcher Morgan) Newport. We won the regional on a walkoff.
What would be your dream vacation spot?
What would you change about softball?
Giese: That it’s outside ... I hate the outdoors.
What’s your favorite place to get pizza and what do you get on it?
Giese: Lou Malnati’s, plain cheese.
Do you have any pregame rituals?
Giese: I have to go through the stations the same way before every game. My pitching routine is the same. I eat two Slim Jim's and a Skinny Pop. I always give one [piece of popcorn] to Autumn (Kasal), but only one.
What are three of your favorite TV shows?
Giese: Friends, Vampire Diaries, Grey’s Anatomy.
What was one of the most embarrassing moments of your career?
Giese: Once when I was running first to third, I tripped so I had to go back.
Who is your favorite professional athlete?
Giese: (Cubs second baseman) Javier Baez.
What musical act would you most like to see in concert this summer?
Giese: The Chainsmokers.
You just won a million dollars. What’s the first thing you would buy?
Giese: A boat.
What will you remember most about Huntley?
Giese: All of the coaches and players. We all got super close, and they’re all like family to me. It really means a lot what they did for me.
What are you looking forward to most at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay?
Giese: All of the new things I'm going to learn. I’ve played with a lot of the same players and had a lot of the same coaches over the years. Going some place different and seeing something new, you’re going to learn so many new things. It's exciting.