WILLIAMSTOWN, MA -- Williams College rising senior Margo Beck is as passionate about softball off the diamond as she is on it.
This summer Beck, a 2018 tri-captain for the Ephs' softball team, took that passion to the North Adams SteepleCats, where she interned after getting in touch with the New England Collegiate Baseball League Commissioner Sean McGrath, who also happens to work at the college in the development office.
During the summer, Beck swept the stands, watered the field, brought water to the dugouts and made sure every player had a jersey to play in. It was not all hard labor, she was hired to do statistics and was able to create her own project. For all of the 26 SteepleCats players she collected all the stats from any collegiate and summer league team they ever played for. Beck then made performance highlights sheets with career total games, hits, at bats and more. On the back of the sheets she put the year the specific person played for the teams and their average on-base percentage and on base percentage. Underneath that, she put a little paragraph on how their 2017 year with the SteepleCats was going.
Beck also made what she calls the Steeplecats player performance index, which combined the on-base percentage, batting average and slugging percentage for every team for every year and created a panel of data and averages to get the batting average of an average player in the NECBL -- which is .254 over the core years of 2010-2017.
She said that the most difficult part of her internship was the grind. The time requirements were long, "It's seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to midnight some nights," said Beck. Despite the long hours, Beck noted that the relationships she made with the other interns and the connections with the SteepleCats' front office personnel were among the best parts of the internship.
Beck was born in Michigan and began playing baseball at a young age. She also played ice hockey, where he found her skills as a goalie helped her catching abilities on the diamond. She played catcher and shortstop while playing baseball in Michigan.
Her family moved to Plano, Texas when she was 13 and Beck began the transition from baseball to softball. She said she had a big learning curve because when she transitioned to softball she still had that baseball swing.
Beck was recruited to play softball after being spotted by Eph head coach Kris Herman. She chose Williams because she wanted an education that would put her in a better position "to do something really great in my life."
Last year, Beck served as a junior adviser living in a first year residence and assisting the new students with their studies and the adjustment to college life. This year, Beck is planning to rejoin Eph Sports Information office. She will be doing the stats for women's soccer the public address for volleyball matches.
|Margo Beck's 3-Run Bomb Vs. Babson
Helped Send the Eph Softball Team
to NCAA Championships in Oklahoma City
Beck played the outfield and did some catching for the Ephs this past season and was a key cog in the Ephs' most successful season ever on the softball diamond, batting .270 with a career high four home runs and five doubles. She drove in 14 runs as the Ephs won the Little Three title, a NESCAC Championship, and an NCAA First Round Tournament and for the first-time ever – an NCAA Super Regional. The reward for winning the Super Regional was a trip to Oklahoma City for the NCAA National Championships, an eight-team field in a double-elimination format. The Ephs won a game in the national championship round for the first time and finished third in the nation.
After reaching the pinnacle of advancing to Oklahoma, Beck understands why other players want to keep going back. "That's something I set my sight on for next year because it is an experience like nothing else." Being in Oklahoma this year helped the Ephs team see what the level of national competition is like and observe that style of play.
In 10 years time, Beck hopes she is working in for a major league baseball team in their front office. She spent a winter study with former Eph baseball standout Mark Scialabba '02 who is the director of player development for the Washington Nationals. "That really sparked my passion for working in sports," noted Beck.
Beck said that she enjoyed her internship with the Steeplecats and that it helped her develop more skills in baseball and gave her more experience in working in the game. Beck did not rule out the possibility of pursuing a job in professional softball. "The world of softball although small is growing," she stated. "I think there is a big opportunity to make a big impact in that field because it is so new."
Working in Eph Sports Information helped Beck land her the Steeplecats internship as Beck mentioned that Eph SID Dick Quinn holds his workers to high standards. This helped Beck realize the standards that she should be trying to reach. She made sure that everything she did was done correctly and that she came to work prepared. "That is the biggest lesson that I took from Sports Information the two years I worked there," Beck said.