Yesterday, I was "On the Beat" with Maranda Gutierrez, who just finished a stellar softball career at DePaul. The interview is at On the Beat With Maranda Gutierrez. Maranda leaves DePaul with a lot of accomplishments and memories and we discuss it all.
Starting every game in her five seasons at DePaul, Maranda accumulated a long list of awards and accolades. Among her honors, she is a three-time BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Year. She won the BIG EAST top defensive honor in three of the four seasons it has been awarded. Making the All-Defensive Team three times would be quite an accomplishmnet. Being named the top defensive player is an amazing feat.
In talking to Maranda it is obvious she takes great pride in her defense. She talked about practicing with her dad and working with her coaches and infield mates to hone her skills. Clearly that work paid off. Watching Maranda field, you always felt she would make every play.
Her excellent defense overshadowed her solid offense. In the 2022 season, Maranda hit .306, with 4 home runs, 25 RBIs and a team high 46 runs scored. She also led the team in stolen bases with 12 and went 12-13 in attempts.
Maranda discussed her start in softball, her path to DePaul, playing at Cacciatore Stadium, her future and much more. I put her on the spot, asking her to choose between a fielding gem and a home run. Although it wasn't a surprise, I loved hearing Maranda's answer and reasoning.
Before we finished, I had a little extra fun by asking for her favorite type of Chicago pizza. Again, Maranda came up with an excellent answer.
Speaking on her future, Maranda said she would be involved in coaching, having started that journey back in the eighth grade. Maranda stressed the importance of athletics and her faith in her life.
I covered DePaul softball for all of Maranda's career. Getting to watch her up close, it was easy to almost take her accomplishments for granted. ”That's another great play by Mo” was often heard around Cacciatore Stadium. To see her maintain that level of excellence on offense and defense was amazing.
Although it wouldn't show in the stats, Maranda was great off the field, too. She was always willing to talk softball, lend a quote for a story or take a picture. If all of this sounds like the perfect player, it's because she was.
Thank you to Maranda for her time and consideration in this interview. Thank her even more for lots of great play on the field and friendship off. I wish Maranda a lot of success and happiness going forward.