Although she can be seen around campus in a blue spandex suit, Mariah Philips ’15 isn’t a superhero. She is a self-described superfan, however.
Her powers include cheering on the athletic teams at Wellesley, working in the athletic training room, calling stats at basketball games, and anchoring third base for the softball team. “I’m very invested in the athletic community here,” Philips says. “Since I came from a high school which has a pretty impressive athletic program, I’m used to having a little bit more enthusiasm around sports. When I got here, I felt like I really wanted to ramp it up—so I purchased a spandex suit.”
The blue spandex suit is often embellished with blue shorts, a blue shirt, blue socks—you name it. “It’s a very ornate get-up,” Philips says. “I like to really support other teams just because I love sports.”
In addition to her work leading the cheering section in the stands, Philips is on the student-athlete advisory committee of the Department of Physical Education, Recreation, and Athletics. She also participated in the athlete-mentor program, where upperclasswomen are paired with first-year athletes to help them acclimate to the College.
Her primary responsibilities lie with the softball team, of course, which is what drew her to Wellesley in the first place. “I wasn’t actually looking at Wellesley that seriously at all until I went on an official visit,” Philips says. “I stayed with the team and absolutely fell in love with the players and the coach and the campus.”
Originally from Palo Alto, Calif., she has been playing softball since she was 10, but basketball used to be her first love. “As I got older, [softball] really started to grow on me,” Philips says. “You live for those moments when you’re in the batter’s box, and there’s a runner on third and you’re down by one run, and you need to poke it through the infield. As a softball player, that’s why you play the game.”
A utility player, Philips split time between third base and right field her first year at Wellesley, but since then, she’s played third base fairly exclusively. “I have played pretty much all the positions in the infield in my softball career, so it wasn’t unfamiliar,” Philips says.
She’s tackling another role this year that also shouldn’t be unfamiliar: being the hustle and hype leader. After graduating six seniors last year, the softball team decided to forgo naming captains and instead assigned each player a job. “For every practice, for every game, I’m in charge of making sure the team is focused and energetic and pumped to be there,” Philips says. “I aspire to bring out a little superfan in everybody.”