She is the ultimate player and the ultimate friend. Infielder Tiffany Gillaspy is someone her teammates can trust, both on and off the field. Gillaspy hails from Johnston, Iowa, and she grew up in a competitive family. When she was younger, she attended her older brother games, and decided that she wanted to pick up the bat. “I started playing softball when I was five years old,” Gillaspy said. “When I was little, I always went to my brother baseball games, so I decided to go out for softball.” Her father enjoyed coaching boys, but decided to help her at an early age. “My father loved to coach,” Gillaspy said. “He helped me every day in the backyard.” Gillaspy's passion to play softball followed her to high school. She played at Southeast Polk High School in Altoona, Iowa, where she was First Team All-District. She was also a first team All-State selection. She kept a .414 batting average with 53 hits, six home runs and an impressive .950 fielding percentage. After graduating high school, she decided to attend Western, because she felt her teammates were pleasant, and they welcomed her with open arms. “I loved the softball program,” Gillaspy said. “The girls were so nice and welcoming on my visit. I also liked the coaches and the facilities.” Her passion for the game only grew while attending Western. Gillaspy’s favorite thing about softball is being able to change the game with her bat or base running. “My favorite part of the game is hitting and base running,” Gillaspy said. “Hitting is what changes the game. When I get up to bat, I have the opportunity to change the outcome. With base running, I like to be aggressive and change the game that way as well.” A year ago, Gillaspy was named Honorable Mention All-MIAA for her solid play in the conference. She started all 54 games and had 57 hits, which placed her second on the team. She ranked third on the team with 9 home runs and she also drove in 42 runners, ranking third on the team in RBI’s. For her excellence at the plate, she was named MIAA/AstroTurf Hitter of the week for the second time this season. According to pitcher Jackie Bishop, Gillaspy is a huge contributor to the team. Her aggressive style and power at the plate make her a dynamic player. “Tiffany is a key player for us,” Bishop said. “She brings the power to our lineup, and she is one of those players you want up to bat if you need a hit.” In late game situations, the Griffons trust in Gillaspy to make a play with her bat. “Her bat is a crucial part to our lineup,” Bishop said. “There are definitely times we rely on her.” Due to how family-oriented the team is, Gillaspy is like a family member that Bishop can count on. “She is definitely a friend off of the field,” Bishop said. “Our team is like a family.” Softball is not the only sport that Gillaspy enjoys. In her free time, she likes to play volleyball. She also enjoys watching sports on the television with her friends and family. “I like to play volleyball for fun,” Gillaspy said. “I also love watching baseball and football.” With four games left on the season, you can watch Gillaspy and the Griffons when they host the final two games at Western April 25-26.