Change in beat: Softball walk-up music spreads a message

Ryan Redding

Going to a collegiate softball game, or any sporting event for that matter, the songs that play through the speakers tend to all be cut from the same cloth.

There may be a popular slow song thrown into the mix for the crowd to sing along to (what is a day in at the ballpark without belting out “Ba Ba Bum!” to Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at least once?), but the majority of songs played are for the sole purpose of hyping up the crowd.

This is not the case, however, for Georgia Southern’s sophomore softball player Lydia Witkowski, who is in the top three for average (.294), runs (20), hits (32) and doubles (5).

While Witkowski’s walk-up song “Hello My Name is Child” by Matthew West just sounds like an upbeat rock song, there is much deeper meaning to the song that plays when she steps up to the plate.

Witkowski, who grew up in a Christian church, went to an event last summer with a organization on campus called “Athletes in Action.” During this trip, she was taught how to use her faith in sports, specifically learning that she should use her sport as as a platform for her religion.

“One of the aspects where I can really put His name out there is through my walk up song…It is a way to reach people that you don’t really think about,” Witkowski said.

While her walk-up song is mostly to reach the people watching her at bat, the former Sun Belt Conference Student-Athlete of the Week also uses the song as a reminder to keep herself centered and remember why she is there.

She believes that most walk-up songs are meant to put the player in the mindset that “this is all about me,” while her song reminds her that softball is really just a platform to spread the word.

Witkowski said, “It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and think about, you’re being the star of the show or I have to make this play…so having a walk-up song and also wearing this bracelet that has a cross on it really allows me to bring myself back to my beliefs and why I’m here and who got me here.”