April 5, 2010
By Erin Campbell
ORLANDO, Fla. (UCFAthletics.com) - Coming to UCF, Sam Soltis was a solid recruit for the Black and Gold. Her high school softball resume is quite impressive and includes such achievements as helping American Heritage to three state championships, being named to the All-Broward Country first team all four of her high school years and being named Offensive Player of the Year in 2007. However, the Plantation native's talent is not solely limited to the softball diamond, she can also rock out on the electric guitar.
Soltis comes from a family of musicians, but it's nothing like the Partridge family. Every member of the Soltis crew is a rocker at heart and they all play different types of instruments, including the harmonica, the electric guitar and the drums.
"My family is really what got me into playing at first," Soltis said. "But overall, I am a music lover and wanted to be able to play."
Soltis picked up her craft of the electric guitar at age eleven, but had to hang up the instrument for a while to focus on softball. Eventually, she found her way back to it in her sophomore year at American Heritage and was able to pick up right where she left off.
Her teammates caught wind of her talent and started joking around about having her play the national anthem at one of her games. Head coach Renee Luers-Gilispie caught wind of this and encouraged the idea.
There seemed to be no better time then on live TV, in front of 1,091 fans and in one of the squad's biggest games of the season against No. 6 Florida on March 31.
"I was pretty nervous," Soltis said. "I had only played in front of 30 people, which were mostly my friends and family. But it was a lot of fun to be in front of all of those people and play the anthem."
Soltis prepared for her National Anthem debut by practicing for a few weeks beforehand and had some help from her musical influences, which include some of the classics like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton, and the raw talent of recent musicians including John Mayer and the Deftones.
There is no doubt that if Soltis keeps fine-tuning her talents on and off the field, she will be just as revolutionary as her musical influences.
Season tickets for the 2010 season are only $40 and are on sale now, while single-game tickets are also available for purchase. Tickets can be purchased online at UCFAthletics.com or through the Athletics Ticket Office by calling (407) 823-1000.
For the latest news on the Knights, log on to www.UCFAthletics.com - the official site for UCF varsity sports. The site, which also contains ticket and Golden Knights Club donor information, is also the home of UCF's new online apparel store. Also visit www.UCFPhotos.com, the exclusive fan source for UCF action sports pictures.