STILLWATER — During her four years playing shortstop for Oklahoma State, Chelsea Garcia has often been the only player on the team bus with her nose in a book.
She's just trying to make the best use of her down time, she said. If a game goes to rain delay, she uses that time to read. When the team is in a hotel before and after games, she's generally doing homework.
“I don't like sitting there with nothing to do if I have things to do for school,” she said.
As a junior, Garcia, 22, received the Elite 88 Award for having the highest GPA at the Women's College World Series. The same year, she was named to the Capital One Academic All America First Team. And last month, Garcia set the record for most games played in a Cowgirl uniform.
Garcia, a 2008 graduate of Moore High School, is working toward a degree in secondary education with an emphasis in mathematics. She expects to graduate in May 2013. After that, she'd like to be a math teacher — she wants to impart her love of learning to students, she said.
“I want kids to like math and find the joy in doing it,” she said.
In that regard, Garcia said she was influenced by her mother, an elementary school teacher. When Garcia's mother died of cervical cancer in 2000, many of her former students showed up at the funeral. Garcia said she was proud of the difference her mother made in her students' lives, and she wanted to do the same.