On the diamond, the day is cool and the breeze refreshing. When the batter steps out of the box, though, beads of sweat quickly form on her forehead. She takes a deep breath and closes her eyes. It’s hot. She knows it’s hot. But she regains her composure and re-enters the box, digging her feet into the ground.
The pitcher winds up to throw, and the batter sees the pitch with incredible clarity. Her front foot moves up and her bat drops back. She violently torques her body to meet the pitch with the perfect swing. It’s flawless. But all she hears is the crash of the ball against the mitt. She can’t handle the heat. No one can. Chicago fourth-year Tabbetha Bohac, atop the mound, is unhittable.
Such has been the story for much of the last two years. In 2014, Bohac, pitching 91 1/3 innings, held batters to a .217 average and guided the softball team to 10 of its 25 wins. On the year, she finished with a 2.22 ERA, six complete games, and allowed just one run or fewer in 12 matches. In one of her career-defining games, Bohac struck out 16 batters in a 10-inning win against Lake Park.
What has separated Bohac from the rest is her versatility. In addition to her role on the mound, she commonly started at second base, spraying the ball over the field with her bat and leading the team with her defense. But Bohac’s contributions go far beyond the numbers. Above all else, she is a leader, which is something her teammates know quite well.
“Tab will always and forever be the heart of this team. On the field, she leads by example, whether it’s through making plays when the game is on the line, or pushing through injuries to do her best for the team. Tab is our number one supporter, and every one of us knows that Tab will have our back even when it’s been a rough go. I, and the team, are going to miss the heck out of Tab. We’re going to miss her challenging us to a random game of basketball, we’re going to miss her chugging a Mountain Dew before practice, we’re going to miss her high-fives, we’re going to miss her advice when we most need it, we’re going to miss her spontaneity and love for life, we’re going to miss her singing ‘Leave the Night On’ or some other country song. Basically, we’re going to miss everything about Tabbetha,” third-year shortstop and catcher Kristin Lopez said eloquently.
For all her contributions on the diamond, Bohac has had no shortage of success in her other extracurricular and academic pursuits. A double major in Biology and Chemistry, Bohac is a Dean’s List student, and has been a four-year lab group member. She also served as President of the Women’s Athletic Association and was a member of Benzene (the University’s undergraduate chemistry society), the Maroon Key Society, the Body Project, Athlete Ambassadors, and Senior Gift. Clearly, Bohac has been a major force on campus. As Lopez explains, “I honestly don’t know how she’s able to do all the things she does, but I also know that no one but Tab could do them.“
Bohac’s long list of accomplishments is only set to grow. After graduation, she will attend Washington University in St. Louis for a chemistry Ph.D. program. Her years at Chicago, however, will never be lost on her. As Tabbetha says, “I chose UChicago for the academics—it is an awesome school—but it has also been great to be able to still participate in athletics here as well. Chicago athletics is truly a family and I will miss everyone. My teammates are some of my best friends here and I don’t know what I’ll do without them. The advice I would give would be follow your passions, have fun and don’t get caught up in the little things.”