Right before Stanford leadoff hitter Kylie Sorenson steps out of the on-deck circle and makes her way to the plate, the speakers at Smith Family Stadium don’t exactly blare a frenzied walk-up song. That’s because her lyrics of choice belong to the tune of “The Foggy Dew” by Sinead O’Connor & The Chieftains.
According to Wikipedia, the song “is a product of the political situation in Ireland in the aftermath of the Easter Rising and World War I.”
The senior shortstop explains her rather curious choice, which holds a connection to Dublin, Ireland, but not in the way one would expect:
“I kind of felt bad about picking it, actually, because it’s for Irish independence,” Sorenson said. “And, yeah, I’m part Irish, but I don’t identify that way. But, it’s Connor McGregor’s walk-up song. [The Dublin native is the reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight champion.] I’ve been a big fan of his since he came into UFC, because when I first saw him fight, he was so wild and weird and everyone hated him. And I just thought, ‘This guy is a maniac.’
“I loved it, so as I kept watching him fight and I heard this song play during one of his walkouts, I just thought, ‘Oh my gosh, how does he get pumped up to this? It’s so slow and so odd.’ And then, I don’t know, I downloaded the song, and every time I listened to it I thought of him of just being this wild maniac going into the ring about to basically kill someone.
“And every time I go up to bat and that song plays, I try and channel, I guess, my inner Connor McGregor. But, yeah, I’m a diehard fan. I’ve been a longtime fan of his and I think he’s totally just unapologetic of himself. So he’s probably the most inspiring athlete right now for me.
“I know it probably doesn’t pump anyone else up, but I guess that’s the whole point of a walk-up song. It’s to pump the person who’s using it.”
Does she catch any flak for it?
“Oh, yeah,” Sorenson said. “Every one of my teammates give me crap about it and laugh about how sad it is, or not intense. And then any friends and family who come and listen to it are just like what, ‘What in the world are you listening to?’ But it doesn’t matter what they think, because I like it and it makes me feel very out of this world.”
Last year as her walk-up song, Sorenson used “Phenomenal” by Eminem from the soundtrack of the boxing movie “Southpaw” starring Jake Gyllenhaal, while previously employing the music from a training montage on “Rocky IV” — “Hearts on Fire” by John Cafferty & The Beaver Brown Band.
“I love boxing, I love fighting,” Sorenson said. “I don’t know, I think of just being an animal, which is what they do when they fight. This is not a contact sport, so I have to kind of get hyped any way I can.”