You never know when your time is up.
We’re all on a pitch count with every throw, catch, and hit potentially being our last. There are times when I wish it could all last forever, but then I’m quickly reminded that it also could be taken away at any given moment.
The Coronavirus took away my freshman season and ended the careers of so many seniors. A snap of a finger and everything was over—just like that. If anything, it taught me to enjoy every moment because you never know how many you have left.
It also prompted me to go outside of my comfort zone, like traveling to Sarasota to play in the Florida Gulf Coast Summer League. That experience made me remember why I fell in love with the sport of softball in the first place.
And if only for a moment, it made me forget the heartbreak that lingered from the previous season.
Do you want to know the worst part?
We were actually rolling as a team. Presbyterian College softball has struggled in previous years, and we were super pumped for an opportunity to get into the conference portion of our schedule. There was this confidence that we had a lot to show and would do really well. It’s hard to explain, but we could all feel it.
I’ll be honest—none of it felt real when the decision was made to shut everything down. I thought we’d go home for a couple of weeks and then get right back to playing again.
Well, that obviously didn’t happen.
Even to this day, I just can’t imagine what it must have been like for seniors that never get to go out there again. It was really heartbreaking.
We all put our lives into this sport, you know? Just the thought of having it taken away and not having any control over it is terrifying.
It kind of makes me think back on my journey to PC, actually.
I played travel ball ever since I was nine years old, hoping one day to get a scholarship and compete in college. It wasn’t always easy, and there were certainly times when I wasn’t sure if I’d even make it. I can remember going to camps and being told by some that I wasn’t fast enough to pitch at this level.
But I refused to give up.
Every young athlete has this dream of competing against the best players in the country. I wasn’t any different. All I needed was the right coach to believe in me enough to let me earn an opportunity – and that was also kind of outside of my control.
Luckily, Coach David Williams did believe in me.
I verbally committed to him when he was still at Morehead State and then followed him when he signed with PC.
And I haven’t looked back ever since.
These days, my goal is to stay in the present.
I just want to take on new challenges and enjoy every moment. I was 13-2 as a starter with 128 strikeouts and a 1.24 ERA before Covid wiped out the rest of my freshman season.
Even though I tried to be as prepared as possible, never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to start off so strongly in my first year of college. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without my teammates and coaches supporting me through it.
That alone pushed me to join the Florida Gulf Coast Summer League.
I was invited out by a friend that plays at Clemson University. The coach for her team on that league was looking for another pitcher, and I was looking for an opportunity to play, even if it was a bit outside of my comfort zone.
I’m sort of a homebody and definitely not someone that would just pack up and go off on a five-week road trip to play softball in Florida. But I couldn’t pass up the opportunity because I wasn’t sure how many I’d have left, especially after Covid.
The pitch count, remember?
It ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There were girls from literally everywhere—the SEC, ACC, and Big Ten—gathered together in one league. I lived out of a hotel room, while competing against some of the best players in the country.
Not only did I get close with the other girls there, but I also found a confidence in my game I’d never known prior to that trip. Although every girl there was super talented, I felt like I belonged at that level. I realized that not competing at one of the other Power Five programs doesn’t mean you can’t hang with the big dogs, as some would say.
Just seeing that I could play with those girls and actually hang with them—what bigger confidence booster is there than that?
More importantly, I was just excited for the chance to get back on the field again. It was humbling to see the game meant as much to them as it did to me. The whole Covid situation taught us to be grateful for the time we do have and not to take anything for granted.
I’ll never forget that lesson.
I hope to carry those same lessons with me throughout my journey at PC.
It’s important to support my teammates and share that newfound confidence I have in myself with all of them as well. I just want them to know how talented they are in games.
You can’t listen to what other people are saying about you on the field. You have to be confident in your own game, but more importantly, you have to maintain that same confidence in your teammates.
Even when you struggle, things can turn around quickly if you just believe in one another.
We all have our own stories to tell. Mine started with a coach telling me I was too slow before Coach Williams recruited me, and I went on to prove myself as a starter.
Regardless of that individual’s opinion, I’m still here.
Regardless of anyone’s opinion, we’re all still here.
I’m not going anywhere, and neither are my teammates. We’re here to take advantage of every second and enjoy every moment until the pitch count runs out.