Well, the time has come that I say goodbye to the sport that I’ve played since I was five years old. If I could count how many times I’ve said “I can’t, I have softball” but I wouldn’t change a thing.
I remember when I first started playing T-ball. I wore my jeans with flowers sewn into the bottom and refused to get dirty. I fielded a ground ball and threw it as hard as I could at the little boy running to first-I nailed him. I started shouting “HE’S OUT! HE’S OUT!” and I would not accept that “Peg Ball” was not a thing.
Fast forward to middle school where I decided that I wanted to be a division 1 softball player. I started going to Northwestern University every week for lessons and realized that I had all of the potential in the world to go Division 1.
My senior year of high school, I was playing in a tournament down in Florida and that’s when the former head coach for Saint Peter’s recruited me. I ended up flying to New Jersey for an official visit and fell in love with Jersey City and the fact that it’s right next to New York City.
When I came to college is when softball became a job. To be honest, my first three years were miserable. My parents kept telling me, “you’re going to regret it if you don’t play”. I decided that I was gonna give softball another chance.
Senior year came and so did a new coach. I remember him walking in and thinking, “wow, he looks like Shaggy from Scooby-Doo” and even talks like him too. The first impression I got of him was that this guy was here to win. I remember every player had a meeting with him and we each made a list of goals for the season. I remember my first one was to simply have fun. The fun is what was missing the last three years and that’s what I craved.
I have four games left in my career and I’m extremely emotional about it. The hours of time I spent at practice, to the hours I spent in a car with my dad driving to games were all for something that I love. The friends I’ve been able to make along the way and the bonds that were made over the game is invaluable. Without softball, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. As weird as it sounds, these past four years have taught me how to fail. Sometimes in life, things don’t go your way but it’s how you respond to that adversity. I know that sometimes you don’t get the job or you don’t get that promotion but that doesn’t mean it’s over. It means you have to work harder, it gives you that drive to do better.
I know I’m gonna be a mess at Senior Day but this part of my life has come to an end. Softball has shaped me in so many ways like how to become a leader, how to pick yourself up when it feels like you’re only going down, how to be a teammate, and being a part of something bigger than yourself. All I know is that I’m thankful for this sport and the opportunities it’s given me and how it molded me into the person I am today.