“I need a softball uniform.”
It was the same sentence each time we went to the store.
It didn’t matter if I already had one.
I begged my mom for a new one each year.
I was that little girl who was all about being a softball player from the start.
Softball was my thing. It’s all I ever wanted to talk about or do.
I’d write about it in school.
I’d beg my parents for a softball uniform.
It was that simple.
I started playing softball around eight or nine years old.
I also played soccer, but it only lasted for a year.
And let me tell you, I’ll never forget that year.
I was the goalkeeper, and it was great because I got to throw the ball back to my teammates. But when they put me on the field, I kept picking up the soccer ball and trying to throw it to my teammates instead of kicking it.
That being said, my time as a soccer player was short-lived.
When I got a little bit older, around 7th or 8th grade, I started to hone in on softball.
I’d been playing travel ball and softball in Rochester, Indiana, my hometown.
Rochester is a small town.
I graduated with about 120 people in my graduating class.
At that point, I was ready to start traveling to Indianapolis to join more competitive travel teams.
I wanted to do whatever I could to play softball in college.
Especially during that time, the commitment of my family was amazing.
They spent countless hours in the car, at hotels, and on the field.
My dad and mom were always there to help and support me.
They were also there for emotional support, and they were there for me when I needed help with my game.
No question, I couldn’t have done it without them.
Once I reached high school, I had to start thinking about that next chapter.
What school did I want to attend, and what school would prepare me best for the next level?
To this day, I remember the first time hearing from Oakland.
I was at a tournament in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
It was the summer between my sophomore and junior years of high school, and one of the Oakland coaches was talking to my travel coach about the game.
She mentioned that they were looking for a 2020 middle infielder and primarily a shortstop. I’d played shortstop almost my entire life, and my travel coach told me that he thought I’d be a great fit at Oakland.
I did some research, talked to the coach, and went for a visit.
The campus was beautiful, and I loved the team. I loved Coach K, and everything just felt like the perfect fit. I told my parents that I didn’t need to visit anywhere else. I knew Oakland was where I wanted to be.
Everything about the school just felt right, you know?
And four years later, I’m so glad I made that decision.
I’ve had an amazing time at Oakland so far.
I especially remember winning the Horizon League championship in 2022.
We made so many great memories during the tournament, and that bus ride back from the championship was something I’ll never forget.
We were all just singing, dancing, and celebrating.
It was such a beautiful and meaningful moment.
It’s hard to believe that my time at Oakland is almost over.
I vividly remember my freshman year here, and back then, I never thought this day would come.
Yet, here I am, on the brink of graduating in the spring, reflecting on some of the best years of my life.
Looking ahead, I’ve secured a graduate assistant position at the University of Indianapolis with their softball team for the next year.
I’m planning to pursue a master’s degree in either organizational leadership or business.
My enduring passion for sports has always been a driving force, and I envision myself staying connected to sports in some capacity.
I thoroughly enjoy working with kids during our camps, and my ultimate goal is to become a softball coach one day.
The diamond may shrink, but my dreams haven’t.
As I trade my cleats for textbooks and my bat for a clipboard, I know this is just the beginning.
My ‘Softball Style’ isn’t just about playing the game; it’s about building it, nurturing it, and passing the torch to future generations.
I’m ready to step into the box and coach a new story, one swing, one throw, one life at a time.