WOW! We made it, and we have officially arrived in Oklahoma City, but it was a tough road to get here. I think it has finally hit me that all of our hard work has paid off, and through all of the sweat, pressure situations and unforgettable moments we have reached yet another goal.
Looking back on all of the feats that we have accomplished together, I think of how important every individual in this program is, and how each one of us has an impact on the game at different moments. Alex Kossoff came up in a huge moment during regionals and shined at the right time, and there were so many of my teammates that shined this past weekend against Michigan.
I picture the huge moments with bases loaded and two outs where Briana Hamilton snatched screaming line drives out of the air to save multiple runs. I think of the four home runs hit in the second game of the series, when our backs were against the wall, only one loss away from elimination. I think of our coaches who made us believe in the process of winning and playing the game one pitch at a time instead of thinking of the outcome.
I think of our first game, where nothing was going in our favor, and we suffered a 17-3 loss, bigger than anyone had before in a super regional game. I think of Courtney Senas’ walk-off home run that sent us to Oklahoma City. But most of all, I think of the guts, grit and faith that we all played with after being defeated so badly in Game 1.
We could have laid down and said, “It’s over, we can’t come back from this.’’ We could have been happy with how far we had come and thought they are just better than us. We could have, but we didn’t believe any of that, and we knew we weren’t finished yet.
We knew it would take 14 innings of fight, and I distinctly remember a text message that Coach Alameda sent me Thursday night. “You have to come out tomorrow on a mission, Lacey. This is totally doable,” she said, and she went on to tell me to look in the mirror and see what she saw within me. She believed in me and everything I had worked for. There were so many people who expressed their belief in what our team could do, and together we went on a mission to win two games and go to the World Series.
When Courtney hit that ball with two outs in the seventh inning of the decisive game, we all knew it was gone, and we all yelled and jumped and ran to the plate with pure joy. It is a moment that will be engrained in our minds forever, and it couldn’t have happened to a more hardworking, godly and gracious person.
Courtney puts in extra hours in the cages every night and puts her heart and soul into this game for every pitch. She prayed during the at-bat, and many of us prayed for her in that moment. When you have faith there are so many things you can accomplish, and through our faith in each other and in God we have achieved one of our ultimate goals.