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Sunday, May 19, 2013
Postseason is when we really come alive

By Amber Freeman

Freeman, Mendoza
Amber Freeman grew up watching Jessica Mendoza play softball, and now Mendoza is watching her.

I hope everyone is enjoying all the softball on TV as much as I am.! The postseason is the most exciting part of the year. This is what each team works for day in and day out, which is to be able to get back to the big stage in Oklahoma City.

We are off to a good start in our regional. We won the first game against San Jose State 5-2 and also a close 2-0 game against Georgia on Saturday afternoon. We aren’t swinging the bats as well as we want to, but Dallas [Escobedo] is definitely picking up the slack for us in the circle. She has only given up one hit in the regional thus far and does not look like she will be letting up any time soon.

The three key things to winning in the postseason are: clutch hitting, great pitching and good defense. I believe my team has a very strong mentality when playing in the postseason. Many of my teammates would agree with me when I say the postseason is when the Sun Devils really come alive and play our best softball.

Going into each game we try to be as prepared as we can. We watch as much film as we can to see some of the opposing team’s tendencies, especially their pitchers. We just try to take one game at time, while staying as mentally tough as we can. Great teams find ways to win.

We remember what it felt like to lose to Oklahoma in the semifinals in OKC last year. After the game, I told myself I would remember that feeling and make sure it never happened again. I also promised I would do whatever I could to get my team back to the Women’s College World Series the following year.

On a side note, it has been awesome having Jessica Mendoza back in Tempe! She is someone I grew up watching when I was just learning how to play softball. I admire the calm but strong presence she had in the box. She is definitely a hitter I have looked up to as well as a student-athlete and now a commentator.

One day, I hope to have the opportunity to sit down with her to talk hitting and also maybe ask her how her career path has led her to commentating on ESPN. Maybe one day I can find myself calling some great softball when my playing days are over.

Until next time. Go Devils!