Dot Richardson is still inspiring me today

Courtesy Michelle Gascoigne

Michelle Gascoigne stood in line to get Dot Richardson's autograph in 2004; today Richardson watches Gascoigne play and offers words of advice.

The theme of this year’s OU softball poster is “Dreams Will Come True.” The poster features all of our seniors and throwback pictures of us playing when we were little. I remember first seeing the poster and the four of us getting a little emotional. This season has been pretty special, and a lot of what we do every day really is “living the dream.”

This past weekend we had a home series against Iowa State with three sell-out crowds! It was definitely a good welcome home series after being on the road for a while. It is always fun to play in front of our home crowd, especially when it’s packed. They had youth teams line up across the outfield wall before the game for the national anthem. From foul pole to foul pole the teams filled up the wall both Friday and Saturday.

Warming up in the bullpen was a whole other story. Girls had their faces pressed to the side screens just trying to peek in at Keilani Ricketts and myself warming up before each game. Some parents even lifted their children onto their shoulders to be able to see in.

It is amazing to see how excited people are about our team and softball in general. After all three games this weekend we had extended autograph sessions. The lines were never ending, but we loved doing it!

It is so fun to get to see and hear from all of the different fans. Some come in from pretty far to see the game, some want to tell you what positions they play, and others just want to tell you they like your earrings. We have a lot of fun hearing from our fans and signing for them, whether it is a poster, glove or the occasional phone case.

All of that being said, here is the cool part: For the second time this season, Dr. Dot Richardson and her family spent the weekend in Norman while she called all of our games on TV. The first time she came to town I got a chance to talk with her and tell her how I waited in a very long line when I was a little girl to get her autograph when she and Team USA toured before the 2004 Olympics in Athens. She inspired me then, and she is still inspiring me today!

She is one of the most positive people I have ever gotten to meet. It really is a dream come true that she is now watching me play and giving my teammates and I advice on how to “live in the moment,” as she says. I am so thankful that she is able to share her wisdom with us as we continue our journey this season.

The next stop on our journey will be Lawrence, Kan., as we take on the Jayhawks this weekend. With only two conference series left, every game is huge for us to continue to get better.

Until next time, Boomer Sooner!