This game I love…
Since the day I graduated high school in May of 2001 my life has been non-stop softball. Literally 2 days after graduating I was off to San Diego for my first National Team tryout. Every summer since, for 10 years, I have donned the Red, White and Blue in June, July and some times August. In between I went to school, played at the University of Texas, took a coaching job, taught at clinics, spoke at conventions, etc. It’s been a HUGE piece of my life. Sometimes I look back and can’t believe it has been that long. Unfortunately though, my tenure with team USA won’t reach 11 years, at least not this summer.
In the recent weeks, I’ve had to make one of the hardest decisions I’ve been faced with, which is to take a sabbatical from USA Softball this summer and compete solely in the NPF (National Pro Fastpitch). Unfortunately, the schedules conflict too much leaving many of us to choose one or the other, which is never easy. The NPF has been trying to grow and promote our sport without the full commitment of us Olympians, and I feel like now is the time where we give them our commitment in order for the league to grow and give more women a chance to continue playing after college.
Team USA has been my life for so long, I can’t imagine this being the end all. I hope somewhere in the future, maybe even as soon as 2012, that I again wear Red, White and Blue. I can attribute a lot of my maturing and growing in this game to my opportunity to be involved in the USA program from a young age, and I will forever be grateful and appreciative for the chance to represent our country and play the sport I love.
A new year is upon us, and with a clear view ahead of what’s in store, I know it’s going to be one of the best years the NPF has had. Softball has given me so many things, words can’t begin to explain them, but the most important thing it has given me is an extended group of sisters who I can run to. We are all united in our efforts to grow softball and make as many avenues available as possible. For now we focus on the NPF, with USA still in our hearts. With that being said, to the next group of USA members, wear the uniform with Pride and Respect. Many before you and me paved the way for us all to play… carry on the tradition.
See you on the field… #8