I’ll never forget when I was 5 years old and played Tee Ball in Dallas. I was the only girl on the team and the only one who could catch so they put me on first base. I loved softball. I played a lot of sports growing up but softball always had my heart. It was something that I was good at, it was something that I enjoyed. I’m glad I committed to softball because you should have seen me in basketball, it was embarrassing. Hahaha. 

I played every season and when I came back to Odessa I started playing 8&under. I started off not being the best but I worked hard at it and loved it so much so eventually I became very good at it. In 8&under I was pitcher and my defense was my best part. Then in 10&under is when select softball came about(travel ball). Man, were those the days. First it was Bat Influence. I loved all the girls who I played with. Now we are all 18 or older and we all played against each other. Time flys. I still will always thank Coach Graham, Coach Craig Monk, And also Coach Alisha. Then we played for a team called Midland Explosion, and man that was one of my favorite teams. We all had so much fun together. Every weekend going out of town!! Every day having those endless practices that were either so much fun or so tiring. There was never an inbeetween. Landry, Lindsey, and Craig of course were my Bffs on that team. We were inseparable. & a huge thank you to Coach Gary & Coach Les, and of course Coach mike helms or like we liked to call him “lil John”. Man, they taught me so many awesome things in not only softball but life and always will be in my heart. 

After years & years of hard work and dedication I felt as if my love for the game had ended my 8th grade year so I decided to give it up to play volleyball. It wasn’t long till I realized I had made a huge mistake and came back to it my sophomore year. Sophomore year was amazing, playing on varsity with all my best friends. And with awesome coaches!! I will always love that team!

Then junior year, save the best for last I guess. My junior year Permian Softball was 10-0 in district. Winning district champs. Man, words can’t explain this team. The bond we had with every girl. The fun we had and the tears we shed together. I’ll never forget this team as long as I live! This team has a very special place in my heart, forever. I will always thank Coach Hilva for pushing me and loving me every minute. Coach Lovell for laughing with me and crying. & of course Coach Haltom, who loved me day end and day out and supported me through all my struggles with life. I like to think of her as my softball mom. I can’t tank these people enough. Oh and you can’t forget about momma T, she’s the best!! 

Here’s the thing, this game is temporary just along with everything else in life. Growing up I  dreamt of playing for the Univeristy of Arizona and being on the Olympic team with Cat Osterman, or Jennie Finch. From jersey number 8, 26, to 11. This game was apart of me. I never thought a day would come without it. The older I got, the more I realized that there is bigger things in life. I realized that I wasn’t defined by this sport. My goals and dreams changed quickly. 

Needless fo say, my senior year of softball never came. I never got to play my last game or my last at bat and know it was my last. This game is temporary. I gave up softball for ministry. The Lord called me to ministry and softball would get in the way of Gods calling for my life. It was a hard decision but I knew what had to come. I do not regret my decision one bit. Every since I gave this sport up, God has opened numerous doors for me. Ill always love this game though. Even through I want with them for long, thank you to Coach Williams & Coach A, y’all taught me so much about the game and always pushed me to be better. 

Softball wasn’t just a sport growing up, it was my life. Softball didn’t just teach me skill of the game but skills of life. Softball introduced me to many of my amazing friends. From Kyndi Holcomb & Jordyn Graham. To Kali Holcomb & Destinee Moreno. To Courteny monk  & Gail pawlik. To Katy bailey & Miranda Martinez. To Kam Martinez to Landry mulloy. To Lindsey Greenlee to all the rest from my OHS girls, midland lee girls, midland high girls, and my PHS girls. & of course Elizabeth Craig, who thank God for softball because that’s my sister. From all the endless 8 game guarantees, to the endless bus rides, to the endless hotel rooms, to the endless practices and sunflowers seeds. To the ghetto walk up songs to the girly bows. & dont forget eye black. This game has been a pleasure and journey.

To any little girls playing this game, treat every at bat, play, or game like its your last because one day it will be. When those practices get long and tired, don’t give up because one day when you make that play it will all be worth it. Cherish all the tournaments and cherish your teammates. Wear that number proudly because that’s always apart of you. Thank your parents and appreciate all the sacrifices they make for you and all the money and traveling they spend just for you to play this game. This game is temporary and I know it’s hard to wrap your little 10 year old mind around that but one day you will realize. 

I wanna thank my mom for always yelling at me from the stands whether it was because of a base hit, good play or maybe even a strike out( I could always hear here with those) hahaha. She was my biggest supporter and the best softball mom a girl could ask for.  I also want to thank my little brother Jase for going to every game and supporting me even when he didn’t want to. You might not have even been watching because you owned those play grounds there or you were to busy playing football with all the other brothers but it means so much!! & I really wanna thank my dad. The best coach to ever teach me the game. From backyard practices to the tears shed when I played my last game junior year & you held me, who knew that would be my last. Thank you for always encouraging me and bonding with me through this game. Thank you for always critiquing my swing and talking to me for hours about what I can do better. You rock dad &thank you for coaching me through this game.

I guess this is a tribute to the game I once played and will always love. To anyone reading this whether you play football, dance, baseball, tennis, cheer,soccer,  or any other sport, cherish that game. It will end one day. Always give glory to God, some people would do anything to be able to play a sport. 

Softball girls, cherish the game. It will always be apart of us. Treat every game like it’s your last.