In all likelihood, this past weekend’s Judi Garman tournament marked the last time I will play college softball in Southern California, as we host UCLA in Seattle later this month.
I have countless softball memories in Southern California, starting with U10 Bobby Sox “Nationals” and quickly followed by (innumerable) showcase events in Huntington Beach, and more recently, my past four seasons with the Washington Huskies.
It has been the experience of a lifetime and I was happy to be able to share some of the memories with friends, including past teammates and opponents who currently play at Arizona, Nebraska, and Texas and were staying at the same Fullerton area hotel as the Huskies. Lots of laughs, but the question “where did the time go?” remained unanswered.
Coach Tarr had told us that our 2014 pre-conference schedule was the toughest one our program has ever had. As expected, we were tested at every turn. Opponents always bring their A-game when they play a top-ranked team, and that is especially the case when that team is from the Pac-12 “Conference of Champions.”
I am proud of how our team has competed and fought throughout the five weeks. We were not perfect, but let’s face it, no one ever is! Losses (four) teach us more than wins (19) ever will, and we learned valuable lessons from those games against LSU, Northwestern, Nebraska and Fresno State.
One of our overarching themes for pre-conference play was to compete each weekend as if it were a regional. NCAA postseason is “two and barbeque” as my Dad (who used to drive me to SoCal and back) would say, coining a phrase from the good ole days of travel ball. Translation: lose twice, you go home. I am proud to say that after each of these losses, we were able to bounce back. Moving forward, we take this mindset into conference play and we do not intend to lose two games in a single series for the remainder of the season.
I couldn’t be more excited to start conference play this weekend. After five weeks on the road, we have the opportunity to host the University of Utah at beautiful Husky Stadium. Our fans have followed us diligently throughout the preseason, many making trips down to Arizona or California, and those who couldn’t, were kept up to date through Twitter @UWSoftball and GoHuskies.com. Husky softball players and fans alike are eager for the first of only four home series this coming weekend. Although the forecast looks as if it could get a little wet, nothing stops Husky Nation!
As we transition into the second phase of our season, I am hopeful about the progress we have made and so excited to see how this team perseveres throughout conference play. Time to win ourselves a Pac-12 Championship.