Thankful to go back to OKC

Raven Chavanne's last game in Knoxville was a win that sent the Lady Vols to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series. Courtesy of Wade Rackley/Tennessee Athletics

We did it! OKC bound. I could not be happier or more excited than I am right now. I am so incredibly thankful to be able to go back to Oklahoma City for the Women’s College World Series my senior year.

After preparing all week for Alabama, Friday finally arrived. The game was an absolute battle, but we ended up winning 3-2. Both teams hit the ball hard all night, and pitching on both ends was phenomenal.

We knew Alabama was going to come out hungry Saturday, and they proved it, going up on us 3-0 through the first two innings. We knew we could not get down on ourselves. Through playing smart and doing the little things, we ended up tying the game 3-3, then went on to win 5-3.

We all rushed the mound after the final out, jumping up and down, screaming. I remember hugging Lauren Gibson and Kat Dotson, all of us tearing up from joy to be able to go back to Oklahoma City one last time. To have my last game as a Lady Vol in Knoxville be a win that would send us to the World Series was everything I hoped it would be.

As excited as I was to win, I wish Alabama were in the World Series, too, as I fully believe it is a World Series-caliber team. It was a great series in Knoxville, and I have nothing but respect for the players, coaches and overall program. After the game, I told fellow senior Kayla Braud how incredible I thought she was, and that it was truly an honor playing against her for four years.

My teammates and I went out to meet the fans to give autographs and take pictures. Since it was the last time I would be able to do this at Sherri Lee Parker Stadium, I wanted to soak it in and interact all with our incredible fans.

Afterwards, I met up with Alabama super fan Emily Pitek, otherwise known as sombrero girl, to talk and take pictures, as we have become great friends over the years. That’s what I love about the softball community, how it creates friendships and memories that last forever.

That’s all I have for now. We have practice Monday and head to OKC on Tuesday. Until next time. Go Vols!