By Tamara ’T’ Statman
It didn’t even feel like post-season. It honestly felt like we were just playing games and having fun like back when we were kids. We felt invincible. Then, we lost. We lost our first game of the post-season to Baylor to force the if-necessary game. Our ticket to Oklahoma City was right there. It seemed like we were on a treadmill with the ticket dangling on the string and we just couldn’t reach it. It was heartbreaking and there was nothing that I wanted more for our eight seniors than to get them to a WCWS. We wished we could’ve fought more but it was over.
Two years in a row of coming so close to Oklahoma and two years of losing in the if-necessary Game 3 of Super Regionals. My freshman year was crazy. We played on the road at Tennessee for Regionals and then traveled to Auburn for Supers. We won the first game and dropped the next two. I will use the word “heartbreaking” again because we had nothing to lose as the underdog and we knew we could’ve done it.
My first two years at the University of Arizona has taught me a lot especially when it comes to leadership. With two seniors on the team now, it’s time for everyone to step up. The majority of the team is underclassmen and we’ve had to grow up quite quickly. The freshman class really doesn’t know what’s coming when it comes to the season and how different it is from fall ball and high school or club ball. There’s a certain beauty to it though because there is a “no fear” attitude.
For the others, we’ve had the opportunity to learn from some of the best like (Katiyana) Mauga and (Danielle) O’Toole. I learned a lot just from watching them and how they really were ready to go to work everyday. They didn’t take nonsense from anyone and were constantly pushing for greatness. It wasn’t just them though; all the seniors provided leadership and contributed in one way or another.
The thing about Arizona is tradition. We are ready to get back to Oklahoma City and our coaching staff is ready to help get us there. Having coaches with household names in softball is truly a blessing. My first interaction with them is similar to meeting a celebrity.
The addition of Taryne Mowatt as our new pitching coach is just awesome. The battery gets to hear her insight and experiences and she really adds on to the former U of A staff dynamic that we already had. I always think about what our coaching staff has done with this program previously and how much harder I want to work to be able to achieve that same level of success U of A had before I got here.
We might be young but don’t underestimate us. We are willing to throw ourselves out there and compete with all we have. Bear Down!