By Jessie Warren
Editor’s Note: Jessie Warren was named most outstanding player of the 2018 Women’s College World Series. Her 13 hits in Oklahoma City tied the tournament record. She leaves Florida State not only with a win but as the school and ACC’s leader in home runs (82) and runs batted in (273).
When we lost the first game, we had a team meeting with the girls. We literally said, “Why not us? It’s never been done and the impossible was going to be done.”
I tell the girls all the time, it’s hard to beat us more than once, especially in a series. We weren’t worried about who we were playing or what seed the other team was, we were just playing Florida State softball.
After we lost to UCLA, Coach (Alameda) told us to have our family time because that’s when we would be successful, when we are surrounded by people we love. We just hung out with our family, went back to the hotel, got some rest, took a nap, did recovery, the normal things athletes do. I think it was the love that really brought us to the top. Everyone has so much love for everybody on this team and our support staff is amazing. I’m just so happy and so proud right now.
We never talked about the trophy. Every time someone would bring it up, someone would nip it in the bud. We know this game can change with one pitch and we found that out with Anna (Shelnutt) in the ACC Championship. From that point on, we bought into the one-pitch mentality.
Meghan King was STUNNING. I’ve never seen her pitch the way she pitched in Oklahoma City. She stepped up huge for us and I am so proud of her. I would not have wanted to play alongside any other pitching staff in this country besides Meghan King, Kylee Hanson and the rest of our pitchers. They are something special. Coach (Alameda) does a good job with them in the bullpen, putting them through hell in practice and they have just come out on top.
We had been talking throughout the season about how we hadn’t peaked yet. I think this week we finally peaked and we reached our full potential. Like I said before, I cannot be more proud of this team and what we’ve been through this season. All the failures we had at the beginning of the season have set us up for this moment right here.
I’ve never had as much fun playing softball than I had my senior year. Every inning, when we were down or up, we had girls dancing in the dugout or girls dancing on the field. I’m truly thankful for the opportunity I got to play at Florida State. Everyone doubted us. We wanted to prove them wrong and look at us now. We won a National Championship!
When I look back on my freshman year, I came into this program as a child. Now, I’m leaving as a strong woman and a NATIONAL CHAMPION. I can never thank my coaches enough for that.