Photo from Penn State Athletics

Originally published October 5, 2017

Six days a week, fifty-two weeks a year.

This is the commitment that is necessary to compete at a high level in any sport.

Since I was eleven-years old, this has been the type of commitment that I have had to the sport of softball.  I learned early on that it is impossible for me to accept ever being outworked.

This is my secret to success.

Obsessing over the small details of the game has allowed me to refine my fundamentals and compete against the best players in the country.  I’ve also learned that in order for me to reach my goals, sacrifice is necessary.  Often, when invited to a social event, my excuse is, “Sorry, I can’t.  I have softball.”   This sacrifice isn’t hard to make, because for me, softball will always come first.  However, my dedication to the sport is only one aspect of many that led to me receiving a division one scholarship. ​

​​Joining a team with other division one players was a major role in my achieving this goal.  My team has fourteen division one players from five different states.

While I am friends with all of my teammates, we are constantly battling for a spot on the field.  Being the best player on a bad team is more detrimental than competing with other top level players for a position.

​College coaches would rather come watch a team with ten potential recruits than a team with one or two.

Exposure is something that I have been lucky to receive since joining the Ohio Outlaws.  Many young athletes are looked over simply because they have not played in high caliber tournaments that attract college coaches.  Over the past two years, I’ve played in tournaments in Colorado, California, and Florida.  These tournaments allowed me to play in front of many SEC, BIG 10, PAC 12, and ACC coaches.

If I had not traveled to these places, I would not have received my scholarship from Penn State.

Last fall, the Penn State coaches came to watch me play two games.  The coaches had seen me play before, but this was the first time they were watching me as a possible recruit.  Thankfully, during those two games, I went four for five with two doubles and made three plays at shortstop.  After they watched me play, things moved quickly.  Within one month, I attended my unofficial visit, met the team, and negotiated my scholarship with the head coach.

One month later, I officially committed to Penn State University.

Committing to a power five school put even more pressure on me to always perform at my highest level.  While some of the stress was due to others expecting every play to be made or a hit every time, most was due to my high expectations for myself.  My personality makes it very difficult for me to ever be truly satisfied with my results.

I am very proud that my hard work was recognized in the form of the scholarship but I know that I can always improve… and every small improvement will help me as I begin my next journey at Penn State.