I began playing softball when I was eight years old. On a team made up of ten-year-olds, I learned how to play in my hometown of Columbus, Nebraska. My two older sisters had been playing softball for four years and my dad happened to be their coach. After numerous summers of watching my sisters play ball, it was my turn to give it a try.

First Connections

I still remember my first time at bat. In the beginning, I was terrified to be playing against girls that were older than me, but I was also ready for the challenge.

My coach calls out for me to join the game, encouraging me to just bunt the ball. Well, I did just that and got on base. In that single moment, when the ball struck the bat, I knew that I had fallen for the sport. My love for softball came from its many challenges and the great experiences I’ve made that will last a lifetime. Experiences like this one.

I have been lucky enough to make many memories with my three sisters and both my parents. My sisters and I have been able to share many firsts and lasts together on the softball field. From going out and practicing late into the night, to playing together, and even just messing around in the backyard. We’ve been able to watch each other grow on and off the diamond.

This sport has definitely brought us all closer together and I am thankful that I am able to share my passion and love for the game with them.

They Never Stop Coaching

I have been coached by both of my parents during my years of softball. My mom coached our team for one summer and then switched with my dad who continued to coach the team for four years of summer ball and another four years of high school. They devoted themselves to long trips to different cities, all in an effort to support my softball career.

Whether it was driving to softball tournaments or cheering on the team after a long day of work, I could always count on them. I have no one else to thank but my parents for the opportunities I’ve been given. If it had not been for them dedicating so much time to help my sisters and I succeed on the field, I don’t think I would be half the player I am today. They have been and always will be my number one fans on and off the diamond.

College Softball

After watching my sisters go through the high school program to play college softball, it became my goal to follow in their footsteps. I visited several schools but after a while, I knew that it was Wesleyan’s academics and softball program that would help me become the best student-athlete I can be.

The opportunities that Wesleyan offers through internships, volunteering, and student involvement helped make the decision quite easy. The small campus, friendly faces, and overall atmosphere of Nebraska Wesleyan made me feel like I was at home. I have met so many amazing people during my first two years here and I cannot wait for what the next two years have in store for me.

READ MORE: “I’m More Than MJ” my Marjani Knighten | Nebraska Softball

Extra Innings

Whether it’s in the classroom or on the softball field, I have and will continue to gain numerous life lessons while playing the sport I love. Softball and all the people I have met along the way have helped me become the person I am today.

Through my experiences at Wesleyan, I decided that I will be continuing my education. More precisely, I’m going to attend a master’s program to become an occupational therapist. I hope to work at a rehabilitation center or have my own practice down the road. Thank you to softball, my family, and all those that I have met along the way. You all impacted my life in a tremendous way and helped me realize what I want to do with my future.