Run it Back to 2018
Our 2018 run to Oklahoma City was one of the most historic postseasons of all time.
Looking back on my first year at Florida State, the moment that sticks out to me during that season was the ACC championship that started our epic postseason run. In the ACC championship game, we were down in the 7th inning and Anna Shelnutt hit a walk-off home run to clinch the conference title and advance to Regionals.
Fast forward to Super Regionals. Playing in a Super Regional at home against LSU as a freshman was nerve-wracking. Knowing that the year before, LSU had beat FSU in Supers in Tallahassee, I knew it was going to be a competitive series. We lost the first game to LSU, but after our epic ACC championship win, we knew coming back from behind with the season on the line was something we were capable of.
The next two games were moved to a double header on Saturday because of the weather. We knew we were in for a long night after we got the first win, but the momentum was on our side. My family had traveled from Oklahoma City to watch me play in my first Super Regional in Tallahassee, and it was such a memorable experience to get that win so we could get to the Women’s College World Series. Being able to go back home to OKC for my entire family to watch me play for a championship was exciting, and I was ecstatic to experience that alongside my teammates.
One for the Record Books
Our 2018 World Series run in Oklahoma City was one of the most historic tournaments of all time. It all started when we had to beat UCLA twice to advance to the semifinal game. UCLA had beaten us three days before to put us in the loser’s bracket, so we knew it was going to be a tough double header. Similar to last year’s run in 2021, once we lost the first game, it almost seemed like the pressure was off of us to be perfect and we could just enjoy the moment. We knew we were one loss away from ending our season, but for the Seminoles, we always seemed to do better with pressure.
The team we had in 2018 was so unique. We had some of the most decorated players in FSU history. Meghan King notched the lowest ERA in WCWS history. Dani Morgan set a record for most stolen bases in the WCWS. From Jessie Warren’s famous catch that landed her a nomination for an ESPY to Anna Shelnutt’s solo home run to beat Washington in the first game of the championship series, there were so many incredible moments that made the 2018 run legendary.
Fast Forward to 2021
In 2021 we had a very similar experience, we lost our first WCWS game to UCLA, then beat Alabama twice to make it to the semifinal game. Then we played Oklahoma State at 1:00 am to advance to the championship series.
We were ranked #10 leading into the 2021 postseason, and although we didn’t pull off the national championship, the run was so special to our team. The season hadn’t been easy for us. We didn’t come out with the ACC championship like we wanted, but we never gave up, and I am super proud of the team we were.
College softball has no boundaries. It has no definite answer on how to win games or what makes teams successful. It has become this powerhouse of a sport and everyone who watches is starting to understand.
I am thankful to be a part of the growth of this sport over the past 4 years as a part of the 2018 and 2021 Florida State teams. This season, I am sure there will be even more historic moments across college softball. I look forward to being a part of those moments and ending my career proudly.