It was spring, and the weather was just right for softball season. Friday night, the big stadium lights were shining right down on us. We were actually here I thought to myself we really made it this far. My softball team and I were playing for a chance to go to the state tournament, which was something unexpected coming from a team that was never ranked in pre-season or throughout district but until now. Throughout our season we lost two games against a team that was good, but also had a lot of cockiness. San Rayburn was that team, and it so happened to be the team that we had to play to go to the state tournament as well. From the moment we got off that bus at the McKinney Bulldogs field we didn’t know what to expect. Walking to the field’s one of the vehicles we passed had “Austin Here We Come”. That put some ice in my veins right away. Turning that corner to the view of the field was something I never will forget. San Rayburn was in the field dancing, playing, singing, joking, and thinking that they had already had us defeated because of what had happened in district. Yeah sure they were goofing off but they took it to an extreme what we had prepared ourselves for was nothing like that. Since they had never fully prepared themselves for us, and they thought they had us in the bag. We won our games against then 9-0, and 3-0. It was the first time in Blue Ridge High School history that girls’ softball team had ever advanced to the State tournament, it was incredible. We couldn’t believe that a team that had never been ranking made it this far; everyone had underestimated Blue Ridge softball but the team itself. I remember after the game as we got back on the bus after the victories over San Rayburn our coach proceeded to tell us he overheard one of the San Rayburn parents canceling their rooms in Austin and he implied “Book it back, where going to be needing them now”, which still plays as a mini clip in my head. We were going to Austin! We had less than a week to prepare, pack and be in Austin. Wednesday finally had an arrived, we gathered in our locker room to pray and head-out tears; started falling from faces this had actually came true. What wasn’t excepted next was our superintendent had gathered the whole entire school of Blue Ridge to watch as we left for Austin. It was incredible; all I saw was sign, after sign, after sign. The little kids from elementary sticking out there hands to give us high-fives like we were superstars, it was unbelievable.
As our bus journey to Austin began it was quite entertaining you could say. Could you imagine a group of twelve girls and only two coaches which just happened to be males together for five and half hour on a bus, it was insane. Luckily, half way to Austin our coach stood up and announced that we would be stopping to have practice. We that thought yeah that’s cool, we figured we would since we were going to be having a game tomorrow. What our coach neglected to tell us that we were going to be having practice on the Baylor Bears field! This field was nothing like the field we played on back home. The infield and outfield both were a lot smoother, no hole’s or rock’s in our way. The Baylor Bears coach gave us a speech while we were there about encouragement and that the underdogs always find their way if they truly want it. We arrived at our hotel later that day which took us almost an hour or so to adjust and get settled in. The first thing we looked for in our rooms was the double door, which they did and on top of that it included a balcony. I really don’t remember if I ever went to sleep that night, my brain was still processing that we had made it to the state tournament. Six o’clock came early that next day as we were scheduled to play at nine that morning against Mart for the State Semi-Finalist. No-one expected us to win, but against all odds, we did it was remarkable. One of the previous teams we had played during play-offs Italy, coach was there. Her face after our win was unforgettable; she was puzzled that we were playing for the state tittle. Italy’s coach thought that that should have been her team, but it wasn’t. To celebrate our big win over Mart, later that night our team and families went out for dinner and as the darkness of night settled we were able to see the bat’s adventure out into the night sky. This was an overwhelming day you could say. Later that night we returned back to our hotel for some late night swimming, elevator tag which got us into trouble but was quit entertaining, and call’s for dessert at three in to morning! Luckily we had the next day to rest and prepare for the championship game for the following day. Since we still had one more game to play and we had an extra day in-between games. All of us girls had a choice whether to spend the day at the hotel or go out and shop at San Marcus. Of course we went shopping, who wouldn’t have, that’s what girls do best. We shopped for a couple hours, ate lunch, shopped for a little more, had ice cream. I couldn’t take it after that my feet were killing me. When we arrived at the hotel I put on my bathing suit and headed straight to the hot tub. We were able to sleep in till nine for our next game since it wasn’t till noon. My thought when I woke up that morning was I was actually going to be playing for the state tittle. We didn’t care if we won or lost it was all about the experience and how much fun we had had. We were playing Forsan, who had won state to year before. Unfortunately, we didn’t win that day. Yeah we could have had a ring but still that didn’t matter to us we were never expected to be here from the start but we were.
After we achieved our melts some people were crying, some were sad, not me. I had the biggest smile on my face from ear to ear. Why not be excited, we had done something no one expected us to do, no one in the state of Texas thought we could have, yet we did. After our game we got the chance to explore the UT girls’ softball lock room, it was quite interesting first thing you notice is the couch with a huge 72” TV and Xbox nothing I expected in a women’s lock room maybe in a men’s. In the lock room we were given state finalist shirt and a bag that our medal would be able to go in to store them. The medal was much bigger and heavier than expected. Imagine the size of an average palm of a hand if not bigger which is significantly large.
This trip was something not most high school athletes get to experience, but I did. It was full of everything but regrets. If there’s one thing I took home with me beside them medal, it was that even though we were never supposed to be in the state tournament we were, we were never supposed to win against mart and get a chance at the state tittle, yet we did. Even though we lost, it shows you that the underdogs should never be underestimated. And this story is a prime example of it.