April 9, 2002
My heart has not stopped racing on account of the come from behind victory against No.14 Oregon State. Meeting as a team following the game, one could literally feel the energy and excitement radiating from each player and coach. We could look into each other's eyes and know we emerged a stronger TEAM. I think Kira put it best when she stated simply, "This is what it's all about. This is why we play."
The weekend did not begin on such a high note. We received a wake-up call in our game against Oregon, barely escaping with a win. It felt like we were still kicking back at the Valley River Inn, instead of preparing for and playing a game. There was a lackadaisical aura surrounding our dugout; we couldn't seem to turn it on. We struggled in all aspects of the game. What was going on? The box score indicated we hit the ball, and a win is a win, right? However, not one of us felt good about a victory that occurred despite a lack of intensity and heart. It was gut check time. What kind of TEAM did we want to be?
Our play the rest of the weekend indicated that we wanted to be the TEAM that left everything on the field. A TEAM that played with our hearts on our sleeves and a drive to become better every time we stepped onto the field. Playing for the moment, for each other, and for the love of the game.
Sunday's contest had the ultimate story line going into the seventh inning. The No. 3 team is down by two runs and has three outs to try to avoid the upset. But, we were playing to win this time, losing was not an option. Beeson started the rally with a single up the middle. Kira, who hit the ball hard all game, made sure no one was going to rob her by crushing a bomb to left field! We stormed the field, circling home plate, ready to congratulate Kira with the complimentary pounding of the helmet that always awaits those who hit home runs. And like that, it was a new ball game, and we had new life. Eventually, Robin would find herself up to bat with the bases loaded, game tied, and two outs. No pressure, right? Rob responded by ripping a double to right-center, scoring all three runners. We led for the first time all game. Mendoza would then go yard, bringing our lead to 7-2...seven runs in the top of the seventh!! Holy come-back!!
We took the field for the final three outs feeling invincible. This was our game...and this is our season.