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Crossing Home plate OKC

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by NumeroUno » Sun Oct 02, 2022 5:09 am

Crossing Home Plate with Kate: The Magic of OKC

From the time I was a child there was something about music and movies that resonated with me. I remember being a senior in high school and my high school softball coach wanted us to do some team bonding. So, he thought it would be a nice idea to see a movie on the big screen that is now very near and dear to my heart. That movie was Miracle. A story about the 1980 USA Men’s Hockey team and their journey to winning an Olympic Gold Medal.

Every time I watch this movie I swear I hear my dad’s voice and Coach Myers’ voice. Maybe it’s because Kurt Russell, who plays head coach Herb Brooks of Team USA Men’s Hockey, sounds exactly like them and comes from the same generation of bad asses.

Throughout the entire movie I had chills running up and down my spine. I was so inspired and in awe of how those boys beat the odds. They weren’t supposed to win. They weren’t considered the best. Yet, they still prevailed and got the gold. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I love the land of the free. WE NEVER GIVE UP.

Coming out of the theater I remember my teammates feeling the same way I did: ready to take names and kick some ass. Senior year went well for myself and my team but before I knew it I was ready to head off to college to join my new team.

Freshman year was amazing. I had the opportunity to go to the Women’s College World Series. Sophomore year came and the team and I were headed back to OKC. We didn’t have the results we wanted but we learned from it and tried to take those lessons learned into next year.

The summer before my junior year was tough. I tore ligaments in my ankle playing in the Canada Cup as a pickup player. It was particularly disappointing since I was trying to put my best foot forward in front of the Head Coach for Team USA Women’s Softball: Coach Mike Candrea. That definitely did not pan out the way I wanted it to.

But, I spent the rest of my summer rehabbing and trying to get in good enough shape for the Fall coming up. I was invited to try out for the Olympic team and I just wasn’t ready to play on that stage yet. My ankle wasn’t healed all the way and my muscles were fatigued/depleted from my injury. As a result I pulled both of my quads at the tryout and had to call Coach Candrea to tell him I couldn’t continue. He agreed since this was not a place where you could go less than 100%.

So I came back to ASU and then I got back to work with my team. Unfortunately I broke my nose getting hit by a ball in batting practice. It really shook me up. I had to sit out the rest of fall to let my nose heal and get surgery for my deviated septum.

But, like always, I stayed the course and prepped for the Spring Season. It was the year 2008. Our team just clicked. No matter what kind of adversity hit our team we went through it together. We were on a mission: to win it all.

Our first step to accomplishing this was winning the PAC 10. Check. Then making it back to OKC. Check again.

Oh the magic of OKC. If you ever get to play there you will feel like an absolute rock star. Little girls from all over the country will want your autograph and hope to be in your shoes one day. It really is something special.

On the bus ride to our games at ASA HOF Stadium, I would watch the infamous speech Herb Brooks gave just before his team was to take the ice against the Soviet Union on my iPod. Then, afterwards I would play the song Dream On by Aerosmith. Taking the field was that much more exciting.

The Fab 5, otherwise known as our senior class, led the way to the championship in OKC. We dog piled on the field knowing that what we just accomplished was going to impact us forever.

“Great moments come from great opportunity,” Herb Brooks once said. And you know what, we had a lot of those “great moments.”

Until next time,

Katie C.

Enjoy the Journey
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