Angus: Thankful The Magic Of The WCWS Is Alive And Well
Every once in a while, life brings you one of those full-circle moments. You can be in the most random of places or sitting in a press box in Oklahoma City during the 2019 Women’s College World Series, watching the team that made you fall in love with softball win a national championship.
Mine was the latter.
It was a sea of hugs in the outfield between Sue Enquist, Kelly Inouye-Perez and me. Inouye-Perez thanked me and Enquist asked me, “What do you think of that, Maren?”
Well, Coach, this is what I think of it.
The first memory I have of Easton Stadium is engraved in my mind like it was yesterday. It was 16 years ago. We showed up to the stadium and I was dressed in my travel-ball jersey, which happened to be purple and white. UCLA’s opponent that day was Washington. I didn’t care. I was at a UCLA Bruins softball game.
My mom knew how big this day was for me, so she brought her video camera along and recorded every interaction between my heroes and me.
You see, I grew up in Middle Tennessee, and I never attended a college softball game until that day. I just had to follow via tape delays or newspaper clippings.
I can remember exactly where I was when Natasha Watley slid across home against Texas and when Emily Zaplatosch launched a home run on a check swing.
Fast forward to 2019, and I found myself watching the current Bruins make a run to their 12th title. I look to my right, and Zaplatosch is sitting at the end of the row. I look to my left, and Enquist is cheering as loudly as anyone. In front of me, at one point, was Watley.
How did I get here? I didn’t play college ball. Heck, I didn’t even go to UCLA.
A year ago, I didn’t know what the future held for me. I was struggling and I’m not afraid to admit that. I went home from the WCWS wondering what was next for me. Would I even be back in softball next season?
Softball America has been the greatest blessing in my life. In four months, we have published 250-plus pieces of original content, become an official NCAA D-I ranking, averaged one million–plus impressions a month and established ourselves as a true, independent voice of the game.
So when Inouye-Perez thanked me for what I do for the game, I had to thank her back. It’s because of her and all the other Bruins who came before who inspired me to become the reporter I am today and share my passion for the game with all of you.
The magic of Oklahoma City is alive and well. I can’t wait to see what is next.