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The Diary Of A College Softball Player - Postseason Time

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(Photo by Duke Athletics)

Do you see it? Do you feel it? It's right within our reach. It's postseason time!

It's the time we all hold near and dear to our hearts—the time when it matters most. I am super excited, to say the least.

Postseason is a new beginning for Duke Softball. It's my new beginning. My journey up until this point has been more than just pitching a softball. Both my personal and softball worlds have collided, causing me to learn multiple lessons about myself and others, lose things that mattered most and cry a lot of tears. But, it has also helped me evolve to become a better version of myself mentally, physically and emotionally. Thankfully, the postseason knows none of these things. The postseason simply grants me the opportunity to make the decision to say to hell with the hardship! Now, I'm focused on what I can do in the moments when the lights are shining the brightest.

I say, I am coming for what is mine! I have unfinished business that I need to handle.

Duke Softball has been putting in the work academically and physically all week to get ready for the games to come. We finished the regular season early so we could focus on our reading period. Reading period is a week dedicated to studying and finishing finals—it's the last gruesome week of the school semester. My teammates have been wrapping up their exams all throughout the past week. Some of my poor teammates felt the anxiety of it all, trying to finish with flying colors. There was one night when a couple of my teammates and I stayed in our student-athlete academic building until midnight.

I, on the other hand, had no finals. I just had one paper to finish, but no stress was felt on my end. I am very appreciative that my major requires me to write, mostly. I honestly do not remember the last time the pressures of studying were too overwhelming for me.

On the physical side of my life, I have been on the field and in the recovery room all week. If there is one thing I hate about the Division I student-athlete lifestyle, it is taking an ice bath. This past week I had to take three! I dreaded every moment of having to walk up the stairs to our ice tub. Each time, I would grimace at the tub for even existing, and then throw myself in. Those 20-minute sessions felt like 20 years!

On the field, we got back to the basics. Each practice, we tried to get one percent better or more in some aspect of the game. There were days when we went live as well. It's tough having to pitch to this Duke squad. We have such elite hitters. I am glad I have them as teammates and not opponents. The phrase “iron sharpens iron” always comes to mind when I have to compete with them.

We head out to South Bend, Ind. on Monday for the ACC Tournament. I am ready to officially get this show on the road! The ACC is strong and the competition will be fierce. Every mental cue, pitch and play will matter to reach our ultimate goal. Duke Softball is coming, no doubt. I hope the softball world is ready to see what the Blue Devils have in store! 

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The Diary Of A College Softball Player - Season Reflections

Duke junior pitcher Jala Wright reflects on the season that was and looks ahead to next year.

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