That feeling: Softball pitcher talks about life as a student-athlete

By Katie Enright |

Editor’s Note: Junior pitcher Katie Enright on the Flagler College women’s softball team wrote this piece about the ups and downs of life as a student athlete.

For weeks now I’ve been talking about the hard times, and even the terrors, of being a student athlete. There are times when being an athlete is so frustrating I want to pull out my hair and scream. I know everyone must be asking themselves, “Then why do you do it? Why not just quit?” Trust me, I ask myself that a lot. I’ve thought about the answer long and hard. Although it’s something that isn’t easy to describe.

It’s hard to explain because it’s a feeling — the best, most wonderful, unexplainable feeling in the world. The glory of winning. The confidence of running out to the field. The laughter you share with some of the best friends you will ever make.

Playing a sport isn’t easy. You work non-stop, always breaking your body down. You’re constantly tired. But you do it for this feeling. The bragging rights after you’ve won a championship. You walk a little taller, smile more often and the world is just a little better.

They are memories I’ll hold onto forever. The best one I have was the time my high school team won the New Jersey State Championship. It was the first time in the history of Indian Hills softball that our team ever made it to the finals, let alone won it. I was lucky enough to be the pitcher for this wonderful team and even more lucky to be the one up to the plate in the bottom of the seventh inning in a 0-0 game, bases loaded. 

It was the most nervous I have ever been and probably will ever be in my life. I had a full count after fouling several pitches off and watching balls go by. The pitch came in … Ball four. I sprinted down the first bases line, touched first base and turned to see my whole team running towards me. Dog pile. It was the happiest moment in my life.

Some people ask me why I play a sport in college, seeing as how it’s so hard and time consuming. I answer them with this: No matter how hard it gets, no matter how beat down, sore or exhausted I feel, none of the bad will ever outweigh the good, the great, the fantastic, the unexplainable feeling of winning for your team.

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