June 6, 2011
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*From June 3-6, FSU softball head coach Lonni Alameda, rising junior Tiffani Brown and rising redshirt freshman Maddie O’Brien took a weekend getaway to Oklahoma City to help with the annual Youth Education Through Sports clinic. The trio also attended several Women’s College World Series games, and Brown shares their experience through today’s blog on Seminoles.com*
OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLA. (seminoles.com) – Well, where do I begin! OKC was absolutely amazing. The city, the history of the city, and most of all the history of softball was fantastic. I want to start off by saying to have this opportunity to meet amazing coaches, players, and NCAA reps has been extremely fulfilling. Our trip here was a lot of fun. Let’s just say we survived a bomb threat and possibly a real bomb! We had a lot of things on the schedule but of course softball was one of the top activities. We saw Oklahoma and Coach A’s old stomping grounds (she played back in the Big Eight days but was a two-time all-conference selection!), saw the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, met and helped amazing upcoming softball players as part of the YES clinic and of course watched plenty of softball. So now let’s get to the feeling of being at OKC!
My teammate Maddie O’Brien and I really appreciated taking in the sights and sounds of what coming to the Women’s College World Series is like. The atmosphere was amazing. There are screaming fans and little kids that choose teams to cheer for and ask you for autographs because they dream to be like you. It is the biggest stage for college softball and somewhere WE plan to be. Over 8,000 fans coming to watch YOUR team play. Meeting Florida State fans in Oklahoma that asked when they are going to see us here really made me realize how many fans expect and want us there and makes me want to be there for them, and for US! Also, meeting Jessica Mendoza, talking with Dot Richardson and just being among the best of the best allows you to learn so much. They want to see us here, the Garnet and Gold back at the top where we belong and WE plan to be there. To get back on top and being in OKC and feeling those nerves and goose bumps as if I was playing made me realize we deserve to be there and we will do it.
Our historic program has been to the WCWS on seven occasions, with the last coming in 2004. Although I already envisioned myself playing for the Garnet & Gold since I had lived in Tallahassee for a while, I also chose FSU because I know the type of talent it brings in year after year. Our program has what it takes to get back to the elite level and play in front of thousands of fans in OKC. It’s absolutely fabulous how college softball is really starting to break through in terms of mainstream coverage as well, with all the NCAA games being shown on ESPN and generating a lot of buzz around the nation!
Maddie and I have really taken away a lot during this trip. Every time we train in the offseason, we already have enough incentive to push ourselves to the fullest and reach that goal as a team of getting back to the WCWS. Now that we’ve experienced such a fun and fulfilling trip and personally witnessed the fanfare and hoopla of a WCWS, we’ll be working harder than ever to make our Seminole fans proud and get back to where we belong!