Tate's Take: Home in California
March 14, 2013
Junior second baseman Chelsea Tate is a public relations-journalism major who gives a student-athlete's perspective of being part of the Wolfpack softball team. She has started 19 of the Pack's 20 games this season and owns the team's second highest batting average at .317.
FULLERTON, Calif. -- This week of March 2013 has been starred on my calendar since our schedule was announced last fall. It's my chance to go home to sunny Southern California.
We traveled all the way to the other side of the country on Wednesday to play here for the first time since I have been part of the Wolfpack program. I grew up in Mission Viejo, which is about 25 minutes away from where we are located here in Anaheim Hills.
We were greeted by perfectly clear skies with temperatures in the high 70s and low 80s. In other words, perfect softball weather.
I can't really express how excited I am to be playing here, in the Judi Garman Classic, a tournament I grew up attending as a kid. My mom used to take me to watch the tournaments hosted by Cal State Fullerton, and it always motivated me to continue working hard so that one day I would play on that field I admired so much.
I never take for granted the opportunities I get to play at different universities all over the nation, and I am extremely grateful that today, when we play DePaul at 9:30 p.m., I am able to make that dream come true.
Going to school on the opposite side of the country from home, it is a rarity to have a family member of mine attend at a game. This weekend, I am ecstatic to say that my family and tons of my friends will be at all of our games, to see me and my teammates compete in one of the nation's most prestigious college softball tournaments.
Our schedule this weekend is filled with great teams, including top-ranked Oklahoma and two other teams ranked in the top 15. It is a rare opportunity to play the No. 1 team in the nation, and it is a great chance for our team to rise to the occasion and compete. You can only get better when you play against the best.
Our team is excited for the challenge, and we know that every inning will be a battle. We are prepared to face this difficult challenge and improve as a team.
And I am thrilled, for this one great weekend, to play on the fields where my dreams were born as a kid.