THE "ALMOST" PERFECT SEASON
Written by Morgan Melloh
Chapter 1: The Decision
*SMACK* as I heard my softball coach’s hand hit the table near my head at study tables. “Wake up Morgan. You have some work to do.” My coach, David Cook at Hamilton Southeastern, monitored the athletes who received a D or below on their report card, early before school began. I picked my head up so I can try to concentrate on what I was studying in front of me. My eyes were weary, and my body felt too relaxed in my chair. Trying not to doze off again because I knew I would get in trouble later at practice. I always felt that Coach was very intimidating, but knew he cared enough to not let me slip through the cracks. I was a junior in high school at the time. Taking all of my important core classes which included Biology, Spanish, and Geometry. Any class that seemed challenging, you name it. I was a major softball jock. Every time I sat in a classroom trying to concentrate on school work, all I could think about was when practice was starting. “When can I just let all of my school stress go away when I get on the field?” I would tell myself. Just for those 2 golden hours I wouldn’t have to worry about anything, but playing softball.
Going back about a year, by the end of my sophomore year, I already received a total of 30 different questionnaire letters from colleges that want me to pitch for them. It was nice to feel wanted by all the schools that you dreamt about in the Big Ten, Big 12, and even some SEC schools. But one college really stood out to me and recruited me HARD. The University of Louisville. The school seemed like it was legit, only 2 hours away from my home, my good friend Brittney Counts is going there, I love their colors, mascot, etc. It felt right being on their campus when I was eligible to visit. All I had to do was match my GPA with my ACT and SAT scores in order to get my FULL RIDE. Seemed like a fair deal.
So forwarding back to November of my Junior Year in Highschool, I received a call from the Head Softball coach from Louisville.
“Morgan, we are really interested in you and we need an answer now. If not, we will have to drop the full ride scholarship to give to someone else,” she said.
Of course I would say yes who wouldn’t?
“Yes. Coach I am 100% in,” I told her with confidence.
You can tell she had excitement in her voice when she heard my overjoyed answer. Immediately I began spreading the word that I am now a verbal commit to the University of Louisville. One of the happiest moments in my life was knowing I was going to continue with my softball playing career. I never thought about what I wanted to major in, and if they had a good program for it or not, all I cared about was playing softball for the University I wanted to attend.
Chapter 2: Under pressure
As the days went by, I knew that my GPA wasn’t the best. I was sitting at a 1.9 in high school. I knew Junior year was going to be important and in order for me to have a leg up to get into U of L, I had to get a B in Biology, a C Geometry, and a C in Spanish. My dad signed me up for the ACT and SAT testing in order to match my test scores with my 1.9 GPA. It was going to be tough because I had to do some major high scoring in both those categories. I was feeling the pressure. Once I sat in that classroom for the ACT, I could feel my nerves working up. My leg constantly shaking up and down, feeling like I didn’t have enough time to think about each question. The first two times I took the ACT, I didn’t match it. The 3rd and 4th time I started to get a little closer. The 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th time, I got close but wasn’t enough.
I started to think, “Will I ever get it? Am I failing myself? Am I failing everyone else that’s counting on me?” Those thoughts I will never forget. The doubt you set yourself with. Once we tried the testing route, I desperately needed to get a C or above in order to have a good position to get in. Every night I would think about it and stay up so late worrying. I felt like I had the worst acne that year from all the stress I was under. By the end of my Junior year, we had to take our final exams. As I slowly started opening my report card, my hands were shaking, heart was pumping, I couldn’t go through with it. Once I opened it, I closed my eyes for about 10 seconds, looked down and:
How did I fail so badly? I thought I studied til I knew it by heart! How did this happen? I knew I was in a hole and it would be tough to dig myself out.
I slowly handed my report card to my parents for them to take a look. They couldn’t believe it. “Well,” dad said. “You have to bust your butt the rest of your senior year to make it.”