Madi Osias’s fondest memory of her lifelong softball career is not about her. It is not about the season where she had the highest batting average on her team, or about when she received her scholarship to Ole Miss to become a pitcher or even about when she played her first game in college. It is about her teammates.
“There were six of us that played travel softball together for ten years,” Osias said, as she recalled her years as a 13-year-old girl. “My fondest memory was just living in the moment with them.”
All of Osias’ memories include her teammates, and the moments she recalls never center around her. Osias is humble, competitive and team-oriented. She loves the game, and loves the people she has lived it with even more.
Osias grew up in Orange County, California. She began her softball ventures when she was just six years old, and had the support of her parents since the beginning.
“My parents are incredible,” Osias said. “My mom drove me to every single one of my practices growing up, and my dad was at every single game and my parents loved it just as much as I did.”
Osias has always found happiness in the sport she loves so much, but it has not always been easy. She vividly recalled a breaking point that hit her in October of her junior year.
“I’ve always been able to pass our conditioning tests,” Osias said. “I physically could do it, but I mentally wasn’t there.”
Her mind was racing, her conditioning coach was not letting up, and Osias was intensely worried that she would not finish the test.
“Everything kind of collapsed at one point,” Osias said. “And I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing? How am I going to do all this?’”
Again, Osias brings it back to her teammates.
“I really couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Osias said humbly. “It’s just the little things, and having teammates goes a really long way.”
One of Osias’ teammates and best friends, Natalie Martinez, shows how important Osias is to the team.
“If Madi has the opportunity, she’s going to do anything and everything she can to be the best teammate she can be,” Martinez said. “She loves to win, maybe more than me…and Madi is Madi consistently.”
Martinez and Osias have spent their lives together, and they fondly remember trips back to California together, trips to Europe and softball memories together.
“We were freshman, and Madi got told she was going to be pitching our first conference game against Mizzou, which had a pitcher who was 25 years old,” Martinez said. “My favorite thing that she said was, ‘I just turned 18 two months ago!’”
“And I remember Madi was pitching, and Madi was not Madi. She was the girl who researched her [the other pitcher],” Martinez said. She smiled as she said, “And it was so weird to see Madi in that light, because Madi always has her game face on.”
Osias knows her softball career is coming to a halt, and it presented itself much more prominently during a recent game.
“One of my best friends plays for Oklahoma State,” Osias said. “We played all through high school together, but never played each other in college. I remember she called me and said, ‘I’m playing you this weekend!’ and I couldn’t believe her at all, but she kept insisting that we were playing each other.”
After confirming the rumor, Osias could barely handle the news.
“I remember I called her back, we facetimed, and I was bawling. I was so excited, and so heartbroken at the same time,” Osias said.
Osias knew they were not the best games she played, but for the first time, winning or losing was much lower on her list of priorities.
“I was just so excited to be playing on the same field as her. After the game when I went to go say goodbye to her, I just broke down, and I think that was when it really hit me, that that was the end, and that was the last time I would be on the field with her,” Osias said, “and we started playing together when we were 10 years old.”
Osias knows she, unfortunately, is finishing her last year of softball. With a major in managerial finance, she will not have any trouble continuing on after she graduates, and will bring her competitive spirit and love for softball wherever she goes.
Taylor Lust is a intern for hottytoddy.com from the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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