Sunday, June 4, 2017

It's Not About Winning The Game, It Never Is

Celena Massey celebrates the game she loves
Two out in the seventh, down 8-1, this meaningless home run had more meaning than anything else you will see in the College Softball World Series.  This one home run from a senior, her reaction and the reaction of her teammates and coaches and the tears of pride from her parents remind us that it really is not about winning the game.  It never is.
Before yesterday, Celena Massey had just 4 at-bats her senior season (13 ABs the past two seasons combined) with the Aggies, but she kept coming to the games.  A senior catcher, she has been the backup for her whole career, but she kept going to practice.   She had not hit a home run since her sophomore year.  Yesterday in Oklahoma City, her coach, Jo Evans, realized that with one out in the bottom of the seventh and down seven runs, the Aggies season was going to end with the next out.  The careers of her two barely used seniors would also end.  So she sent senior Reagan Boenker (13 at-bats this season) up to pinch hit for the final at-bat of her career.  She grounded out to the shortstop.  And just like that, Reagan's career was over.  Down to her final out, Coach Evans sent Celena to bat and, in an 8-2 loss, Massey gave us the best moment of the entire CSWS.

You see, they play the games to win.  But they play the sport because they love it.  And when everyone in that park celebrated Massey's home run like it had just won the game, they were really celebrating what it means to play a game you love, and to play it until you cannot play it anymore.  Thank you Celena Massey for reminding me what is important in sports.  And congratulations!!!

Celena autographs the home run ball for her biggest fan, her dad, Buck Massey.
They don't look like a team that lost by 6.

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