I take a step back and look at what little I know about softball, or women’s sports, for that matter, and it is disheartening. We put such a high priority on men’s sports. As a culture that is so entrenched in fighting for social issues, I think this is an important one to bring to the table.
In the fifth year of the program since it’s reinstatement, Harding’s softball team is making history. Looking back on last year, they have a lot to live up to. But this season, they are already off to a strong start.
Last year marked the best year in school history for the Lady Bisons softball team. They ended with a 58-9 record after eventually lost in the NCAA Super Regional against Minnesota State University.
Even though I do not personally know any of the softball players, I think their results speak volumes. These women knew how to work and to get the job done at any cost.
The perseverance it must have taken to accomplish such feats is astounding. Raw talent alone could not get those results. Those results come from heart and commitment to a team. They come from commitment to the process.
I’m excited to see what the women accomplish this year and how far their work gets them.
Building this program from the ground up is a remarkable task in itself. Often, the first few seasons of a program are times of growing. Harding softball has done this and more.
Harding softball has had a winning season four out of the last five seasons. The one season they came up short was in 2015 with a win percentage of .418. In 2016 they had a .607 win percentage and 2017 a .866 win percentage.
I think Harding softball is truly something special. There is an energy within their games that cannot be found anywhere else. The chemistry on the field is remarkable and genuine.
Softball often gets overlooked in favor of baseball. Even though they are two different games, with different dimensions and dynamics, they have the same goals and purposes. When you break it down to the core of the game, your goal is to hit the ball, make it to base and get back home.
It is of utmost importance in today’s world that we realize the importance of women in sports. Women are just as important as men on every field or court.
I’m looking forward to the day when all sports are equal, where people realize the importance of women’s teams as equal to men’s. It is an often under-realized situation.
Maybe this day will never come. Maybe it will take a lot of change and effort from other teams. However, teams like Harding softball inspire me to dream about the future of women’s sports.
Look at the world today, at the number of social issues that are prevalent to the public. Everywhere you look, people are sharing their opinions. We have the right to voice ours and to be heard.
Let us make women’s sports as important as men’s. There are so many women athletes that are influential, inspirational and even record setters that cannot be matched. Jessica Mendoza, Lisa Fernandez and Jennie Finch are just a few women that come to mind when I think of softball alone. The list of women in the sports world is endless.
It is our duty to empower one another. Let us encourage one another and build each other up, whether we are athletes or not, whether we are women or not.
We are the future, and for the future to work, we must be able to work together for equality. We must shine our lights and not let anyone talk down to us because of our gender.
At the end of the day, we are all children of God. Let us be able to see the gift of athletics in others. Let us be able to love each other’s gifts, even if they are very different than our own.
Let us go watch softball.