College softball’s finest teams will take the field in Oklahoma City this week.
Watching the action at the Women’s College World Series will be wide-eyed young girls dreaming of being the next Sydney Romero or Madi Sue Montgomery.
Montgomery, an Oklahoma State senior, remembers watching the WCWS from her home in Texas.
“I remember being the girl and being like ‘Oh, my gosh, I want to be just like them.’ So I try to remember that aspect and that way I can give them what they need, acknowledge them and encourage them to go chase after their dreams because they do come,” Montgomery said.
Chisney Pewewardy, an 11-year-old from Pawhuska, was in the stands for Oklahoma’s Super Regional-clinching win over Northwestern last weekend.
Her favorite part? When the Sooners players “hit the ball well and make good plays.”
Does she want to be like them when she grows up? “Yes. Like 100%.”
Her father, Rob Pewewardy, said the players are great role models.
“Seeing these girls and then knowing that they will have an opportunity themselves whenever they get older — if they are lucky enough and strive and work hard enough, they can be on this stage later on in life,” Rob Pewewardy said “They believe in Christ. God is No. 1. Softball is No. 2. To be here in Oklahoma and have OU as good as they are with these guys watching and being such good role models, you can’t ask for anything better.”
Romero, an OU senior, understands that young eyes are watching her at all times.
“I’ve never been around a group of girls who focus so much on being alike and just playing for young girls and the future generation,” she said. “I think it’s really cool to be a part of something like that. Just not even on the softball side of it. It’s crazy because we can care less about what we do on the field, but it’s so important to us to how we treat people and how people look up to us and I think that’s what’s really important.”
The Tulsa World asked OU and OSU players the same question:
What advice would you give young, softball-playing girls who are watching you this week?
Sydney Romero, OU senior
“Softball is this little (puts thumb and forefinger together) compared to what you’re going to do. It’s really important to not to make it too big or bigger than what it is. If you aren’t having fun, it’s not worth it. Just go all out and enjoy it and don’t get caught up in the end result. Enjoying the process is more important rather than wanting to be so good, so soon. It’s going to take a while. Enjoy what you are doing.”
Madi Sue Montgomery, OSU senior
“Dream big and when you get there, keep going because it just never stops. You can get there if you just put in the work and put in the time and believe in yourself. Because you can do it.”
Chyenne Factor, OSU freshman
“Just have fun. I mean, it’s softball. It’s supposed to be fun. Don’t let your parents go crazy (Factor said with a laugh). It’s a game. Have fun. Enjoy it and you’ll be OK. It’s not a job.”
Caleigh Clifton, OU senior
“I just say have fun with the game. I think as you get older, some people can start to lose that a little bit. And people take it a little too seriously. We practice every day and we play every day. It’s hard not to take it seriously. But at the same time you’ve got to know how to separate softball from the real world. Some people hang on to it and it just weighs on them. So I would just say, you know, have fun with it. That’s how the game is supposed to be played.”
Taylor Lynch, OSU senior
“Keep going. Everything that they do in life — the struggles, the highs, the lows, everything is going to be worth it one day. Whether they make it to the World Series or they go be the best that they can be at their job, just fight to get to that spot that they want to be in. Don’t ever give up and everything they go through is going to be worth it in the end. I’m someone who dreamed of being in the World Series since I was about 5 and it happened my last year. It’s big-time. I would just always keep going, no matter what.”
Grace Lyons, OU freshman
“Work hard and just have your eye on the prize. Don’t settle for anything less than kind of what you’ve grown up believing. People are going to have different influences on you and the only one you can believe is yourself and the close circle you have. So I just think working hard, doing the little things when no one’s looking is super important.”
Jocelyn Alo, OU sophomore
“I would tell them to take advantage of every opportunity they can to get better and to make sure that school is first, always. Just have fun and don’t get too caught up with people’s expectations and stuff because it does come back and bite you.”