As the Anderson University softball team’s bus neared campus late Monday afternoon on its return trip from Angola, NCAA Div. III regional MVP Yardley Collett was checking her Twitter account.
There were messages of congratulations from Ravens baseball players and some of the softball team’s fans. And there were also heartfelt greetings from players and coaches around the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.
It’s amazing the new friends a player can make when she becomes a piece of history. AU will play in the Div. III World Series for the first time in program history beginning Friday in Eau Claire, Wis.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” Collett said. “Everything has happened so quickly in the past five days. I mean, seven games in five days, it’s just blowing my mind. I think it needs a little bit to sink in.”
The Ravens (31-16) went 6-1 in the regional, beating second-ranked Trine twice in the process and rallying from the losers’ bracket to win their first national postseason crown.
It was the kind of weekend most players only dream of, and leadoff hitter Katie Lee still was trying to put the accomplishment into perspective as she gathered her belongings off the bus.
AU’s 5-1 win against Allegheny in the final championship game was still fresh in her mind as she thought back through her four-year career.
“I came here just basically to be close to home and go to school and be able to student-teach in the area,” she said. “Softball was just for fun. And it took us three years, but it’s awesome. I can’t wait (to play in the World Series).”
None of the players believe fatigue will be a factor when they step back out on the diamond to face 18th-ranked Luther in the World Series opener at 2:30 p.m. Friday.
But none can quite comprehend the full impact of what they’ve just done, either. Just a week after becoming the first school ever to win three consecutive HCAC postseason tournaments, the Ravens have made history again.
“It’s awesome,” said senior Devin Moorman, the winning pitcher on Monday. “But I don’t think it really will (sink in) for awhile, until I start hearing about it later on in life. For right now, we’re just playing our game. And whatever happens, happens. We’re just loving every second of it.”