By Emily Ballesteros
A letter to the fans, coaches, West Point Community, my family, and my teammates,
We have worked all of our lives to have the opportunity to play college sports. We spent countless hours with our parents driving to hitting lessons, pitching lessons, fielding lessons, to tournaments and showcases across the country just for the chance to play at one of the highest levels of softball. I was fortunate to play with the West Point name across my chest and to represent a team and a family much greater than myself.
I vividly remember playing in the 2014 Colorado Sparkler Softball Tournament and Army West Point was in the stands. Our recruiting liaison after the game had told me that West Point was interested in me as a third baseman and I looked at her like she was crazy. Play for the Army team? was all I was thinking in my head. I was in shock. Looking back on that day six years later, the decision to play for the Army team and the Army family changed my life for the better.
Coming into West Point was one of the scariest moments of my life. However, knowing I had teammates with me throughout BEAST and that I had a whole team waiting for me and my classmates to cross the finish line on A-DAY, motivated me to push through and finish strong.
My cow year, during one of our first league games, I was sliding into third base and put too much weight on my left arm. I ended up popping my shoulder out of the socket and tearing my labrum. I will never forget the amount of pain I was in. It was not physical pain. I was pained because I thought I was not going to be able to play the rest of the season. I remember thinking all that work and effort was for nothing. I thought my season was over. Read more.