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Hurley earns her time

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

Mya Hurley was used to seeing the field. A standout at Amherst High School, Hurley was always in the lineup, and never left the field.

Then Hurley made the move to college. Last year was a different kind of season for Hurley. While Hurley did see a lot of action, appearing in 26 games, while starting 14, it wasn’t something that she was used to.

She was used to starting games from the start. Instead of getting down on herself, Hurley used it as motivation. She used it to work on the things that would make her better in the long run, and earn playing time.

“Starting off, I didn’t see the field as much as I would have liked. That wasn’t something that was going to get me down, it was something that was going to motivate me more,” stated Hurley. “I didn’t give up hope and when I got my chance I didn’t take it for granted. I kept going and I was seeing results, and that helped me get into the game as the season progressed.”

Hurley had to change her mentality if she wanted to be a contributor on a very good Buffalo State softball team. She just couldn’t rest on what she did during her high school career. She knew she needed to work extra hard to improve on the areas that needed to be improved.

Fifty percent of this game is 90 percent mental. Once Hurley changed her mental approach things started to click.

“I feel like I adjusted my mentality more than anything. A lot of the game is mental, so I needed to become confident in what I was doing,” stated Hurley. “I realized that I am here for a reason, and I need to focus and work my hardest to be successful. High school softball is a completely different game from college softball. College pitchers are clearly more advanced at what they do, or else they wouldn't be there. Softball in high school wasn’t as serious and walking up to the plate my approach was different. Now, I understand the game even more and am even more competitive.”

As the clock turns to another spring, Hurley is more prepared than last year. While she did have a decent start to her college career, Hurley isn’t resting on what she did last season. Last season was last season.

Now, Hurley is focused on this year. The mindset is pretty simple, it’s a new year, with a new team. And, Hurley has a new attitude.

“Going into the season, I am trying not to think about last season. It's a new year, with a new team. I am going to continue to work as hard, if not harder than last year,” stated Hurley. “I feel like this year I am a totally new person with a new mindset. I am ready to play and do what I know how to do.”

With the season still weeks away, Hurley is continuing to work on her game. The weather in Western New York has been somewhat decent enough where the Bengals have been able to get out and do field work.

As the first game approaches, Hurley is keeping her goals simple. She wants to stay confident and have fun playing the game she has played since she was a little girl. Being able to keep loose will allow her to achieve some of the other goals she is setting for herself.

“My goal is to stay confident and have fun, and I know the rest of it will come. My goal is to work on my mental game every day, so I can be confident in the physical game,” stated Hurley. “I need to continue to tell myself it is supposed to be fun and I can do it. I am also striding towards doing my job when I'm at the plate. It's a team effort, so it's important to do what I can to help my team as a whole.”

Some of the fun things the team has done in the offseason is the softball triathlon. The triathlon definitely pushed the limits of Hurley, and the rest of her teammates. It pushed Hurley, and showed her that she is capable of anything you put in front of her.

The triathlon brought the team together in ways they didn’t think it could. The players were there cheering each other on, and encouraging the others - even though it was a competition.

“The softball triathlon changed my view of myself. My teammates and I realized that we are capable of more than we thought. We needed to just keep pushing, and after we did, it was the most amazing feeling,” stated Hurley. “Realizing that we just did that really opened our eyes when it comes to hard work. This triathlon brought this team closer than I ever thought anything could. We were all there for each other every step of the way. One person falls behind, and someone else picks them back up.”

As Hurley kept pushing herself during the triathlon, she said the toughest event was the running at the end. The body is being pushed like it has never been pushed before, and Hurley knew she still had to grind through one more event.

In her mind she done. Her body had nothing left, but she couldn’t give up. She had to prove too herself, more than anything, that she could finish - even when she had nothing left.

“I think the hardest event for me was the running at the end. The end was so close, but I was definitely getting tired,” stated Hurley. “I had never pushed myself like that before, so I wasn’t sure how much my body could do. I got through it with the help of my coach and my teammates. When it started to get tough they were there to help me keep going.”

Keep it going is something that Hurley has been doing since she came to Buffalo State. Her positive attitude is infectious, and she was rewarded last year when she hit her first collegiate home run.

The feeling of seeing the ball go over the fence is was absolute joy, and hard to describe at the time.

“It was absolutely the most amazing feeling. The second the ball left the bat I could just tell that it was going somewhere. Once I noticed that it went over, the joy I felt is unexplainable,” stated Hurley. “It was a moment I will never forget. Getting back to home plate after and seeing my teammates there was such a special moment. They were all so proud of me and I couldn’t ask for better people to be waiting there for me when I made it around.”

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