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Staying in the present

by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor

Photos: Gannon University Athletics

Four years have flown by pretty quick. You remember when you stepped on campus as a wide-eyed freshman and now you are finishing up your collegiate softball career.

Time does fly by pretty fast.

You are trying not to get caught up in the fact that this is your final year, while the season is still going on. You want to make sure you stay in the present, and not worry about the future.

“With this being my senior year, I think it is normal to say that it is a bittersweet feeling. I have been so blessed that throughout my softball career I have been surrounded by amazing teammates and coaches,” stated Gannon softball player Gabi Vasi. “It helps knowing that I have made amazing friendships and memories throughout the years of playing this game. I am excited to get the opportunity to play and leave it all out on the field this year at Gannon. If I could keep playing with these girls and my body allowed me to, I would take the opportunity in a heartbeat, but It is time to take on my next endeavor of going to go get my masters in speech language pathology.”

It has been a softball journey that Vasi would gladly do again. Through all the games, early morning practices, and bumps and bruises, Vasi has had the time off her life. She learned a lot about herself through this process.

She learned that if she put her mind to it, she could accomplish anything. Vasi was able to play softball at the highest level, and that’s because she never doubted herself or her abilities.

“The things that stand out to me the most is that I was able to put my mind to something and accomplish it. I was able to play softball at the highest level at an amazing school,” stated Vasi. “Throughout the trials and tribulations of my college career, I have always come out on top, mentally and physically. I have never let failure or what I do on the field define me, which I think is important when playing a college sport.”

As the season is underway, Vasi is looking to finish up her career strong. This past offseason she was able to travel Italy, with a very talented group of players from the area, and get in some softball.

It was an amazing experience for Vasi, and her teammates. It’s not often you get to travel to Italy and play against girls that have played on the Italian National team.

“During the offseason I was able to travel to Italy this summer to play softball with a group of talented girls from my area and it was truly the opportunity of a lifetime,” stated Vasi. “During this time, we were able to play against girls form the Italian national team, it was an amazing experience, and I took a lot away from it. During fall ball I was able to get back in the groove making sure to hit my spots and making sure I stay consistent in the circle.”

After a solid sophomore season, Vasi kind of fell off the rails her junior year. She earned the most wins in her career (7) but the era ballooned up to past 7.00 runs per game.

It’s not uncommon to have a blip on the radar. Even some of the best players in the game have an offseason. Vasi knows not to dwell on the last year, but to learn from it. She wants fro show everyone in the league just what kind of pitcher she is.

“I think it is normal to have an off season. This game is a game of failure, even though last season did not go the way I wanted it to, I learned a lot and I am ready to carry that over into this season,” stated Vasi. “The result of last season makes me want to come out this season strong and show the PSAC what I can do in the circle and at the plate. My goal this year is to be consistent and reliable on the mound.”

As a pitcher you need to have a short memory, which is easier said then done. It’s easy to say forget about the home run you gave up. But, this game will humble you at times.

It’s how you are able to bounce back, which makes you the type of person you are.

“A short-term memory is easier said and done and it is something I have had to work on the past 4 years. Especially in a very completive conference like the PSAC, one bad pitch can shift the momentum and change the game,” said Vasi. “You can strive for perfection in this game, but it is not likely that you will ever reach it and I had to learn that it is okay to not be 100% every game. As a pitcher it is hard to not feel like the entire game is on your shoulders. I have had to trust that no matter what happens I have extremely talented girls behind me and strong bats in the lineup to get us back in the game.”

Vasi just isn’t a solid pitcher for Gannon, but a power hitter as well. At least that’s what she will tell everyone. Last season, Vasi hit her first collegiate home run, and it came at a very important times.

Nothing like hitting your first bomb in an elimination game in the PSAC tournament against the #1 seed. Talk about coming up clutch.

“I hit my first college home run during an elimination game in the PSAC tournament against the #1 seed. I had hit a double my first at bat and I think that set the tone for myself for the rest of the game,” stated Vasi. “As soon as I saw the ball go over the fence, I was honestly overjoyed not only for myself but that I was able to support my team and shift the momentum our way during a very important game.”

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