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Why It Is 'The Year Of The Figher'

Feb. 27, 2017

by Sara White ’18

Sara White, a junior infielder/pitcher on the Notre Dame softball team, has created a team-run Irish softball blog for the 2017 season. For more first-person insights from Sara and your favorite Notre Dame players, visit


To our Irish fans,

We realize that in our first two weekends, we haven’t been what we aspire to be, which is great. We let wins escape us and have been just flat out out-played, but this couldn’t be a more exciting time.

Right now, we are exactly where we need to be.

Every coach out there knows that the timing of a team’s peak is one of the most important factors of a season. Peak too early, and the team falls flat when it counts the most. Peak too late, and the team doesn’t have it together enough at the end to beat the best competition.

This is the most competitive schedule Notre Dame Softball has played, so even when we have lost, we have still won something. We are winning because we are learning something new every pitch, every play, and every at bat.

We will rise to the level of play that we surround ourselves with and we couldn’t be learning more or getting any better than we are right now because we are playing and competing against truly the best of the best.

This season is exactly what needs to happen for Notre Dame to dominate Division I softball. Here is a quote I recently re-stumbled upon that I think captures what we are going through right now:

“For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse. So collapse, crumble. This is not your destruction, this is your rebirth.”

Right now, our team is breaking down like that gaseous nebula in order to build ourselves up into a star. Facing such stiff competition forces us to confront every aspect of our game that isn’t good enough, because that’s what top teams do to you. We can no longer get away with silly mistakes, mental errors, pitches that catch too much plate, swings that don’t perfectly catch barrel on ball.

We are not afraid of failure – we welcome it.
Every little mistake we make is being spotlighted on center stage for the world to see, but that’s okay because how else are we going to get better?

We want other teams to show us what our weaknesses are because we will work to make sure that those weaknesses become strengths by the end of the season, when it counts most.

All that these teams will have on us come post season is how we looked when they played us in February. Come May and/or June, we will be a whole new team and what worked against us once, won’t work again.

This is why it is the year of the fighter, a theme that our seniors chose well before these games even happened. We are going to fight and claw through every game to the top until we lay exhausted on the field of play, victorious. Until we are the ones sitting behind tables taking questions from the media. Until we get that ring.