Having won the decisive game against Utah on Sunday to clinch a spot in the Women’s College World Series, I had a chance to talk to the outfielder who made one of the most important plays in that game: the diving catch with the bases loaded to help keep Utah to just one run. Thank you to Trysten for being so open and easygoing about some minor technical difficulties my first one-on-one interview ever, and to the team’s communications director, Danielle, for helping set this chat up.
Ed Strong: As Ali (Aguilar) makes that catch along the line to end it, what’s the very first thing you feel? Who or what do you think of? Do you just start running?
Trysten Melhart: I think I actually froze for at least a solid 5 seconds, and then it hit me that we just won. Then I sprinted in after that. Tears just went down my face and I don’t even think I was crying but they just fell out (laughs). It was just overwhelming. I thought of my team and how awesome they are, how we did this together.
ES: When (Utah shortstop) Anissa Urtez hit that shallow fly ball to you with the bases loaded, does the thought “If I can’t catch this” ever cross your mind?
TM: I thought I could get it, but I didn’t know I could get it. But I knew Kelly (Burdick) had my back. We have a really strong bond, both in friendship and as teammates. I trusted her behind me, so I just went all out for it. I didn’t really think about it all when it was happening, I just went for the ball.
ES: Taran (Alvelo) was great, but on the other side, Katie Donovan pitched really well. one her best games of the season yesterday, holding your team to just three hits. When a pitcher is on her game like that, does that change how you approach your at-bats?
TM: Yeah, she was (good). I think just staying within your process and doing what you do at bat. You can’t really change anything in that moment. She’s going to throw well no matter what. She was throwing a number of balls, we were able to take a number of pitches here and there and be patient until we got the pitch we really wanted.
ES: This is the first chance for you, and all of your teammates, to go to the Women’s College World Series. Do you have any specific memories of watching the games in OKC before coming to UW?
TM: Really just UW when they won in 2009. We’ve watched that video a bunch of times as a team since I’ve been here, too. It’s a really awesome moment, and you feel lots of emotions watching it. (Getting a bit emotional herself here): That’s what we’re hoping to do as well!
ES: Your first game in Oklahoma City comes against the Ducks. You know how they want to play, and they know how you want to play. There’s not a lot of secrets there. Does the fact that you are starting such a familiar opponent affect your preparation for Thursday at all (as opposed to, say, Texas A&M)?
TM: I wouldn’t say it affects our preparation at all. We’re going to do what we always do. We played Utah what, 5 or 6 different times in the span of a couple weeks. We just have to prepare as much as we can for it. Be mentally tough, be physically tough, and we can do it.
ES: Thank you so much for your time, and good luck in Oklahoma City. Go Dawgs!
TM: No problem. Thank you!