Last Thursday at about 4:40, Washington began their first softball game of 2022.
Around 5:05, we were introduced to Olivia Johnson, motto: “I am better than you.”
At 5:30, just to make sure we knew hitting a homerun in her first college at-bat wasn’t a fluke, Olivia “Softball Is Easy, Actually” Johnson went off and did it again.
For math lovers (and haters), that’s four RBIs in two at-bats, which for most people would be a lifetime accomplishment but which for her was just Thursday.
Oh and then at 6 o’clock she hit a triple, just in case you still were thinking “Wow how funny that this 18 year old had such good luck!”
And then the rest of the weekend happened which, for those of you who weren’t following live, I’ll relay here Rocky montage-style except instead of Eye of the Tiger and televisual footage, it’s absolute dogshit twitter art* that I made when I was supposed to be doing real work that pays real money:
*by only the most generous definitions.
For years, Americans have asked the question "how does one defeat 30-50 feral hogs?"— De UW Dawg Pound (@UWonSBN) February 12, 2022
Yesterday we discovered the answer is "let Olivia Johnson, Gabbie Plain & Co have a go at em" https://t.co/OUKO2PGyei
4 intentional walks in her 4th ever college game i am DYING https://t.co/p5vkg04us6— De UW Dawg Pound (@UWonSBN) February 12, 2022
Next at-bat: hit by pitch.— Anthony Edwards (@edwardsanthonyb) February 13, 2022
Finally, it took til her fifth college game for this otherwise extremely normal thing to happen:
Johnson strikes out swinging on a check swing appeal.— Anthony Edwards (@edwardsanthonyb) February 13, 2022
That's the first time the freshman has been retired in 16 career plate appearances.
The end result of this weekend was — prepare yourself for what data scientists call “big numbers” — this:
After one weekend of play, @UWSoftball statistics leaders:— Anthony Edwards (@edwardsanthonyb) February 13, 2022
AVG: Olivia Johnson (.700)
OBP: Olivia Johnson (.833)
SLG: Olivia Johnson (1.800)
OPS: Olivia Johnson (2.633)
HR: Olivia Johnson (3)
BB: Olivia Johnson (7)
RBI: Madison Huskey (10)
Hits: Madison Huskey, Sami Reynolds (8) pic.twitter.com/R9ISzfdMNy
Who does that?
And she'd almost certainly have her name across the bottom two categories, too (sorry Madison and Sami) if it weren't for opposing teams making the strategic decision halfway through the weekend to do what softball experts refer to as "crapping their pants and running away in fear.”
The most legend-ass shit is walking into the weekend as some gal and then waking up Monday a fully-formed god — and I once witnessed Jeff Goldblum play legit skillful piano in the lobby of the North Portland Red Lion for, like, a full hour without anyone noticing it was him. (To answer your questions, “a lanky 6’3”-ish,” “yes, he is really that charming,” and “upbeat elevator jazz.”)
This just makes us wanna think: OJo? How do we describe OJo?
OJo is flawless.
She has two Rawlings gloves and a silver Lexus.
I hear her bat’s insured for $10,000.
I hear she does Louisville Slugger commercials. In Japan.
Her favorite movie is Varsity Blues.
One time, she met Dae Ho Lee on a plane. And he told her she was iconic.
One time, she punched me in the face.
It was awesome.
You can pretty much write-in “OJo” into any monologue about something and/or somebody who rules, tweak a few words, and it holds up as 100% accurate. For example, I believe it was Randall who said:
This. Is OJo. Watch her swing in slow motion. She’s pretty badass.
“Whoah! Watch out,” says that pitcher!
Ew, she hit a dinger, oh she’s got a triple! Oh my gosh! OJo is just crazy! Olivia Johnson has been referred to by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most bonkers batter in all the animal kingdom — she really doesn’t give a shit. If she’s hungry, she’s hungr— ew what’s that off her swing?! Oh she’s got more RBIs?
Now watch this. Look, intentional walks up in this diamond? OJo don’t care, OJo don’t give a shit. She just takes what she wants. Whenever she’s hungry she just— ooh another dinger? She just eats up pitchers. Watch her swing. Watch her swinging. OJo is really pretty badass. She has no regard for any other pitcher whatsoever.
Ooh what’s that, a homer? Oh that’s nasty. So nasty.
Now look: Here’s an 8th ranked opponent. You think Olivia Johnson cares? Olivia Johnson don’t give a shit. She steps right up into the batter’s box to take some souls. How disgusting is that? Oh that’s so nasty.
But look, OJo doesn’t care she’s getting intentionally walked like a thousand times; she doesn’t give a shit, she’s just hungry. Nothing can stop OJo when she’s hungry.
Look! Here comes a fierce battle between an All-American pitcher and OJo! I wonder what’ll happen?
“Get away from me!” says the pitcher! OJo don’t care, OJo smacks the shit out of it.
Now you might think you just read a hyper-specific Mad Libs entry by someone on any number of drugs — a mistake for which you would not be blamed — but who are we to say Olivia Johnson isn’t the honey badger plus Regina George all in one. Same difference, really, as far as I can tell. Is OJo just a honey badger and/or the messiah in human form? I mean, I’ve never seen her and Jesus-and-or-insert-your-prophet-of-choice in the same room, so... never say never?
And I’ve forgotten most of the specifics of the Book of Revelations, but surely if you asked the pitchers she faced over the weekend, they’d say there’s at least a 50-50 shot she’s a sign of the end times. Specifically, their end times. Although if the real life end times* are as fun as watching OJo end other people, then sign me up babeey.
*Not coincidentally, the closest feeling I’ve had to what those pitchers felt facing OJo was last summer driving next to a whole mountain that was fully on fire. “Don’t crap your pants,” I told myself in vain. I imagine that’s verbatim what goes through pitchers’ minds when they face OJo. End times are fun.
So far, the following appears to be true about Olivia Johnson:
- She can invade Russia in the winter and win
- She doesn’t need to be reminded to drink enough water
- She made Tom Brady retire
- She doesn’t ask if you’ve tried yoga when you tell her about your unresolved medical issues
- Olivia Johnson throws on the one yard-line
- She knows the fate of D.B. Cooper
- She is D.B. Cooper
- She never falls off the track in Rainbow Road
- Olivia Johnson tells Han Solo the odds
- She knows who shot J.R.
- Because she shot J.R.
- Olivia Johnson could create a box that no one could open. And then she could open it.
- Olivia Johnson can go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line
- Olivia Johnson knows New Zealand is a real country
- She could carry the ring to Mordor
- She's a pastry chef and a sniper
- She could out-negotiate Jack Donaghy
- She would never burn down the Banana Stand because OJo knows where the money always is
- She made Smitty Werbenjägermanjensen step aside when he realized she, actually, is number one
- OJo was Fhqwhgads
- She knows that’s really Dick Whitman
- She's thinkin about getting a leather jacket for when she’s on her motorcycle and needs to go into a controlled slide
- OJo would like to remind you it’s an illusion, Michael
- OJo would win in a fight against Trogdor
- She invented the tactical turtleneck
- Olivia Johnson can out-pizza the hut
Okay, well... that went on for a while longer than I had initially planned. But don't worry, if you've ever read a stupidly long list of bullet points and thought "Gee, I sure wish there were more bullet points here,” then have I got you covered.
Because if at any point you’d like to feel what it feels like to pitch to OJo, first, you should see a doctor where they will diagnose you with “being a lunatic.” (It's in the DSM, look it up.) Then, you can substitute the following experiences*:
- Trying to hug a mother grizzly bear
- Trying to hug a mother raccoon
- Trying to hug any raccoon, regardless of maternity status
- Sneaking into North Korea
- Swimming in the Puget Sound in December
- Petting a cat’s stomach
- Riding California Screamin’ without fastening your seatbelt
- Drinking grapefruit juice with your heart meds
- Invading Russia in the winter
All this is just 1,200 words to say: What a delightful surprise — and we get four more years!
(But also... oof, you're still reading this? No offense, but you should probably do something more productive with your time. Or at least, if you're gonna read, read some, like, classical literature or something. Like Eat Pray Love or I Don't Like Sand: The Complete Illustrated Guide to Star Wars Episodes I - III.
Go on, it's over. Go home. Go!)
*Per Vox legal, I’m obligated to inform you that neither SB Nation, UW Dawg Pound, myself, our writers, Tim Berners-Lee or any of the internet elders, Angie Mentink, any affiliates of the University of Washington Softball, any past co-workers of mine, any boys I’ve had a crush on, nor any clients whose work I’m procrastinating on by writing this are liable for any damage you may cause to yourself should you attempt any of these activities.
As always, do good things, don't do bad things, and bow down to Washington.