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Panhandle State Student Plays in the 2017 Mixed Worlds Tournament in Florida

Submitted by Sidney Turner on 11/03/2017 Desha Almanza, a student here at Panhandle State, got the opportunity to travel to Florida this past October where she competed in the Mixed Worlds Tournament in Orlando held Oct. 13-15. —Courtesy photoDesha Almanza, a student here at Panhandle State, got the opportunity to travel to Florida this past October where she competed in the Mixed Worlds Tournament in Orlando held Oct. 13-15. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — Desha Almanza, a student here at Panhandle State is an English major on campus that enjoys playing softball. Desha has had an amazing and life-long career with the sport, and her skill has even taken her to Florida where she competed in the Mixed Worlds Tournament in Orlando held Oct. 13-15.

Desha, twenty-seven, has been playing softball since she was six years old. She has never stopped playing, but has been able to use this sport for other opportunities in her life. Her dad is the reason she plays softball, and she says, “He instilled the love of the sport in me a long time ago. I always joke and say that softball was the first love of my life. I have my dad to thank for putting this sport into my life.” Her dad encouraged her each time she played growing up and constantly gave Desha advice to better her softball career. Even now, playing slow pitch, Desha still has this connection and bond with her dad.

When playing in the Mixed World’s Tournament, the team didn’t do as well as they had hoped. The team won the first game 22-13, but lost the next three games they played. Although the outcome wasn’t the expected, Desha enjoyed, “playing against better competition.” Although playing against harder competition doesn’t always give you the win, Desha says, “When you play better competition, you have to rise up above the norm to beat them, and that is always a good challenge even if you don’t succeed.”

This experience of getting to travel and play in Florida was one Desha had never experienced in all her years of playing high school and college softball. Being asked to play in Florida was a huge opportunity for Desha, one she says, “was a real privilege to be asked to play in this tournament with this great team.”

Desha also was able to give some advice to players, “Do not take your time being a college athlete for granted. You need to enjoy it as much as possible because one day you won’t be able to play in college anymore. Graduation or injury, whatever the case may be, will eventually end your career. So, enjoy it! It’ll be gone before you know it! When it’s over, make sure you can say that you played your best and gave it your all. A person doesn’t want any regrets when you look back at your time on a collegiate team.”