Through sniffles and tears across a heartbroken locker room Saturday night, only minutes after OSU softball’s season came to an end in the Women’s College World Series, coach Kenny Gajewski delivered a powerful message to his girls as they tried processing the end of a magical run.
Gajewski himself couldn’t avoid being choked up as heartache filled the room, but not before he was able to speak words of life into the team that made it to the WCWS, the program’s first since 2011, and won for the first time since 1998.
“It’s OK that it hurts,” he said. “It’s OK. In due time you’ll look back, and it won’t hurt. It’ll feel awesome. It hurts right now, but in due time you’ll look back, think back, and you’ll remember what you guys just did, you’ll remember this run.
“You guys are a special, special group,” he continued. “This is a team that we’ll look back on and say ‘this is that team. This is that team that got this run started.’ So I thank you. I thank you for everything you guys did, everything you gave.”
— Cowgirl Softball (@CowgirlSB) June 2, 2019
Chills to the core. I wrote last week why OSU was such a fun team to rally around, and noted that Gajewski, one of the most affable college coaches to come through Stillwater, was a central reason for that. And there he goes making me look like a genius.
OSU’s season came up short of a storybook ending as it came to a halt just before the semifinals round after consecutive losses in consecutive days to OU and to Washington, but there’s a sense around this team and a vibe about Gajewski that suggests this won’t be the last time we see orange-and-black in the WCWS.
And next time, the following and fan base will undeniably be bigger after Gajewski, these girls and the program amassed quite the support group over the last month.