A friend stopped by my photo position outside the centerfield fence during the fifth inning Friday night. He inquired why I was still at the softball game between KU and No. 5 Oklahoma at Arrocha Ballpark at Rock Chalk Park. With the Sooners up two runs, their pitcher was throwing a no-hitter. He wanted to know whether my job required me to stay for the entire game.
No, I am not required to stay, but I rarely leave. My desire is always to make memorable photographs. That takes time and patience. Suddenly, that answer no longer was just words, a two-run home run dramatically provided visuals to back up my answer.
Junior shortstop Chaley Brickey’s powerful blast, after an earlier walk, tied the score and touched off immense joy. I ran through a few of the images I made with my friend. He walked away kicking himself for putting his video camera away far too early.
The two teams rolled along and into extra innings. Thanks to strong pitching from senior Alicia Pille, KU seemed to rattle the OU team. KU still only had one hit, but Brickey doubled in the bottom of the eighth inning. Two batters later, freshman DH Daniella Chavez drove a deep fly ball over the right field fence to win the game 4-2.
This all seems very dry in writing, but it was so fun to photograph. Since I went through the same drama and celebration a week earlier with baseball, giving the women of KU softball the same treatment brought me even more joy.
Again, I love making photographs just as memorable and fun as the events developing in front of my lens. Those moments head straight into my heart. I am not overstating this when I say the love of my job is even more about the happy faces of these young men and women. Those are a real blessing.