Ever since I was about 9 years old, I knew that I wanted to be a nurse.

I was still in elementary school, but my passion has always been to make an impact on kids struggling with diseases. If there was a sick kid, I wanted to help in anyway I could.

I had no idea that later on I could help out by simply showing up at the hospital.

My name is Meghan King and I am a pitcher for the Florida State softball team. Not many people recognized that name a year ago, but when I visit children's hospitals these days, there are actually little girls who recognize me. I'm still beyond blessed with the platform that God has given me.

When our team advanced to the Women’s College World Series last year, we played every game on ESPN...Not ESPN2, or ESPNU, but the ESPN. And with all the credit going toward God for the abilities he's given me, I had the best week of my life. Over my last 40 2/3 innings of last season, I gave up 1 earned run. When I hear about the 0.17 ERA over that time, it's still hard to explain what happened last year, except to say I couldn't have done that without the support from my teammates.

A lot of people remember the NCAA Tournament run last year, but what they might not know was that it almost never happened.

I could start with our any of our six elimination games we won, or the fact that at one point we were down to our last four outs, but this journey actually goes back to years ago, when I first arrived at Florida State. Had it not been for the incredible people that surrounded me, I don't know if last year's tournament run ever happens.

 
 

(Photo courtesy of Florida State Athletics)

I am thankful that my parents raised me in a Catholic household and sent me to a Catholic school, where Christian values were reinforced every day. But the truth is that when you leave home for the first time and go off to college, all of that accountability is gone. If you want to stop going to church and end your relationship with God, nobody is going to stop you.

When I arrived in Tallahassee from Parkland (about seven hours to the south), I was really lucky to find a good group of people who also loved Jesus. I decided to go to church with them for an Easter service, to a non-denominational church, and the sermon was like nothing I had ever heard before.

I still remember having this moment where I was like woah, this is crazy...God loves me!

Before the 2019 season started I decided to officially get baptized, which was one of the best decisions I ever made. My relationship with God has also made me a better softball player, because so many values from the Bible transcend into sports. Whether it's about perseverance, determination, or selflessness, I would need to use all of them if we were going to get to Oklahoma City for the WCWS.

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Title Photo courtesy of Florida State Athletics

Thomas Hager