Wednesday, March 30, 2022

On the Beat With Savanah Whatley

Earlier this week, I interviewed Savanah Whatley of Oregon State Softball. There's a lot more to this infielder than her play on the field and Savanah talks about all of it in our interview. Our interview can be found at On the Beat With Savanah Whatley.

In her youth, Savanah was the victim of bullying. Through her faith and with softball as an outlet, she was able to persevere. She was a four-year starter, who ended her career at Heritage High School. She was a two-time all-league choice and the Prep2Prep Junior Player of the Year in 2019. She was also a member of the Mexican Junior National team in 2017

Starting her collegiate career at the University of Utah, Savanah appeared in nine games for the Utes. After transferring to Oregon State University, Savanah appeared in her first games last weekend, going 3-9, including a double for her first hit. On the double, Savanah showed her hustle with a head-first dive into second base. As she brushed off the dirt, Savanah's enthusiasm was visible. Who was more excited though, Savanah or her mom?

Oregon State is 25-8 on the season, but only 2-4 in conference play. It's still early and the Pac-12 is possibly the most competitive softball conference. There is still plenty of softball left this season, including a big three game series at Oregon late in the season. Savanah talked about the big interstate rivalry between the two schools.

Savanah openly discussed mental health awareness, which led her to start her own clothing brand. Her "Whatley Crew" and "Enough" apparel is both stylish and powerful.

Savanah is an incredible young woman and athlete. A woman of deep faith and determination, she has already overcome obstacles and is helping others do the same by being a role model.

I was impressed that a young person was able to see life's challenges and to address them. It is significant that a young, talented athlete is open about her challenges. These are real life issues that anyone can face.

Our interview wasn't all about serious topics though. Savanah was kind enough to indulge me in some discussion about ketchup on chicken nuggets, one of her favorite foods. She's doing everything else right, so maybe I need to rethink my stance on ketchup.

I really appreciate Savanah's time and consideration in giving me the interview. More importantly, I admire Savanah's strength and maturity. Shortly after our interview, I went to Savanah's Instagram page and purchased a shirt. I am now an official member of the Whatley Crew.

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