2019 Scholarship Recipient

I fell in love with you when I was 4 years old. You have shaped me into who I am today. You made me into a hardworking, strong young woman. My parents have made many sacrifices because of you. They’ve missed work, sacrificed pay, and always driven me around the country even, towards you. You’re a jealous lover. I also had to miss out on many things in my high school life because of you. Sometimes, I really dreaded about coming to practice or having to leave early from an event because I had to wake up early the next morning. You control my everyday life. I can’t do anything without making sure it doesn’t interfere with you. You have taken up most of my time, but I don’t know what I would do without you. You’ve given me many opportunities many kids my age don’t get. Softball, you are my everything.

We’ve made so many fun memories together. Many more friendships have been made. I also had the opportunity to travel because of you to places like Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida. I got to experience both triumph and failure along with playing under extreme pressure. My one experience with you where I learned lot of discipline was in the state finals. It was up to me to hit this ball to the right side of the field to score the girl in from 3rd who would be the winning run for the game. I had a 3-2 count on me and I just kept fouling every ball off. Then, I took a deep breath, focused in what I really needed to do, and did it. I stepped into the batter’s box with all of the confidence in the world. I felt the dirt on the bottom of my metal spikes being moved around. I felt my hands clench to the barrell of the bat tighter than they have ever been. I took a deep breath and took a hack at the ball. I hit a double to win the game. You’ve made me realize the true meaning of self-discipline.

You were there for me when I went through the toughest time in my life. Do you remember him? The heartache? The doubt? You gave me the courage to talk to my parents. I BECAME BRAVE. It took a year and a half for us to get over him, but you were there. Everytime I would feel down or empty inside, I’d take you outside and just hit. I’d hit the ball so hard until I let out all of my frustration towards him and against myself. You and I have played harder games.This just wasn’t another team rival. This was hate, and there is no room for him or his game. Thank you for teaching me how to work hard and keep my sanity.

Thank you for also being the thing that makes my dad and I so close. Thank you for always being there even when I hated you. At one point in time, I wanted to quit on you. I was in such a slump with my hitting, my fielding and my grades in school. I started to realize that my grades were more important and I needed to focus more on that. But then it hit me. Why give up on something I’ve been doing for so long and trained so hard for? You taught me how to manage my time.

Someday, I hope to share you with other girls and pass on the valuable lessons that you taught me - the most important of all, there is no place like home.

Phillip Mathangani Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit.
EIN: 46-5338870 | ©2024