Archive for Thursday, May 6, 2004

Slammin’ senior

In part one of a three-part series, Terra Nichols reflects on her career and her senior yea

May 6, 2004

You don't have to look too hard to find the most memorable moment of Terra Nichols' senior season at Basehor-Linwood High School.

Just go back a couple of weeks to a game against Santa Fe Trail. There in the scorebook, in the eighth inning, is a diamond filled in with pencil and the letters "HR" written next to it. It might be more appropriate if the letters read "GS," but that's not necessary. Nichols will always remember the walk off grand slam that won the game.

"Oh yeah, that's definitely my most memorable moment," Nichols said with enthusiasm.

But it's not the only one. See Nichols is the ultimate team player. A three-year starter on the BLHS softball team, Nichols entered her senior season as the team's most experienced player. However, because of her role as a co-captain during her junior season, the adjustment to the title "senior leader" was not all that difficult.

"I was kind of a leader last year," Nichols said. "So it wasn't that bad. My teammates have come up to me a lot this year and asked me to show them things or for advice, and I don't mind working with them at all. I like helping people out."

She enjoys it so much, in fact, that someday she could see it blossoming into a role as a softball coach.

But for now Nichols will remain focused on her final days in a BLHS uniform.

She entered the season with high hopes for herself and her team. For the most part, she has enjoyed the season, but one thing more than anything else has frustrated Nichols to no end -- errors.

"I just wanted us to play solid defense this season and to make no errors," Nichols said. "That's been the reason we've lost every one of our games. And that's been tough."

As far Nichols goes, the center fielder avoided the errors that had plagued her teammates until Tuesday, when she made her first error of the season in a doubleheader against De Soto.

The Bobcats split with the Wildcats, bringing their record to 7-9, but Nichols was still fuming about the error after the game.

With a couple of doubleheaders remaining, as well as regionals and possibly state, Nichols is looking forward to finishing the season strong. She knows the Bobcats have talent and she's hoping the team picks up its play so she and her fellow seniors can end their careers with a bang.

"I'm sad that it's almost over and it would be great if we could finish strong," Nichols said.

But regardless of how the team finishes, whether they win them all or lose them all the rest of the way, Nichols said she'll always have fond memories of her high school softball career.

Whether those memories center around the outstanding teammates and talented players she's shared the field with or the coaching staff and support group that makes Basehor-Linwood softball go, Nichols said she'll have nothing but great memories.

"I'll probably always remember the parents and the coaches and everyone who has supported us all these years," Nichols said. "I've had a lot of fun."

Although the fun's not yet finished, Nichols said she's anxious about making the transition to college softball. She doesn't know where she'll play, but she has had several offers and will definitely play college ball.

Nichols said it would be tough to top her most memorable moment of the season -- although two diving catches against Blue Valley Northwest in the season opener come close.

But a victory over Bonner Springs and a run at the state playoffs would certainly cap off the season, and her career, in a stellar fashion.

Adding a little to the stakes is the fact that two of Nichols' cousins start for the Bonner Springs softball team.

"It would be nice to beat them," she said. "It would give me bragging rights."

But after the career she's had, it's safe to say Nichols already has those.

Monday's game against the Bravettes is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

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