Saying goodbye to a dear friend

Courtesy of FSU Softball

Taylor Foster remains an inspiration to the team she dreamed of playing for.

My original plan for this blog was to focus solely on our six extraordinary seniors who have invested unimaginable time and effort in this program, but we had an emotional hardship to deal with this past week. As I have mentioned before, Taylor Foster is a huge part of our program, and on April 27 she passed away from cancer.

When I think about how often people say someone lost their battle against cancer, I can’t bring myself to say that about Taylor because I truly don’t believe she lost. As an athlete, Taylor knew a lot about winning and even more about not giving up. You could say the same thing about her fight against cancer. She didn’t let it defeat her, and whether she was feeling better or still hurting, she didn’t let anyone see her sweat. Through her struggles and her infectious positivity, Taylor used her story to bring light to other’s lives.

Courtesy Maury Neipris

FSU's seniors will leave everything on the field -- for the team and for Taylor.

I think this is especially true for our team. Whether we are winning by 10 or losing by four, we know we always have someone to fight for. Taylor’s jersey, with the number “7’’ on the back and “Foster” across the nameplate, hangs in our locker room every day and in our dugout on game days. With every glimpse of the jersey we learn to fight and play a little harder for our Seminole who never stopped fighting. Although she’s no longer with us on the field, I feel better knowing that she’s now with the Lord, healed and healthy, cheering us on from the best seat in the house.

I think our seniors have a true understanding of Taylor’s message and a special place in their hearts that Taylor will always hold. You never know when the game will be taken from you, which is why we always focus on playing for those who can’t. For Taylor the game was taken away far too early, but for our seniors there is still much left for them to leave on the field. Although their time as Seminoles will soon be coming to a close, they have left a legacy that will not soon be forgotten.

Together, Courtney Senas, Celeste Gomez, Jessica Nori, Kelly Hensley, Tiff Brown and Bri Hamilton have worked to continue building on the strong tradition of Florida State softball. They have dedicated countless hours to improving their abilities in the classroom, the weight room and on the field, but even more important is how they have impacted the lives of others.

Through camps and clinics, community service and plenty of autographs, our seniors have inspired young girls all over the country to play the game of softball with the same amount of heart and passion they play with.

With each game, each inning and each out they have left, our seniors have so many reasons to play the game hard, and I know they will leave everything on the field, not only for us, but for Taylor.