One of those made-for-Hollywood storylines happened on a softball diamond in Denton, Texas, of all places, late last week. Playing in the Conference USA tournament, University of Texas at El Paso senior Kawehiokalani Netane stepped to the plate, threw her bat behind her right shoulder and swung at a pitch in the top of the seventh inning.
The ball sliced through the infield. Single. But what was noticeable about the hit was that it came from a player with a heavy hobble. Netane had torn her ACL weeks ago and had just stepped to the plate for one final, celebratory at-bat as a close to her career.
With a loud ovation sounding around her, Netane stepped off the bag at first, replaced by a pinch runner. And so her collegiate career ended — not with a whimper, but with a bang to centerfield.
“Having her get her last at bat and hit the ball the way she did — you can’t ask for a more storybook ending to finish her career,” coach Tobin Echo-Hawk said. “I’m just so proud of her and glad she got the opportunity to do that.”
The UTEP Miners lost the game, 10-4. But no one can say that her ending wasn’t picture-perfect. Congrats, Kawehiokalani.
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