The Auburn University Tigers softball team has just ended another dream season, making it to the finals of the Women's College World Series for the second consecutive year.
Despite the losses last year to Florida and this year to Oklahoma in college softball's highest prize, junior Jenna Abbott wouldn't change a thing.
Abbott, a 2013 Dawson County High School grad, will be entering her senior year at Auburn this fall.
This year's team ended with an overall record of 58-12 and Abbott finished her season with a .263 batting average and a .463 on base percentage. Abbott is listed as a pitcher and designated player on the roster, but has begun the move to first base for next year.
Coming off the world series, she took time to answer questions about her time at Auburn.
Clearly you have had a ton of success with Auburn softball. Would you tell me about your team?
The team has such a strong bond. We are all like sisters. We do a lot of stuff together. There were 30 of us this year, so it got a little catty every now and then, but we were all so close, it didn't really matter.
How has your career been so far? (What were your expectations going in and have they been exceeded?)
My career has been a lot of fun. I have met a lot of new people and made a lot of connections that I will take with me when I graduate. I have been given a lot of opportunities throughout my career and I am thankful for the relationship I have built with the coaches. I will be playing first base this year, so it will be fun to see how the year progresses.
You mentioned moving to first base. How's that going?
I was at first base this year too, but Jade [Rhodes] had been there for the past three years so I was there if she had any trouble. It's going well. I've learned a lot over the past year at first base. Watching Jade has really helped me out.
What was the atmosphere like at the WCWS?
The atmosphere at the World Series was unreal. There were so many fans there that you couldn't hear yourself think. It was something I can't compare to anything else. When we got to the championship series, you could tell we were playing Oklahoma just by the fans alone. It was like there were 8,000 Oklahoma fans and 400 Auburn fans (which was mainly just family and friends), but it was still a surreal experience.
How did your experience at Dawson County impact your collegiate career?
Dawson County has shown me the importance of family and friends, I still talk to a lot of my friends from high school, and my relationships with them helped me build new relationships at Auburn.
Would you change anything if you could? If so, what?
I wouldn't change anything.
What has been the best part of your time at Auburn-individually and as a team?
From a team perspective, our greatest moments have all come at the WCWS, and my greatest individual moment came my freshman year in Minnesota during regionals. I pinch hit a walk-off homerun to force the if-game of the regional championship.
What are you studying at Auburn?
I am studying Public Administration and Business.
What would you like to do when you graduate?
I am going to go to grad school at Auburn once I finish my degree. I will graduate in spring of 2017.
Do you get back to Dawsonville much?
I am actually in Dawsonville for the rest of the summer, but during the school year I only get to come home on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Do you miss it?
I do miss Dawsonville when I am away, but I miss being with my friends and family more than anything.
What is the off season like for you?
Off season for us is during the fall, and it is the hardest time of the year. We have 5:30 workouts every morning and we have practice every day after classes.
What are your goals for the rest of your career?
When I am finished with school, I would like to become an administrator of a hospital or nursing home.