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The Antelope

Dreams do come true

“A simple act of kindness, no matter the size, can impact others more than anyone could imagine”

Rylee Murphy JMC 215
Rylee Murphy
JMC 215


There are just some things in life that you will never forget because they imprint on you.
I started my softball career when I was 8 years old, and every spring, summer and fall until my freshman year of college my calendar was filled with games, catches, hits, seals, bruises, and laughter.

I was blessed to have played four years of college softball with two programs that mean everything to me, first at Mid-Plains Community College, then at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

Ending my senior eligibility year at UNK was a dream come true. I’ve never felt so honored to represent a program that took a chance on me because I never thought I was good enough to be a part of a DII program.

Throughout my senior season I didn’t have the best of luck. I was in a knee brace for over two months due to an injury that possibly needed surgery.

I was not a starter, but I always made sure that the dugout was cheering for our girls on the field and up to bat.
My role on the team was not to be a starter. Sending a smile, giving a hug or high five and cheering my lungs out was my role. It wasn’t about the playing time. It was about being a selfless player.  

Finally, the last week of softball, I was cleared to play.

On my last game of my senior year, Makenzi Dallas, who was also a senior, performed the most selfless action anyone could ever give another. Dallas was a starter who excelled on the field and was an impactful leader, a girl who everyone looked to for advice, solutions and friendships and she gave up the last at bat of her career to me.
“A girl everyone looked to for advice, solutions and friendship gave up the last at bat of her career to me.”

It was the last inning of the game and we were up to bat.

Coach Carnes hollered my name from the opposite side of the dugout and said “grab your helmet and bat, you’re hitting for Mak.”
My heart was racing 100 times a minute. Dallas heard what coach had said and didn’t even hesitate to give me the opportunity I could of only dreamed for.

Grabbing my bat and helmet I rushed out onto the field and headed straight to the batter’s box. I knew in this moment, this was it. This was my final at bat of my softball career.

“Ball one,” the home plate umpire said. I step out of the batter’s box and look down the third base line to where coach was standing. “You got this; see the ball,” coach Carnes said.

I exhale, step back into the batter’s box, press my helmet down a little more on my head and stare straight at the pitcher who is getting her next sign from the catcher.

“Strike one,”called the home plate umpire.

I think to myself, ‘Hey, I got this. Just see the ball and breathe.’

The next pitch comes down the pitching lane.

“Ping.” The softball rolls off the bat and heads straight where the second baseman is standing.

My entire team screams my name, “Run Rylee, run.” I sprint down the first base line, driving my cleats into the dirt while I run.

“Out,” the field umpire said. I knew in that instant I didn’t make it in time, but I was OK with that. I just had a teammate give her spot to me, the girl who knew she wasn’t a starter, but was ever so grateful to be part of the team.

After the game was over I instantly ran over to Dallas and gave her the biggest hug I could ever manage to give. Tears running down both our faces, we both look at each other and say “thank you.”

Thank you meant two different things for each of us, but one thing was for sure. The impact of that day hasn’t left either one of us to this day and will never be forgotten.

A simple act of kindness, no matter the size can impact a others more than anyone imagines.


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