Junior Alanna Thiede pitches her way into the University of Oklahoma


Ever since she was five years old, junior Alanna Thiede knew that she was destined to play softball. After watching her older sister and friends play, she quickly gained a liking to the sport, and at age eight, she decided to start pitching. Knowing softball was something she wanted to continue past her high school career, Thiede talked to eight colleges and ended up committing to the University of Oklahoma as a freshman.

“Due to my age at the time it as a scary decision, but not hard,” Thiede said. “I knew that the decision I made was the right one.”

Thiede currently plays for the Orange County Batbusters 18U Stith. Between school and softball, she has a constantly busy schedule, and has to be proactive with her time management. Having travel practice five to six days a week in Orange County, it can often be hard to handle both softball and schoolwork.

“I have to do my homework in the car on the way up and back from practice,” Thiede said. “When it’s high school season, it’s a bit easier to manage everything because I have practice right after school and don’t have to travel as far.”

As competitive sports can often be stressful, athletes need a support team around them at all times. Whether it be family, friends, coaches or teammates, having people by their side helps athletes to both be and play their best.

“My family inspires me the most through my journey,” Thiede said. “My dad has always been there for me through everything.”

Since she was little, playing softball at the University of Oklahoma was always a dream of hers. When she was looking at colleges, Thiede was looking for a school with good education, a high spirited school and a softball team that could compete in the National Championship.

“The whole coaching staff has such great morals and they all push you to be your best,” Thiede said.

On Aug. 3, 2016, sports including softball, baseball and skateboarding were added to the 2020 Olympics. After being off the list of sports in the Olympics for 12 years, softball is making a comeback and many people are excited about it. Planning to one day play in the Olympics, Thiede is very happy about the return of her favorite sport.

“I think it took so long for softball to become part of the Olympics because not many people knew what softball was at the time,” Thiede said. “Softball has come such a long way and is getting more popular.”

For the second straight year, the Oklahoma Sooners claimed the national championship. They are a very successful team with high rankings, and even players have earned the NFCA All-American Honors.

“My favorite thing about playing softball is the competition and my teammate,” Thiede said. “Softball has brought me so many opportunities.”