It was a memorable day at Beckham Field as twenty-eight softball alumni returned to be recognized in between the Gamecocks' double-header Saturday afternoon against Mississippi State. Each former Gamecock was given a shirt with her old number printed on the back to commemorate the day. Current players joined fans in applauding the alumni during a special recognition ceremony.
The day was described by Nancy Crane, 2000-04 center fielder, as a "very surreal" experience. Crane stated that the day brought back, "a lot of emotional things, and a lot of amazing memories." Danielle Quinones, 1999-03 catcher and third baseman, agreed with her former teammate. "Literally, coming in you can remember a hundred stories from practice, to running, to games. It's like I was here yesterday," said Quinones. Carrie Elliot, 1995-98 catcher, described the day as "bittersweet."
"I always love to come back and see the people that I played with and the people that coached me and made me the person that I am today. I mean, everybody here, especially Joyce Compton has formed me as a person, as a mom, as a nurse, as a softball player. I'm forever grateful," said Elliot.
The alumni have seen a lot of great changes in the program
over the years from the stadium to the uniforms. "They're probably the best
dressed team in the country," said Quinones.
Even though Gamecock Softball continues to evolve, the one thing that has affected the alumni the most remains the same - the coach.
"Playing softball for four years under Joyce
Compton was the best thing that ever happened to me," said Elliot who was also
a member of the 1997 team that won the SEC regular season and tournament
championships. Coach Joyce Compton is in her 24th season with the
Gamecocks, and continues to be an influential part of her players' lives. "Honestly,
playing under Joyce Compton was my favorite memory here," said Quinones.