Sydney Shannon is a senior right fielder for Texas A&M. But she has Oklahoma roots — she's from Marlow.
At 6 p.m. Thursday, Shannon and the Aggies will take on Oklahoma at Marita Hynes Field in Norman for the first game of the Super Regional. The Oklahoman caught up with Shannon to talk to her about her decision to play at A&M, facing OU in past years and what Oklahoma fans should know about Aggie softball.
Question: How did you end up at Texas A&M?
Answer: “I (visited) A&M and just kind of fell in love with the softball program and the culture on campus. It has a kind of a small-town feel. I'm from Marlow. I chose A&M based on the culture of the school.”
Did you ever think of going to Oklahoma or Oklahoma State for softball?
“Actually, I did. I definitely knew, probably my freshman year, that I just didn't want to go to school in Oklahoma. My mom and stepdad actually moved to Texas. I felt comfortable going to a school in Texas. I knew a lot of people from my high school that went to OU. Really, I just wanted to get out of Oklahoma, make new friends and come to A&M because it was such an awesome school.”
What do you know about Oklahoma softball?
“I have a lot of friends that obviously played there or had played there. ... It's a great program by all means. My friends that went there, they loved it. It's obvious that they're a very talented team, and we're definitely going to have to play very well to beat them this weekend.”
Do you still have family in Oklahoma?
“My (biological) dad lives in Oklahoma. My grandmother and my grandpa still live there.”
Who's coming to watch you this weekend?
“My family from Oklahoma is coming. My brother actually has some baseball stuff, so my mom and stepdad are unable to come.”
What's softball in the SEC like?
“We've had some ups and some downs, but we're playing really well right now. The SEC is a very tough conference, and getting to go and see the scenery and Tennessee and Georgia and school's like that, it's just a change of scenery. It's just different competition.”
Are you glad the Super Regional is being held in your home state?
“Obviously, I wish we could have hosted, but since that's not the case there's no where else I'd rather play a Super Regional.”
Best win this season? “UCLA. I thought that was definitely a win that propelled us to be where we are right now. I think they were ranked, and we played them on their home field. I think it really started us off on the right foot.”
Standout player? “Mel Dumezich. She's our ace on the mound. With her on the mound, we have a lot of confidence.”