Heading to OKC: UT Tyler Patriots prepare to defend their title - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Heading to OKC: UT Tyler Patriots prepare to defend their title

KLTV Staff KLTV Staff

The UT Tyler Patriots are headed to Oklahoma City to compete for back to back national titles. It's an opportunity this team has been working toward all season long. 

"Anytime you get to dogpile its a really special moment. And especially for some of these freshman and transfers who have never experienced a world series. Its an overwhelming joy for them that they are going to get to experience this and take it all in," said KK Stevens, senior Patriot catcher. 

"It really means the world to us that we get to continue playing. All of our girls work extremely hard, day-in and day-out putting in the effort. For other teams they checked out. I have friends that are out doing fun things and no one understands that here is where we need to be. Softball is it for us," said Alaina Kissinger, senior Patriot pitcher.  

But now that the Patriots have their spot in OKC, they have to physically get there. That's where the coaching staff steps up to the plate. In less than 48 hours they have to book hotels, travel, meals, and practices.

"So as soon as you win, within 24 hours the NCAA is sending you a packet of forms you need fill out and send back. Sometimes you don't know who you play until the other regional are finished. You know the bracket and how that is set up. But you don't know who the exact team is until the next day," said Whitney Wyly, Patriots assistant coach. 

"You know a lot of the paper work and a lot of the deadlines have been met. Coach Wyly has taken care of that for us. Now we can relax and enjoy the time on the field," said Mike Reed, Patriots head coach. 

By keeping this team enjoying not only the game but one another, these Patriots say that's why they are so successful. 

"We come out here and we put in the work. But we also know how have fun with each other and with Coach Reed and the other coaches. You get to see everyone's personality and you relax for a little bit," said Mel Hinojosa, senior Patriot infielder. 

"Before practice we play a fun game, so that keeps the game fun. We have fun during practice, but to be able to have fun together with everyone before that's just an awesome feeling," said Kaylee Prather, senior Patriot outfielder. 

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