Working toward ultimate goal

Courtesy of Raven Chavanne

Raven Chavanne, right, and Tennessee teammate Lauren Gibson, left, celebrate with Lady Vols fan Averi Ramsey after winning their regional.

Hello everyone! What an exciting weekend it was for Lady Vols softball as we advanced to super regionals! Through the weekend, we ended up going a perfect 3-0, but each game presented its challenges.

The first game of the regional was against Longwood, an extremely good hitting team whose No. 2 hitter leads the NCAA in home runs. We ended up beating the Lancers 9-0, but they hit the ball hard and were a good-hitting team. Our pitcher, Ivy Renfroe, did a fantastic job of shutting down such a powerful offense, and we were all so proud of her.

The next day was the biggest obstacle of the weekend, as we played an 11-inning game against NC State. It was the longest game ever ... literally. It set the Lady Vols softball record for longest game played at four hours. The game was an absolute battle, but in the bottom of the 11th we won on a walk-off triple with two outs. I'm pretty positive I popped a vocal cord I screamed so loud out of excitement.

After the game I still had more to do. I promised Averi Ramsey, our newest teammate who we met through Team IMPACT, that I would give her a piggyback ride throughout the clubhouse after the game ended. Sure enough, when I entered the locker room she was there screaming, "Raven pick me up!" Throwing her on my back, I ran around the clubhouse as I promised, then got her a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs after our little adventure. Having her as part of the team has been such a blessing and all of us feel so honored to have this special little girl in our lives.

On Sunday, we ended up playing NC State again and winning 7-0 to advance to the NCAA super regionals. I have nothing but respect for that team as they were such a class act. Their pitcher, Emily Weiman, is a warrior. She has thrown almost every inning for them the whole season, and as a competitor I cannot help but respect her.

I am so excited to have the opportunity to play again this upcoming weekend. We are hosting Alabama on Friday, and we know it's going to be a tough series. It never fails to amaze me how it goes from 64 to 16 teams so quickly.

I never take the opportunity of playing in the postseason for granted, as most teams are not as fortunate. I know this weekend won't be easy, and there will be bumps along the way to our team's ultimate goal of making it to the Women's College World Series. But I do know that I do not want the last college game of my career to be in Knoxville. I want it to be in Oklahoma City.