Out of the Woods

The toughest part about college is picking one. It’s a decision that has to be made for the right reasons. It isn’t a decision that someone can go into lightly.

But, even when you think you have picked the right college - maybe you haven’t. Maybe you thought everything the college was like when you went for your visit turned out not to be. Maybe it wasn’t the right fit academically, or maybe it wasn’t the right fit for your athletic career.

There are a lot of factors that go into it. One thing that a student or student-athletes has to remember is that it’s ok to change your mind. It’s ok to say this college wasn’t right for me. Or this program wasn’t right for me.

Owning up to the mistake or the challenges is what makes a person stronger.

After a year at Mercyhurst, Buffalo State College softball player Melissa Woods knew it just wasn’t the right fit. She knew she needed to look for something that was the right fit for her.

When she started the process of looking to come back home, Buffalo State College kept standing out to here. Buffalo State had a lot to offer her. They have a good academic standing and a solid softball program.

The former Frontier standout knew this is the place where she wanted to finish her college career. And three years later, she hasn’t looked back with any regrets.

“I transferred my sophomore year from Mercyhurst because I wanted to be close to home,” stated Woods. “It was easy to commute and Buffalo State offered the psychology program I was studying. I loved the coach and team, and that’s why I continued to play at Buff State.”

When catching a Buffalo State softball game don’t blink cause you may miss woods. During her career with the Bengals, Woods has played all over the diamond. She is the super utility player that every team needs.

One game, you may see her behind the plate. The next at second base. The next in the outfield. She brings the team first mentality to e Bengals squad that is doing great things on the diamond this year.

She could easily sulk and say she wants rot be the starter at one positions. But, being able to play multiple positions, she gives the coaching staff flexibility on the lineup. Which in turns gives opposing teams issues.

“My sophomore year I caught and played right field, and obviously they are two different positions where I had to know where to go with the ball,” stated Woods. “The last two years I have played second base. Every position is different and you need to know to go at each position. It’s just a lot of thinking and practice, and know what to do when you are on the field.”

The psychology major takes that type of thinking on the field. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the over thinking of the sport, think a lot of superstitions in the game of baseball and softball. But, being able to think about how you are going to go about that next at bat is important.

It’s also important to be able to forget about things, especially if you made an error or had a bad at bat. Being right mentally is almost more important as being right physically. The mental part of the game can take a toll on you from day one.

“It’s all about thinking and where to go with the ball,” stated Woods. “You are always thinking two plays ahead. Psychology has helped me with that, because it’s all about thinking. That plays a huge role in softball because it’s all a mental game. For the most part I think it has helped me a lot.”

Of course coming back home has its advantages. First you get to save money because you know longer have to dorm, you can just commute back and forth. Second, you get to play in front of family and friends.

There is nothing better that having your family members cheer you as you help your team to victory. Or have them cheering you want went you get the big hit or make the amazing play in the field.

“Since I am 20 minutes from home, I have my parents and grandparents come to the games,” stated Woods. “I like to see my family in the crowd. They are supporting me, and what I like to do. It’s really nice.”