An MU softball player went from bench warmer to All-American this year. Taylor Gadbois achieved third-team All-American and first-team All-SEC honors on Wednesday.
After starting nine games one season ago, Gadbois led the SEC in stolen bases and was third in the league in hits this season.
“I was seeing the ball a lot better and I just had confidence," Gadbois said of her hitting.
Gadbois' most recent success on the softball field has led to more than just continued success for the MU Softball team. It has also pumped jubilation into a family going through hard times.
Taylor's mother Dana Austin has been battling leukemia for six years now. The disease has put her in and out of hospitals and has left her legally blind. Despite her vision impairment, Austin attended around seven games this year.
"When I am up to bat or make a catch in the outfield someone will have to tell her. But she is still there for me and that is all that matters in my heart," Gadbois said.
When she is able to attend, Austin sits behind home plate with her family.
Austin was the first person outside of Taylor to find out she was an All-American.
"I immediately called her right after I heard the news," Gadbois said. "She was so happy for me. She started sobbing on the phone and she was like, 'Taylor you did it!' Honestly, it felt so surreal to me when it was all going down, but when my mom said those words to me it just all hit home."
Gadbois is grateful to receive such awards and said she has teammates that were just as deserving as her.