Story by Brandon Bonaparte
Anytime an athlete enters their last season, it can prove to be an emotional ride to the end. But for fifth-year ASU softball designated player Alli Tatnall, she gets to experience it – twice.
Before COVID-19 hit, Tatnall and her teammates were riding a 22-7 record, including a 19-4 record at home. However, right before conference play began, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, leaving Tatnall to question what her future held.
“Ending the year last year not knowing if I’d be able to come back, as a senior, that scared me,” Tatnall said. “There were so many unknown possibilities of what my future was to come.”
Because of the pandemic, the NCAA granted student-athletes an extra year of eligibility, giving Tatnall the chance to experience her last year of playing an additional time.
“If anything, with this last year of COVID-19, I appreciate the second chance that much more,” Tatnall said. “This past COVID year has made me appreciate the game and appreciate the fact that this will be my last year playing it. I get to relive it.”
While her softball season was halted last year, her academic year was not. In May of 2020, Tatnall graduated from ASU with a BA in Film. Through her capstone projects and short films, Tatnall completed her degree, and in typical 2020 fashion, the process wasn’t ordinary at all.
“We started filming [the capstones] that fall of 2019 and was editing our entire film in the spring,” she said. “I had to edit over zoom with my director and do everything virtually. That was kind of wacky and crazy and different.”
Film and softball are far from alike, but Tatnall has found ways to take what she’s learned on set and translate it to the diamond.
“I’m always on set,” said Tatnall. “Therefore, I have to always make sure I’m talking and communicating with the director and being on the same page. That also translates to softball as well, making sure everyone on the team is on the same page, making sure everyone knows what’s going to happen on this play, whether you’re in it or not.”
After completing her softball career at ASU, Tatnall has aspirations of moving out west.
“I plan on going to film school and continuing my education in California,” Tatnall said, “somewhere definitely closer to Hollywood.”