SOU in Studio: Raiders reflect on reaching World Series

Hannah Wessel, Paige Leeper and Gabby Sandoval are in studio to preview their trip to Missouri for the NAIA World Series.

Posted: May 20, 2019 8:22 PM

MEDFORD—Members of the Southern Oregon softball team joined NewsWatch 12’s Jake Garcia in studio to preview the team’s trip to Missouri for the NAIA World Series.

Below is the Q & A from the interview.

NewsWatch 12: “Hannah I'll start with you, as a junior, what does it mean to see all of SOU's success at the World Series come in all three of your years? This is your story that you're writing."

Hannah Wessel: "Yeah it's great because all we know is success and we just keep striving to be better every year."

NewsWatch 12: "Paige you are one of the few local products on this team. A star at Eagle Point, all the success at SOU, how much has that validated your decision to stay close to home."

Paige Leeper: "It definitely has. It means a little bit more to me because I know that the people that are from this valley are looking at those of us that are local and are seeing that the girls that are coming from these local programs can go on to be super successful and to be a part of big programs that can contend for national championships."

NewsWatch 12: “Gabby, you and Hannah actually went to the same high school down in southern California. Take me through the conversations that maybe the two of you had as you're looking at potentially playing college ball together."

Gabby Sandoval: "We actually came to the same camp and we got recruited at the same time but I think she committed before me and we just kind of talked about obviously rooming together and just moving away together. It was one of the best decisions we've ever made to come here."

NewsWatch 12: “I now have more light-hearted, fun questions. Every single game I'm at, you can hear you guys in the dugout belching out whatever chant you have for that specific person up to bat and I'm wondering, how does a chant evolve over time? Where does it come from and where do all the variations of the chants come from."

Leeper: "A lot of these chants and cheers, they were long before any of us ever came into the program and we kind of inherit those. Other than that, we watch softball on television and so we'll hear those and take them and we'll teach them to the team and make them jump on board. We listen to songs on the radio and we'll substitute one of our teammates' names. Honestly just being around each other all the time we start to just say random things or inside jokes, just funny things that turn into cheers out of nowhere. They stick for sure and they make a difference."

NewsWatch 12: "Hannah who's the most creative when it comes to coming up with those chants?"

Wessel: "I'd have to say myself."

NewsWatch 12: "Give us an example of one that you've engineered."

Wessel: "It took us about the whole practice to come up with Hannah Shimek's cheer and Tiana is the only musical person besides Paige so we really constructed that together."

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