Senior Tribute: NDSU Softball’s Montana DeCamp
Bison Softball Shortstop looks back on collegiate career
FARGO, N.D. — North Dakota State Softball was gearing up for a road trip to the west coast when the news of COVID-19 canceled the rest of their season ending what might be the end of four seniors collegiate careers.
What turned into a normal team meeting quickly became a surreal moment for shortstop Montana DeCamp.
“I was sitting next to Maddie (Madyson Camacho) at the time and both of our heads just dropped,” DeCamp said. “We didn’t say anything for a long time then we finally got up and gave each other hugs because there really wasn’t any words to be said at the moment.”
Not getting that chance of a full season, DeCamp says it wasn’t just emotional for the senior class but everyone else on the team
“Spring break trips the previous three years are really the breaking point for a team,” DeCamp said. “Its when the freshman fully get on board and everything starts to click and to not have that as a senior and for my freshman that were here its unfulfilling.”
With DeCamp being in a five-year elementary education at NDSU and having to fulfilling student teaching, the recent NCAA ruling in favor of an additional year of eligibility for spring sports, makes a likely possibility she can come back and finish playing softball on her own terms.
“Going into senior season, I always had the mentality of giving everything I have every practice every game,” DeCamp said. “Every opportunity I could but to have it end like that not really in a fulfilling way. We didn’t even get to conference play. Its really hopeful that, I’m able to come back. Hopefully with a couple other seniors and were able to kind of give it everything we have until the end.”
If it doesn’t work out for DeCamp to return, she leaves as part of three consecutive Summit League Championship teams and three NCAA Tournament appearances, success credited by team bonding.
“The travel. Waking up at 3 in the morning to go to the airport, waiting for delays, having to drive to Minneapolis to catch a flight,” DeCamp said. “All those little moments just really combine together to make the team work and gel together.”
No matter what happens over the coming months with her decision, DeCamp is all about staying positive and taking something from this experience.
“For myself if I’m able to come back and having the underclassman really see that your season really can end at any point,” DeCamp said. “We’ve all seen season ending injuries, tragedies but nothing to this extreme and its really put into perspective that you can’t any practice or any opportunity for granted.”
DeCamp is one of 30 NCAA softball student athletes to be nominated for the Senior Class award for excellence both in the classroom and on the field. She currently holds a 3.98 GPA, is the president of the student athlete advisory council and has published a children’s book. The award winner will be announced later this spring.