Women's fastpitch swinging for playoffs

By Colin Phan - Staff Reporter

The Lady T-Birds have one of the highest-octane offenses in the NWAC North Region, thanks in part to shortstop Megan Chan.

Chan leads the T-Birds behind the plate, batting third. Through 97 at bats, she's recorded 43 hits, 26 RBIs, and team high 8 home runs to go with a .444 batting average.  

Chan's impassioned cheers for her fellow teammates sets her apart as a vocal leader for the T-Birds. You wouldn't notice her fiery attitude off the field, as she's more calm and reserved.

Chan wasn't a recruit from an exotic far away island – rather – she was a local prospect, hailing from Federal Way. Softball has been her life since she was 6 years old, Chan said. Before that, she was a multi-sport athlete competing in swim and soccer. 

Her reason for sliding into the sport of softball was her older sister. 

"My older sister got me into softball," said Chan. "I was doing swim and soccer, but I joined my older sister's little league team." 

Chan followed her sister in softball throughout their childhood. When Chan's sister outgrew little league and joined a select team, Chan was right behind her. 

Somewhere down the line, things just clicked for Chan, who realized she was enamored with softball.

"I was really into soccer in seventh grade and my dad told me I needed to stop soccer and play softball," said Chan. "He said I'd have a better future there, and I went with it. In my fifth-grade yearbook, I wrote that I wanted to be a professional softball player, so I always sort of had that mindset."  

Chan heeded her father's advice and played softball exclusively in high school. There was no doubt in her mind that her father was right that she had a future in softball, Chan said. 

Chan was in talks with many schools before settling with one. Surprisingly, it wasn't Highline.

"I was talking with Louisiana State, Oregon State, and UW. It was just that they all wanted me to walk on," said Chan. "I was also talking to Western [Washington University], and they offered me."

Chan made the trek to Bellingham, and began her collegiate career with the Vikings. However, her debut season didn't turn out as she expected. 

"I was redshirting at Western. I was academically ineligible, and got hurt," said Chan. "It became more of a full-time job, rather than a sport and my passion." 

Things never panned out for Chan at Western, as she was academically dismissed following her freshman season. 

After her disappointing experience up north, Chan looked for a chance at redemption. She found one at Highline.

"I didn't plan on going to Highline," said Chan. "But I ended up getting in contact with my sister at Highline, and she told Jason [Evans] that I was a good ball player. He told me he'd have a roster spot if I signed a letter of intent."

In two years at Highline, Chan feels like she's gotten her redemption, but a lingering injury dating back to high school may cause Chan to retire from softball after this season. 

"This is my last year here, and I'm scheduled to have shoulder surgery in two weeks," said Chan. "It's a very loose joint, and it's no longer strong enough to support the socket. I've been playing with it since my sophomore year of high school." 

Chan is disheartened, feeling like she can play much longer. 

"It's one of those punches in the face when you want to redeem yourself," said Chan. "There's more in the tank but my body is telling me no."

Chan has made peace with her injury, as she already has plans after softball.

"I'm transferring to Central [Washington University] for leadership and management," said Chan. "I'm hoping to take up an assistant coaching job somewhere. I just need my bachelor's first." 

Chan credits a strong support system of her father, mother, and sister, for pushing her to be as good as she is. 

"This year marks 15 years of softball for me," Chan said. "I really hope we get into the playoffs my last year, this is the best team we've had." 

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