Always so calm in the batter's box, Redmond's Tia Milloy was a mess at midnight.
It was Sept. 1 - the first day NCAA softball programs could contact her in a recruiting sense. The top-50 national middle-infielder prospect was braced for the action, and her phone began ringing.
The first call came in from the University of Tennessee where her older sister, Kiki, plays. That is when her stomach started to twist in knots.
"They're like family to me, but I was so nervous ... and shaking, and wanted to throw up," Milloy said.
Well, Milloy found a way to navigate the nerves - and the mass rush of attention - to find her next home. The Mustangs' talented shortstop and reigning 4A KingCo MVP gave a verbal pledge Monday to be part of the national champion Oklahoma Sooners' class of 2024.
And even though most of her family bleeds the purple and gold of the University of Washington, including her father, Lawyer, who was an All-American safety for the Huskies in the mid-1990s before playing in the NFL - this Milloy decided on a different destination.
"With Kiki's commitment, everyone was shocked it was Tennessee," Tia Milloy said. "I am doing the same thing.
"I just wanted to create my own path."
The last time anybody saw Milloy in WIAA action, it was in the Class 4A championship game in late May. Her seventh-inning RBI double broke a tie, and the Mustangs defeated Skyview, 7-6, in Spokane.
Milloy also enjoyed a banner summer with her club team - the Portland-based Northwest Bullets - and that triggered even more recruiting attention.
Milloy's relationship with the Sooners began a year ago when she attended an underclassman prospect camp in Norman.
And it wasn't softball that first caught the teenager's attention. It was a card game.
"We played a game of 'Uno,' and it was the most competitive, nerve-wracking game of my life," she said. "I was in between coach (Patty) Gasso and her husband (Jim), and they were going after it."
She returned last spring to watch a Sooners game - and then made an official visit during the last weekend of September.
"There is so much love in the program," Milloy said. "They don’t chase championships. They just work so hard to be great."
After visiting UCLA last weekend, Milloy came home and decided she was ready - and committed to the Sooners on Monday night.
"Both of them were great options," Milloy said, "but the better fit was Oklahoma."