Knoxville, TENN. (WATE) – As is often the case when Meghan Gregg steps to the plate, her mom, Kathy, cheers loudly from the bleachers.
Her typical chant? “Have fun Megan! Have fun!”
“Well it takes a lot of pressure off her I think and it’s not fun to get out so if you have fun, you’re going to do well,” says Kathy. “But I just want the pressure off of her if there’s anything I can do.”
Sounds nice, but her daughter isn’t buying it.
“Knowing my mom I know that’s helping calm her down more than it’s helping me,” Meghan responds. “I know she’s in the stands just really frantic and just saying have fun calms her down more than it does me.”
“I get very very nervous, I try not to be like that because my husband’s like oh my gosh you’ve got to stop but I’m just so tight,” her mom admits.
Meghan doesn’t mind.
“It makes me laugh a little bit so that definitely calms me down and reminds me to keep the game simple. It’s definitely good hearing it because it’s just a very heartwarming, close to home feeling when you hear that.”
It’s a feeling Kathy wants to make sure her daughter has.
“I always wanted her to know that we were there for her whether she could see us, hear us or just feel us being there.”
Being there. A simple concept but a luxury Meghan has never taken for granted.
“Some kids had to ride the bus home you know after the game or something like that and I never had to do that. I just think that’s a really big deal, and I think the older I’ve gotten the more I’ve appreciated it<‘ says Meghan. “I’ve loved having my parents in the stands but now seeing how much they travel for me… you know coming to Knoxville, that’s a four hour drive and they do it easy. That’s just really special and it means a lot to me.”
“I realized that this is just a moment in time that’s really leaving us very soon and I didn’t want to miss one game,” Kathy says.
And she rarely does. Luckily, Meghan has made it worth her time.
Gregg holds the program career record for home runs and RBI. She currently ranks first in program history in slugging percentage, was a finalist for collegiate player of the year, an All-American, and so much more.
” I’m so amazed,” admits Kathy. “In my mind I was always thinking, ‘I’m glad she’s having fun’ but I never thought it would get to this point. But the more I saw her work, this was totally on her own. Her plan was to do her best and that’s what makes me the proudest. I mean her best is pretty dawgone good.”
But her time on Rocky Top will come to an end this year. Meghan tries not to think about it with her eyes on a World Series, but her mom is a different story.
“This is my girl and I am going to be very sad at that last ball game, but I also realize it is a homey feeling. And it makes me happy that she has other places that she can call home, whenever, wherever. So it’s been a bittersweet situation. I always wanted her to want to come home, but it’s really good for her. I’ve been really proud.”