Written By: Lalo Mata
Published: August 8, 2020
Taryn Atlee was poised to make a huge impact as a senior on the Huskies during their journey to the Softball World Series this year with the help of her slick fielding and smooth hitting in the 2020 season.
Taryn comes from a strong background of athletes when you bring up names such as her father Daryn, the professional baseball player overseas, and her brother Drake, a collegiate basketball player at CSUN.
Atlee also brings a fine resume to the table with accomplishments such as being on the Philippines National Team, being an NFCA National Freshman of the Year Finalist at Rutgers, and many more to the list.
Taryn started her collegiate career at Rutgers University where she would lead the team in batting average and stolen bases with a .393 avg and 10 stolen bases all as a starter. Later down the road, Husky Nation was calling Taryn to take her talents from New Jersey all the way back to the west coast at Washington.
As her presence grew more and more she became a known threat towards her junior year, but really got hot as a senior in 2020 until the pandemic hit.
What were the emotions when you first heard about your senior season coming to an end?
“I think the biggest emotion I was feeling when finding out my senior season had come to an end was sadness. The last 4 years have been nothing short of incredible getting to compete with my teammates so the reality of that really hit hard. But I am so excited about the opportunity to come back for my fifth year and finish out my career at UW with my teammates. I couldn’t be more excited!”
Luckily for Husky Nation and its fans, we get to see Taryn take the field for one last year with returners like Sis Bates by her side for one last ride.
What makes the Washington softball team a top program in the country?
“I think UW Softball has a tradition that is unlike any other. Class after class has left their legacy and an expectation that needs to be upheld by the incoming class. And it feels like there really isn’t any other option than to be great”.
What is a daily routine for a student-athlete for gamedays? What are the challenges?
“Game days are the best days. I think it varies in one way or another for different players, programs, and teams but I think I thrive in routine. My game day essentials are getting an iced coffee, listening to music that fires me up, and fueling my body in through my meals. It can be challenging when if that routine can be broken, and your initial reaction is to feel uncomfortable because you like your routine. But at the end of the day, we do our routine to do our routine. It doesn’t guarantee or ensure that you’re going to play well that day. How you choose to compete determines that. So it can be a challenge to keep that in mind when you become so accustomed to your routine and what you like to do in preparation for game days”.
What made you switch schools from Rutgers to Washington? Why?
“Playing for Rutgers my freshman year was an awesome experience! I was able to make so many friendships and memories that I’ll get to keep for a lifetime, but Washington has always been my dream school. So when the opportunity presented itself to join the program, it was a no-brainer. UW feels like home in more ways than one and I feel really lucky to have found that”.
Being a top player on the Rutger roster allowed Atlee to make a huge move in the scenery and make a dream turn into a reality through her amazing freshman year.
Who made the biggest impact on your career? Why?
“The list really feels like it can be made into a novel because I’ve had countless people who have helped me become the player that I am today. Without a doubt, my brother and my dad have been with me every step of the way. My passion and love for the game stemmed from their love for sports. Every single coach I’ve had has played a pivotal role in developing me as a player and person each in their own way and I am forever grateful for that. But without a doubt, my teammates from high school, to travel ball, and now collegiately are the reason why this sport is my favorite game in the world. They have made every part of this journey worth it and better yet, have made and pushed me to be better. There’s no other group I’d rather be surrounded by every day”.
What are your plans after college?
“I am so pumped to be able to go back and compete for my fifth and final year. So my mindset is completely focused on winning a national championship. But as my career is coming to an end, I think it’s been really fun to navigate potential careers and routes I might want to take on after college. I have a love for people and have found that I really love sports reporting. I hope to start a career and a sports broadcaster in the near future. I’ve also thought about playing professionally overseas as well! I think time will tell but I’m mostly just really grateful to be able to go back and compete with my girls for my final year! Go dawgs!”
As Taryn gets ready to put on the purple for another year in Washington we can expect some big-time plays from Sacramento’s big-time player. Going beyond her 5th year at the collegiate level leaves Atlee with choices for a career path overseas or sports broadcasting after graduating. Number 7 gets to prepare for another monster year on her journey with Husky Nation towards a national championship.