Glendale’s Dallas Escobedo McGee was part of the slew of athletes who made history during this summer’s Olympic Games.
Losing the women’s bronze medal softball game against Team Canada 3-2 at Yokohama Baseball Stadium on July 26, Mexico still made its mark.
“Softball hasn’t even been into the Olympic Games for 13 years, so it’s just really big,” Escobedo McGee said. “It was like a final piece to the puzzle for a lot of my teammates.”
These games were a sort of homecoming for Escobedo McGee. The 2011 national champion at ASU, Escobedo McGee pitches professional for Toyota Shokki in the Japanese Women’s Softball League.
Her 2014 ASU teammates Chelsea Gonzales and Sashel Palacios joined Escobedo McGee in the Olympic experience.
“She (Palacios) is amazing,” she said. “I don’t think we would have gotten as far as we had without her because of her knowledge of the game.
“On the other hand, Chelsea is a phenomenal fielder. She can play shortstop; second base; she was the three, four or five hitter all through college; and just so clutch. When I think of Chelsea, I think clutch.”
Escobedo McGee, a former National Pro Fastpitch No. 1 draft pick and Women’s College World Series MVP, said she wondered if she would ever get the chance to compete for an Olympic medal.
A self-proclaimed “Arizona girl,” Escobedo McGee credits her father, Richard, for sharing that success doesn’t come easy.
She said that at a young age, he taught her to embrace her family’s support, which made her a “much stronger player.”
“If I do feel that I’m struggling, or my teammates can tell that they’re hitting off me a little bit more, they (teammates/family) come up to me and say, ‘Hey, we’re good,’” Escobedo McGee said.
“Creating that communication on the mound with my shortstop, my first baseman, I can go to any teammate and know that they got my back and I got theirs.”
Escobedo McGee is preparing to return to Japan and regain the spotlight. She relaxes by singing Lady Gaga songs while shagging fly balls and is inspired by former Arizona Diamondbacks star Randy Johnson.
“Because I’m an ‘Arizona girl,’ when I was growing up, I watched the Diamondbacks and Randy Johnson, the ‘Big Unit,’” Escobedo McGee said.
“He was the big pitcher on the mound. I want to be the big pitcher on the mound. It was always so cool when he was out there. All eyes were on him,” she said.