Where are they now? Former softball star Brejae Washington strives to leave legacy in National Pro Fastpitch league

Riley Neuheardt

Brejae Washington knew she wanted to be a Longhorn immediately after watching the team compete in the 2006 Women’s College World Series. She said she idolized Texas pitcher Cat Osterman’s tenacity and energy.

Almost 10 years later, the two are teammates on the USSSA Florida Pride, one of five National Pro Fastpitch teams.

“Watching how fired up she was on the mound got me pumped and feeling like I wanted to go to Texas,” Washington said.

Washington arrived enamored with the Texas players that came before her, but she didn’t stay in their shadows while at UT. Washington still holds the Texas record for hits, triples and stolen bases. She started all four years in centerfield and left with a reputation as one of the fastest players to ever wear the Texas uniform.

“I left my mark there, and that was something that I’m very honored to be able to do,” Washington said. “But I feel like it also helped me put myself on a pedestal but gave other girls something to strive for. That’s a record that I hope gets broken.”

Her will to win didn’t end when she graduated from Texas. Washington started the 2014 season with the USSSA Pride alongside two other former Longhorns, Osterman and catcher Megan Willis. She won a Diamond Spikes Award for her league-leading 17 stolen bases.  

But Washington’s transition to professional softball wasn’t smooth.

“It was a humbling experience because I went from being a starter at UT for four straight years to having to be a pitch runner,” Washington said. “I had to learn a new role, so that was different. But I’m on a team with Olympians. I’ll play my role wherever I fit.”

At 11 years old with only five teams, National Pro Fastpitch is an infant in the world of pro sports. The league continues to grow, however, and will welcome its third new team in three years in 2016.

Washington said she values the opportunity the league offers to showcase her talents.

“I think my goals ultimately would be to just grow the league and make the most out of it and keep it as professional as possible,” Washington said. “Hopefully I can look back and say, ‘Hey, I was part of that team when it was low, and look at it now.’”