Well, since we HAVE played 2 games now, I suppose it’s time to log in and post a new message. Obviously I have been pathetic at keeping this up-to-date, but now that the season has REALLY started, I promise to work harder at it! Besides, we have another 21 hour bus ride to look forward to after we’re done playing tomorrow, so what else do I have to do?
After almost 6 weeks of practice in the gym, it was AMAZING to finally get outside onto a real field. We had the opportunity to practice on our way down to Panama City Beach, FL, at the University of Alabama softball stadium. It was an amazing experience and we had a TON of FUN! Patrick Murphy hosted us and spent about an hour with the team, providing us with the history of the program, the stadium, and giving us the real “red carpet” treatment. We were ALL very impressed by his “southern hospitality” (even though he IS an Iowa Boy!). It had rained almost all night, but by the time we were ready to practice, the infield was actually dry enough for us to use part of it. The energy from our team was electric and as good as I have felt about this team during the entire preseason, I felt even BETTER about them on Thursday during practice.
We did have one little snafu while in Tuscaloosa – after practice we headed to Applebee’s to grab some lunch before heading the rest of the way to Panama City Beach, and upon trying to enter the parking lot, our bus got stuck on the incline! The entire team tried to push, but even after 5 weeks of P90X (just google it), we weren’t strong enough to budge it. So after the big wrecker pulled it out, we were back on the road. What kind of stories like THAT can you get from FLYING somewhere with the team??? LOL!
To make the bus ride even better, we invested in 2 wireless routers, which so far have proven priceless! My student assistant coach had a professor who put her class lecture online and she was actually able to listen to it on the bus! How amazing is technology? We decided to try the routers so we could help our team stay on track with their schoolwork when we’re on the road. We have an office on campus that assists professors with technology in their classrooms and that office is helping those professors learn how to put lectures, etc., online so that students who are competing in intercollegiate athletics can stay on top of things. So even though they are “physically” missing class, they really aren’t because they can get everything from class online. It’s an amazing thing.
In order to not make this into a “War and Peace” length novel, I should wrap up today by talking about yesterday’s games. We had a good day, although in Game 1 vs. Alma College we put ourselves in a couple positions we shouldn’t have been in. We got on top of them 4-1 but then let them back in. We ended up winning with a clutch pinch hit single by Jess Freagon. Alma is a team ranked in the NFCA Top 25, so it was a quality win. Jess Hegseth recorded her first collegiate strike out by getting the first batter of the game to watch strike #3. It was exciting for everyone! Freshman Kassie Krummel picked up her first collegiate win in that game, as she pitched the 7th and 8th innnings.
Game #2 was vs. Farmingdale State, which was an NCAA Tournament team in 2009 and they won their conference title. We exploded for 12 runs in the first inning and never looked back. We ended up winning 17-4, with Britt Bergquist, a freshman, getting her first collegiate HR – a 3-run HR at that!
I’m proud to say that every player got innings yesterday. Innings = experience = consistency. We work to put every player in position to be successful so that when/if something happens to a starter/regular player, we can replace her with someone who can get the job done equally well. We have quite a bit of depth from what I’ve seen so far. The players are making our decisions as coaches difficult – but that’s a good problem to have.
We’re getting up for a walk on the beach this morning to get the blood flowing and then it’s off to play the current #4 team in the country, East Texas Baptist. The challenge is great, but the opportunity is greater. We’re looking forward to the challenge.
Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon!
For the Love of the Game,