Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Anyway to explain my earlier comment about being pretty accident prone, let’s start by counting the injuries. By the way something to note, everything that happens to me seems to happen on my left side. I’ll show you! As a freshman, I came in with a broken wrist from playing softball for my summer traveling team. I received two pins in my left wrist, which left a little indention scar. Then last year while participating in the 6 am morning workout, I broke my left foot. We had to do an exercise called split-box jumps on an aerobics step up pallet that was about 6 or so tiers high. I was never very good at them, so being as accident prone as I am, I knew it was just a matter of time ‘til something bad happened. I never imagined though that I would come down wrong and break the outside bone of my left foot; this resulted in a 3-inch screw permanently placed in my foot. Talk about a fun experience every time I travel on an airplane; it almost always goes off. Looking at the x-rays, the screw look likes a sheetrock screw with one significant exception, the screw in my foot is worth about $400 and the other maybe $0.40 if you’re lucky, probably not even that much though. Here’s another example: as the fall was ending this past year I started to get a little bit of tendonitis in my shoulder. Coach Angus jokingly commented “well if that’s the most that’s going to happen this year then we’re lucky.” So the fact-of-the-matter is I am very accident prone. You can ask any of my teammates and they all have little stories they could probably tell you to give you a better idea. You know what I mean, when the story starts off “remember that one time Weady…” I have a feeling it’s going to be about something that happened to me but also probably pretty funny. I’ll tell you about the day we were videotaping our swings during a live pitching day at another time but until then “live everyday to the fullest because you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow”; a very wise quote from a very dear friend.
R.I.P. Big Dan (DP)
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
With only three days left to recuperate from our first tournament in Texarkana, we packed our bags for Waco, Texas for yet, another challenging weekend of softball. Headed to Baylor University for their annual Getterman Classic against Syracuse, Purdue, and #7 Baylor, we had high expectations as a team.
We left Shreveport Thursday afternoon around 5:30 p.m. and arrived in Waco close to 11 p.m. that evening. With a long day ahead of us at the ballpark on Friday, we unpacked and went straight to bed.
Friday morning rolled around and we played the opening games of the tournament facing Syracuse from the Big East and Purdue of the Big Ten. Not knowing much about each of these teams, we went into the game against Syracuse with an idea of playing “our game” and nothing else.
Our focus heading into this tournament was improving our overall approach at the plate. In our opening tournament, we seemed to struggle with aggressive at-bats and trusting our strengths at the plate. Practicing several days on hitting last week paid off. Each player went to the plate with a better understanding of what they can do to have a better at-bat. We worked on being aggressive early and swinging at close pitches—putting the ball in play.
Trying to find the momentum to win the first game of our season was what made for a much more exciting tournament. We played well in the opening game against Syracuse putting up five hits and drawing nine walks. Sophomore Haley Bassett provided a spark at the plate going 2-for-2 knocking in two runs. Sophomore Ryan Thacker (also my roommate) picked up her first win of the season throwing six full innings, giving up just five hits, while striking out three. It was an impressive outing on all counts, defensively and offensively.
Against Purdue in the second game on Friday, we put up again, a solid hitting performance with seven hits against the Boilermakers, though it wasn’t enough in the end as they manufactured runs on three errors. Senior outfielder Amy Wiedeman hit her first homerun of the season in a 2-for-4 effort, scoring a run, and driving in three in the 8-7 loss.
We have had to overcome quite some adversity as junior shortstop Emerald Doria has been out with an injury, along with some other minor aches and pains to other players. This adversity has made us work hard to fight through change and realize a little unluckiness early will, in the end, only make us stronger.
After Friday’s games, more than half of the team iced up before heading back to the hotel to relax. We were treated with a nice dinner just before we were locked into our rooms studying for the rest of the night. An early wakeup call came on Saturday, leaving us questioning whether we would play or not. The forecast called for 100% rain and cold. Well, we woke up to see no rain, but because of the large amount of rain that came the night before our game was backed up two hours.
10 a.m. rolled around and we packed up and were off to Getterman Stadium to play Syracuse at 12 p.m. and Baylor later in the day at 5:30 p.m. An inning was played against the blue and orange from New York, but nothing else, as the tarp crew were off and on, off and on for an inning protecting the beautiful Baylor infield.
I have to admit though, it was quite impressive to watch how quickly these seven men rushed onto the field and were able to tarp in literally a matter of minutes. All I can picture is our entire team of sixteen slaving over the same chore that seven men were able to accomplish.
After several indecisive decisions, the call was made to cancel the day in hopes of protecting the field for play on Sunday. So, as usual, we packed up our bags and piled in our vans. We ate lunch and then were able to spend quality time with our parents if they were in town.
Since most of our team is from Texas, many families were able to make the trip to Baylor including my mom and aunt, who I haven’t seen since Christmas. It was a nice treat to spend the day with each of them, as I know many of my teammates felt the same way.
A team meeting was called Saturday evening before heading to bed for a good night sleep as we prepared for Sunday’s games against Purdue and #7 Baylor of the Big 12. Sunday morning came and we checked out of the hotel, ate breakfast, and arrived at Baylor for a beautiful day of softball.
In the opening game against Purdue, not much seemed to go our way. We struggled to put up hits and put runners on base, finishing with only two hits on the game to Purdue’s ten. As a team, we also make four errors that provided Purdue with many base runners resulting in an 8-0 loss for us.
It was uncharacteristic of us to hand over runs by errors, but Purdue’s foot speed challenged many of our plays causing us to rush throws and not finish plays that are normally our strength. We had to understand that in order to succeed, we must never rush. Being quick is our specialty—so we must always remember to “be quick and not hurry.”
After Purdue’s game, we changed our mindsets and came into the game against Baylor (also the #7 team in the country and a 2007 World Series participant) with a better understanding of what we are there to do. With that, we were able to put up an astounding eight hits against Baylor pitching while stranding seven base runners over the course of the game. On a positive note, we each had great at-bats and were able to contribute something to the game and in the end that will be the key to winning games in the Summit League this season.
Senior Lauren Flowers was able to break through with a great hit over right center wall for her first homerun of the season giving us two runs to Baylor’s four. Sophomore Allison Shepperd went 3-for-3, which included a double off of the center field wall against Baylor. Even though the game ended in another loss for us on the season, we all feel it ended pretty positive. Ryan pitched another great game for us holding the Baylor Bears to only four runs and defensively, there were no errors committed.
Sophomores Haley Bassett and Allison Shepperd were named to Baylor’s all-tournament team on their excellent performances the entire weekend. So, congrats to them—well deserved!
So, as our record is still not where we want it to be, at 1-9, we are working hard to build on the positives of each game. We had many exciting moments this past weekend, though at the same time, we still need to recognize that overcoming adversity early will only make us much stronger once conference starts.
We play this Wednesday against Louisiana Tech in Ruston starting at 5 p.m.
This weekend we head to the University of Houston to play host, UH, Texas State, Kansas, Boston, and Cal State-Northridge beginning on Friday.
It’s been fun. See you next week. Go Ladies!
“I come to play everyday.” –David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
For the love of the game,
This weekend we had some issues with the weather but managed to get at least four more games under our belts. We ended the weekend 1-3, our win being Syracuse, two of our losses going to Purdue, and the last to Baylor University. We went out with a bang if I must say so myself. We gave Baylor a run for their money the entire game, never giving up. Baylor came out to perform in front of a very supportive home crowd ready to take home another win. We took the loss 4-2 but made them earn every at bat, every base, and every run they received.
Following the conclusion of our game vs. Baylor the All-Tournament team was announced to the crowd; Haley Bassett and I were honored along with a selected few from the other three teams who competed in the tournament.
Our team played under some un-favoring conditions, but we managed to pull through and accomplish something as a team. As a team we were told by Coach Dan Morman “To trust that the person next to you will do their job so that you can concentrate on doing your own.” This seemed to come out in the Baylor game. Once everyone was trusting in one another you could feel all the tension leave and we could play our game again. We gave Baylor the #8 team in the nation a heck of a game, and I believe if we had a few more innings the results may have been different. We may be starting off with a few more losses than anyone would have hoped for, but the experiences that come along with them are more valuable than any W.
We’re getting better ever outing and we have twice as many games this week. We go to Ruston, Louisiana on Wednesday, February 20th to play Louisiana Tech, and Thursday we leave for Houston, Texas to play; Texas State, Kansas, Cal-State Northridge, Houston, and Boston. Wish us luck!
Monday, February 18, 2008
We opened our season last weekend in Texarkana, Arkansas, not exactly the start every team dreams about. We battled hard all weekend, against OSU, UAB, and the University of Arkansas, and came up short every time. Although we ended the weekend with a 0-6 record we did achieve some pretty neat things as individuals and as a team. We had multiple homeruns and everyone was pulling their weight. We struggled with our pitching here and there but nothing a little practice in the bullpens won’t fix.
Now we’re in Waco, Texas at the beautiful Baylor University campus. We played Syracuse this morning and took the 4-3 win. We took that momentum into our next game against Purdue and gave them a run for their money finishing at a close loss of 8-7. Tomorrow we should be continuing with the tournament but it looks like Mother Nature might have other plans in store. The forecast is almost 100% chance of rain, and below 40 degrees, which is not exactly prime softball weather.
So, tomorrow’s potential games are Syracuse at 10:00 A.M. and Baylor at 5:30 P.M. Wish us luck!
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
As this is my first time “blogging,” I am unsure on how to address my blog’s reader demographic, or for that matter, how to start what is sure to be the best blog in Centenary Softball history.
If you do not know who I am already my name is Lyn Virdell and I am yes, FINALLY a senior this year for the Ladies softball team. You can readily find me at 2nd base or at the local Starbucks unwinding with one of the other senior players. I am like many athletes an Exercise Science major, but unlike most I spent my first 3 years in Mickle Hall (the Biology department) slaving away in hopes of a medical career. I am now very happy to state that I have found my calling in the area of pharmaceuticals and will be drug repping in Tulsa as soon as I leave my college years behind be.
Enough about “ME” lets talk about “WE,” Which seems to be the theme of our 2008 season. “Don’t be a ME person, be a WE person,” which in Laymen’s terms means don’t play selfish, and do what’s best for the team…etc. As a whole, it has had a great impact on the team. I may also one day decide to apply it to other areas of my life…
In further news, we have just finished up the first tournament of the year in Texarkana…I suggest if you want the results you just turn to ol’ gocentenary.com, because this informer is completely biased on the weekend. Now, as far as this coming weekend goes, we head off to start a new in Waco, Texas. You know what that means…Glen Moore. For those of you who haven’t seen or heard of him I strongly suggest Googling and it will explain itself. Oh, and the games…I’m always up for a good challenge.
Hugs and homeruns,
My name is Allison McClain and I’m a member of the Centenary Softball team. You can find me somewhere in the infield as a utility player or just look for #8 on the back of my jersey. I am Communication-Professional Writing major with a minor in German. I hope to work in Media Relations or Community Development for a professional sports team one day. I am here all season, along with several of my teammates, to provide you with the inside scoop on Centenary softball. Go Ladies!
I personally find the game of softball to be similar to that of a rollercoaster ride—we have our up moments and our down moments mixed in with a little exhilarating excitement along with a little bit of nervousness as we venture to the top or play our first games of the season.
We loaded the bus for Texarkana last Friday at noon to play Oklahoma State in the opening games of the season. When we arrived in Texarkana, Arkansas, I think the realization of beginning the season had finally sunk in. Suited up in our new warm up tops and uniforms, we walked off the bus ready to play.
As the double header against the Cowgirls from Stillwater went on, we continued to fight. Their bats came alive when our bats didn’t. We seemed to struggle manufacturing runs leaving sixteen batters on base over the course of the two games. Some of the exhilarating moments that brought life to the game as we escaped the lights of the scoreboard were homeruns by freshman Bonnie Matak and senior Lyn Virdell.
After about six hours at the ballpark on Friday evening, we headed to dinner late that night at Apple Bee’s. We were exhausted from the wind and cool breeze, but were much luckier to have a beautiful day without rain. At dinner, we celebrated the birthday of Coach Angus. Leaving the restaurant a little after midnight, we checked into our hotel and fell asleep immediately for a 7:00 am wake up call.
Saturday morning awaited us as we grabbed a quick breakfast and loaded the bus for the double header against University of Alabama-Birmingham at 10 a.m. We arrived in uniform for warm ups and pre-game. Game time came and we proved that we could rise up from the down moment of Friday’s games and play hard. Even though we didn’t come away with a win on Saturday against the Blazers, we had impressive pitching performances from Stacy, Lauren, and Ryan who kept us in the ball game, but once again our bats seem to struggle at the plate as we couldn’t find a way to score a run.
We played the first two games of the day, so we ended up having the rest of the day to relax and catch up on some much needed sleep. Our team left the ballpark, headed to Olive Garden for a late lunch, and then back to the hotel to chill for the rest of the evening. Some players were able to spend time with family members who drove miles to visit their daughters and other players were able to work on homework, watch television, and do each other’s hair for Sunday’s games (haha thanks Lauren).
Though the sleep was much needed, a win was needed more. We were able to sleep in on Sunday, grab a quick bite to eat, and arrive at the ballpark to face the University of Arkansas. It seemed to be a bit of a rival as we faced them my freshman year taking a game from the SEC Lady Backs. But this year, things just didn’t seem to go our way from the beginning. We were faced with adversity from the opening pitch of the double header, but as always we fought and fought coming up short.
Sophomore Allison Shepperd was able to provide a little spark with her first homerun of the season, but it just wasn’t enough as we continued to battle. Though our weekend ended in six losses, we learned a lot about ourselves and our team in each one of the games.
Great things came about in each game, but more and more things need improvement. We encountered injuries that set us back a little, but as we prepare for this coming weekend at Baylor, we hope to work through the adversity and find a way to win some games.
As a student-athlete at Centenary College, I find it interesting to pull up at the ballparks where big-time SEC and Big 12 schools sit and await. We walk up in maroon and white with a sense of pride knowing we are just as competitive as they are. Yeah, we might not have a stacked team of twenty or so girls, but we have the same idea about winning and playing softball as any of them do. It just means much more when we can come away with a win.
Even though this weekend didn’t go as we planned, we, as members of the Centenary softball team, feel that a true athlete can only show their fight and will to win when they are put up against the best and still finds ways to have those exhilarating moments that are so much fun to talk about. We had a few this weekend, but are looking for much more.
Coach Montgomery always says, “It’s not about the product right now, it’s about the process…” and with that said, we go into this coming weekend with more of an understanding of who we are as a team and not who we think we should be. Our team can only do what we do. Nothing else.
So, we head off to Baylor University on Thursday to play Syracuse at 10 a.m and Purdue at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Syracuse at 10 a.m. and Baylor at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and Purdue at 1 p.m. and Baylor at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Wish us luck as we prepare for an exiting weekend!
“I come to play everyday.” –David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox
For the love of the game,
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Our quote for this season:"It's not about getting a scholarship, getting drafted, or making Sports Center. It's a deep need in us that comes from the heart. We need to practice, play, to lift, to hustle, to sweat, to compete. We do it all for our teammates. We don't lift weights with a future Olympic wrestler; we lift with a future doctor. We don't run with a future Wimbledon champion; we run with a future CEO. It's a bigger part of us than our friends and family can understand. Sometimes we play for 200,000 fans, sometimes for 25. But we still play hard. You cheer for us because you know us. You know more than just our names. Like all of you, we are still students first. We don't sign autographs for money. But we do sign graduate school applications, MCAT exams, and student body petitions. When we miss a kick, or strike out, we don't let down an entire state. We only let down our teammates, coaches, and fans. But the hurt in our hearts is the same. We train hard. Lift, throw, run, kick, shoot, dribble, and lift some more, and in the morning we go to class. Still the next day in class we are nothing more than students. It's about pride; in ourselves, in our school. It's about our love and passion for the game. And when it's all over; when we walk off that court or field for the last time, our hearts crumble. Those tears are real. But deep down inside, we are very proud of ourselves. We will forever be what few can claim: college athletes."