Diary Ten (May 2, 2005) - I do not really know what to say besides this has really been a long and tough week.
We played eight games within the span of four days. Not to mention that this was the
last week of classes and final exams started at the end of the week.
Our senior day was moved to Wednesday due to the rain, but it did not stop us from celebrating the seniors. As a junior I have been very lucky to spend three of my years with these five seniors. Lane Leedy, Al, Chell, Snides, and Jax have taught me a lot about softball and life in general. We have been through a lot over the past years and I have a lot of memories that will last longer than any game or season.
Out of our eight games this week in every game we ended up splitting. For some reason we were not able to sweep any team. However there were some really fun games. Against Defiance I have never seen so many over-the-fence home runs in one day. Not to mention, Mandy Snider's grand slam home run against Transylvania was something that was awesome to witness.
After a long week of conference play we have a week of exams and practice left before this weekend and the conference tournament. We have a lot to work on and we look forward to being successful in the tournament.
Diary Nine (April 25, 2005) - This past week has been very frustrating due to weather. The week started of great. We had practice in eighty degree weather and if I knew what was coming at the end of the week I would have been a little more thankful of that warm weather. Who knew in one week a person could be complaining because it is too hot outside and then by Sunday it would look like Christmas outside with snow everywhere? The weather makes it hard for a player because they prepare all week for a game. Then out of no where there are circumstances like Mother Nature, that we have no control over and it slows us down.
Monday and Tuesday were full of two very good practices where we were able to work on a lot of things. Tuesday night we had dinner at Coach's house. This was just a great time for us to gather and get away from eating the famous Marbeck food. The juniors and I were informed that it was up to us to cook, but little did coach know that none of us are really good in the kitchen. We can just say that I am not sure if Coach will ever ask the juniors to cook again. Which would be fine with me, I never like cooking anyway. But, Coach's house was a time for us to get off campus and to forget about our problems and worries for a little while. It was also a time for us to get closer as a team.
Wednesday was an adventure for us at Manchester. Once again the weather was very weird. When we got about ten minutes away from campus it started to poor down rain and it looked like there was no chance that we were going to be able to get our games in. After arriving at the field it was decided that we were going to wait it out. So, we went into the recreation center where some of us were able to take a nap, work on some homework and just goof around. After the rain stopped it got very hot and enabled the Manchester players to work on the field. At just about game time it started to rain once again. But this was not a normal rain, the drops were huge and hurt when they hit you but they were so big that it seemed like none of us were getting wet.
Once the game started the rain stopped and we were able to get an early lead which allowed us to win the first game. We tried to start game two quick, but I guess it was not quick enough because in the third inning right after we scored one run it started to poor down rain and it was lightening. Since we did not get to the fifth inning as of right now the game does not count.
We were supposed to travel to Franklin but it was canceled for both Saturday and Sunday. So it left the weekend full time to get homework done. But next week is going to be real tough with two games on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. It should be a fun week of conference play.
Diary Eight (April 22, 2005) - What can I say? It has been a very exhausting week. Since our games were not until Friday and Saturday we had a long week of nothing but practice, which included a lot of running, and working on other things that need improvement. With a full week of practice we never knew what coach was going to throw at us. Practice is always an adventure. We never know what is coming and when we take a guess of what we are going to do, we are usually way off. We are used to having a game on either Tuesday or Wednesday, so not having a game until the end of the week was also something new to us. Along with the fact that it is the end of the semester and deadlines are coming soon, I know that I am worn out both physically and mentally.
Both Friday and Saturday were beautiful days to play softball. At both home games we had a lot of fans which made it exciting to play. But, this weekend was not very productive hitting wise for us causing us to only win one game against Huntington and losing two to Mount St. Joe and one to Huntington.
Something that is very special about our team is the fact that we have devotional and pray before every practice and game. Our faith is something that most of us take very serious and take a lot of pride in. On Sunday we our team lead Sunday Morning Worship and I think it was something that everyone needed after a long week. Everyone that shared did a great job and it was a great thing to start off the day. This next week is very busy with games on Wednesday and Saturday. They should be great games filled with a lot of competition and fun.
Diary Seven (April 12, 2005) - Lots of work, improving and having fun in the sun would probably be a big theme of the week.
As it gets closer and closer to the end of the semester I know for me and the rest of the team, homework, test, papers and projects are starting to become a reality. It is hard enough just being a student but then adding to the fact that you are a student athlete can make it difficult. But I know for myself and everyone else, softball practices and games are a release and a time for us to get away from pages upon pages of papers that have to be written and test that have to be studied for. Practices and games are a time for us to have fun together and we definitely know how to have fun together, maybe too much fun. There is nothing like game days and the excitement that I gain from them. It brings me joy to know that we are the loudest team and it just seems like we enjoy playing together a lot more than the other teams that we play.
Monday and Tuesday's practices were filled with hitting drills and working on individual
skills that each player needed to improve. Since we played Heidelberg on Wednesday
our assistant coach Alisha took it upon herself, being a Heidelberg grad, to come
to practice decked out in Heidlberg gear. So for the entire practice we had to look
at both Coach and Alisha wearing red, orange and black, instead of white and purple.
If that does not get one pumped up to play I don't know what will?
Once again it was a beautiful day to play softball on Wednesday at Heidelberg. From the start of the game it just seemed like we were louder and had control of the game. We were able to score runs when we needed to and we left with two more wins.
Saturday was a really exciting day and the start of conference play. It was a gorgeous day and from the time that we all walked to the field I just knew it was going to be a great day. By game time our field was packed with a lot of fans, something that is awesome to see and be apart of. It is a neat feeling to know that family, friends and faculty members care enough to come see us play. I can remember back to my freshmen year when it seemed like no one from campus would come to our games. But to see more than just family members there to cheer us on is something special and really means a lot. Not to mention FCA grilled out for in-between our games, so it made all of us crave hamburgers and hotdogs. It made it even harder to go visit our parents and see them downing a hotdog, but we all knew we were not allowed to have either of them. Both games were a lot of fun and once again we were really loud and seemed to score runs when we needed them. We ended the day with two conference wins which is always nice to start off conference play.
This next week should be long for us because we don't have a game until Friday instead of having our usual Tuesday or Wednesday games. But it will be full of practice and working more on our skills before another conference game between Mt. St. Joseph.
Diary Six (April 5, 2005) - This past week was really busy but at the same time it was very successful for us. We finally got to play in shorts and we did not freeze to death. For the first time since Florida we got to play in nice weather. Monday started the week on a good note. The whole day was consumed by softball. We did not have class on Monday so we had hitting practice in the morning, along with a quick game of whiffle ball, followed by lunch as a team, and then we headed out to the field for the rest of the day to play Case Western Reserve. The first game was close the whole time, it just seemed like we could not score a run, so we ended up going into extra innings. Case scored first but we were able to move runners around the bases when we needed to and tied up the game. Then we were able to load the bases and Mandy Snider hit the ball to right field which was able to win the game for us.
The second game was a whole different story, we were able to dominate and ended up scoring ten runs before the fifth inning which allowed us to run rule Case. The whole day was then capped off with us being required to go to a two hour study table. Something that is not always fun but is nice with all the work that comes at the end of the semester.
We had an away game on Wednesday at Wittenberg. Away games are always fun because
that means that we get out of classes which is always a plus. It also seems like an
adventure no matter where we go. It was such a beautiful day that made playing so
much better. We had a lot of fun playing thanks to a couple of people being able to
pump up the team. We were able to control both games, and we left Wittenberg with
two more wins while also experiencing getting our van stuck in a huge mud puddle.
The rest of the week was full of practice while the weather once again prevented us from playing any games this weekend. But it was time for us to get to relax a little, watch movies, and spend time with friends.
Diary Five (March 30, 2005) - This week started off on a good note with a game on Tuesday against Denison. It was a beautiful day and everyone was very excited to get to play. The first game was a battle. It was close the whole game and we were unable to pull out a win. But the second game we came out hitting and were able to be victorious.
Unfortunately, the rest of the week was a huge disappointment for all of us. I knew I wish I was back in Florida, this Ohio weather is getting really old. We had bad weather the rest of the week and were unable to be outside or play any of our four games. So, the rest of the week was filled with working on hitting inside. The only plus was that we all got to go home early. Spending time at home is something that I haven't gotten to do since Christmas break. The only down side was the fact that some of us had to leave our family events on Easter to be back for hitting practice because of our game on Monday. Hopefully we will have better luck this week with the weather and getting games in. We are ready to play and can't wait to get on the field again.
Diary Four (March 21, 2005) - After a great week in the Florida sun it was very hard to have practice in the gym again on Monday. It was somewhat hard being back in the routine of our busy schedules of meetings, classes and homework. But we knew we had to continue to improve and being inside was a good time for us to work on our hitting. We were able to go out to the field on Tuesday just in time before our first home game. It was just nice to be on our field again. It was a time that allowed us to get a feel for our field.
Wednesday was game day against ONU, we knew that they were going to be tough competition, but I was just excited to have a home game. There is nothing better than game day at Bluffton. Everything from curfew the night before, eating breakfast in the morning, eating lunch, preparing the field, getting ready, walking down to the field together, and enjoying pre-game. We have a routine that is always the same and what makes game days so much fun.
By game time we were ready to play. We played tough in both games but ended up losing the first game and winning the second, thanks to an over the fence homerun by Michelle Plieman which tied the game at 1. Then we were able to score due to an error which gave us the win.
After two tough and close fought games there was a lot that need to be worked on in practice on Thursday and Friday. We then found out that our games for Saturday were canceled. We were all very upset but Coach gave us the weekend off, which was a long needed break. Most of the team went home, but it was just a great time to catch up on sleep, homework and a time to just relax and hang out with friends.
We are going to be thankful of this past weekend of rest because we have a lot of tough games ahead of us.
Diary Three (March 14, 2005) - Another spring trip to Florida is complete and once again it went by really fast. This year it probably went so fast because we were unable to play two games. We really wish we could have played those games, but we were able to finish the rest of our games. Friday, was our last day of games and it was a beautiful day full of sunshine. We had a lot of fun playing our type of softball in both games. We won the first game and even though we were unable to pull out the second game we still played our game. We play the best when we have fun and just enjoy playing the game we all love.
After our game there was time for parents to take team pictures and then we all went out for out last team dinner in Florida. Then it was time for all of us to pack for home, something that none of us wanted to do. Since we knew that there was snow back home and for the last week we ran around in shorts and tank tops. Now we are probably going to have to go back indoors for practice, something that is going to be difficult for all of us.
After a week of softball we now know what we need to improve on. Florida was a lot of fun and I have a lot of new memories to go along with the rest of my memories from Florida trips of the past. Now it is just a question of the weather cooperating so we will be able to play. If the rest of the season goes as well as our week in Florida it shouldbe an exciting season.
Diary Two (March 9, 2005) - Wednesday was an interesting and unexpected day. First, we were all upset because our games got canceled but then it became team-bonding time. We all experienced memories that we will not soon forget. So we would not be depressed for the rest of the day, coach took us to Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede, (a dinner and show) we got to eat a lot of good food with our hands and we had a good time. Then we went to downtown Disney to shop some more. Overall, a day that was washed out was a day that we will soon not forget.
Thursday was another day full of sunshine and two more though games. Our games were played at the main complex, and it was neat to get to play at the fields where the upperclassman have many memories from saying hi to the older women at the gates, walking through the entrance way with flags on both sides, or just being at a familiar place that kind of feels like home.
After two exciting games it was time for our annual talent show. This is a time for everyone's family that came to watch gather with the team for food and a show that is put on by us. Each class either puts on a skit or plays a game. It is a time for players and parents to have a good time and share a couple of laughs. This year there defiantly was a lot of laughs especially after the seniors performed the twelve memories of softball, to the theme of the (Twelve Days of Christmas) in their swimsuits with their sliders.
Tomorrow we play our last two games in the sunny and warm Florida. We have learned a lot about our team and have gained experience in tight games that will only help us in games to come.
Diary One for preseason (March 8, 2005) - I know many times when my alarm clock went off at 4 a.m. the last two months I was just hoping and praying for Florida. Practicing that early in the morning was a challenge for all of us. We had to go to bed early, which was sometimes difficult living in dorm rooms, and getting all our work done. Not to mention getting softballs pelted at us, and running for at least thirty minutes before 7 a.m. Sometimes I thought Florida would never come.
But now the sun is shining bright and it is warm enough to wear shorts and tank tops. The last two days we got to practice on real dirt and an actual outfield instead of being on a gym floor with walls all around. It was so nice to be on an actual field, being in gyms were starting to get really old. Now it is easy to see that all of that hard work was really important and is paying off.
Florida is a little different this year because we are staying in two houses instead of the hotel rooms that we stayed at since I was a freshman. The houses are in a nice community and are about a block away from each other. The only challenge is that we are around each other all the time and there does not seem like there is a lot of alone time. But, it has also allowed us to get closer as a team and for some people to get to know each other a little better. So, overall this has been a great experience and I love the fact that our team gets along so well.
Monday night we had a team meeting and coach made the upperclassmen go around and tell everyone what it meant to them to be able to play and put their uniform on. For me this was very special because it made me realize that playing Bluffton softball, might be difficult but I get to share it with some really great people and we get to make some awesome memories.
Tuesday we finally got to play games. It was a beautiful day with the sun shining bright, but our games were at 4 and 6 so that meant that our second game was underneath the lights, which was a challenge for some of us. The first day of games was a great day for us. We started out a little rusty but with good base running and awesome fielding we won both games. We were supposed to have two more games today but right now it is raining and our games are canceled, it should be a fun day with more team bonding. But it is much better than the snow that we are getting back home.