Diary Ten (April 27, 2006) - Another great weekend, great job Beavers! Congratulations to Betsy-Poo for being HCAC pitcher of the week! The pitchers have some big shoes to fill next year.
As a result of how we've been playing, I have two lines of thinking. One is "sweet, we're finally playing how we know we can play," and the second is, "why in the heck did it take us so long?" I cannot believe my freshman year in college is almost over, softball especially. It seems like we only played about five games. If this is an indication of how fast the next three years are going to go, I don't like it Morning practices seemed to take longer than the season. And another thing that stinks is that I think we spent more time inside than outside.
We have senior day this Saturday, then a cookout afterwards. Sunday we play our rain-out at Defiance, then next Thursday, we leave for conference tourney!!! I am so excited to go and play there. I was talking with Amanda, and she said she thinks that we are going to surprise a lot of people at tourney, and I'm going to agree. Although it's sad that we didn't just shock them the first time we played them, it's going to be fun showing everyone how the Bluffton Beavers really play.
I'm glad that our team has finally stepped up and played how we know we can, I just hope that we can keep this momentum and this excitement up for next year. And that's all I'll say about next year because we can keep this season going for a long time if we have the desire to.
The team has lots of studying to do since exams are Friday and next Monday-Thursday, so I guess I will get to it. Make sure you come out and see us this Saturday at home!
Diary Nine (April 18, 2006) - What a great weekend! After beating Hanover on Thursday, we had Friday, Saturday, and Sunday off to relax and enjoy Easter with our families. We had a hard practice today, which was really beneficial. The team is confident going into conference games Wednesday and Saturday.
I wonder if dreaming leaves after high school years. This year, I dreamed about winning the conference (which we can still do providing several other things occur) and winning conference championships and playing in the Div. III World Series. Is anyone else excited about that? Even if we don't win conference, we have nothing to lose going into the championships in Indianapolis. It seems like some people have already given up on the season and are just looking towards next year. But I know we can do AWESOME in championships, because we are great team.
Call my cheesy, but Angles in the Outfield, Hardball, and Miracle are all movies that inspire me and make me desire to be the best at everything, especially softball. Sometimes I feel like people are just doing this half-heartedly, and for those of us who softball is pretty much their whole life, that doesn't seem right. I'm not trying to cause a controversy or anything, and honestly, there is no particular person who I am thinking about right now. It's just the lack of enthusiasm that gets me down.
Our record is not the greatest, but we can only let it get us down if we let it. If I was a betting girl, I would put money that we could have beaten every single team we have played after Florida. I will be the first to admit there are many teams who are better than us, but we are a great team with lots of individual talent, and I have not been intimidated by any team we have met on the field.
So, I hope maybe that inspired somebody to not quit dreaming and look to what our team can still accomplish. I used to not set high goals, because if I failed I would be even more hurt. But, we can't be afraid of being hurt. We have to strive and reach for what we know we can accomplish, and that is so much more than what we are reaching for.
Diary Eight (April 10, 2006) - The Denison games went well, we played well and Betts pitched great. It was our first international tiebreaker of the season, and it was really exciting. Saturday, we played Albion. That's all I have to say about that. Tomorrow we play Huntington at home. (Hooray for playing at home!) I feel like every practice we learn something new, or improve on something, I just don't understand why we can't pull it together in games. I don't think anyone can.
In practice today, we all thought of something that would make the rest of the season more fun. Mine was to not worry so much. I am always worrying about something, and if I don't have anything to worry about, I'll find something. Before away games, I'll check my equipment and my uniform at least 4 times to make sure everything is there, I'll worry about being to practice on time when my last class ends at 3:50 and practice starts at 4, I worry about who hit what pitch where and try not throw them that same thing again but I'm not going to do that anymore. I'm just going to play each game one pitch at a time, forget about past mistakes, and move on to future successes. That verse in Matthew keeps coming into my head that says something along the lines of do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
My AD (and history teacher) from Emmanuel and his family are going to come to a home game (maybe tomorrow's?) and I am really excited to see them and get to talk to them afterwards. I haven't seen them since around graduation. Also, my best friend Kayla is going to come watch a game along with Tyler and his beaver costume.
Another thing I am excited for is the conference tournament. Coach Spann kept saying during morning practices that we are working towards May 5, and now that our season is going the way it is, I will be elated (to say the least) if we peak in Indianapolis. It would be amazing to show all our other conference teams who we are and how we really play. That's all for now kick butt tomorrow Beavers!
Diary Seven (April 3, 2006) - Finally our losing steak is over. After a rough weekend at Transy and a shaky first game against Mount, we were finally able to pull together, have fun, and mercy Mount during our second game. After practice today, we made a new warm-up routine that we think best fits what we discovered we need to get that same feeling every game. I feel great, and the team does too. But we aren't cocky. We are just happy that we were finally able to discover what it is that makes us play together and to our full potential. I would give almost anything to re-do this entire weekend. I know now what the true Bluffton softball team can do. I am so proud of all the girls on the team.
I wonder if every team goes through these stages (for lack of a better word.) There are a lot of issues that the team is working out, with the help and leadership of the seniors. I don't think that those issues will ever be completely resolved, and if they are, then new ones will come. But that's just a part of the game. The seniors are great leaders. Not only are the very knowledgeable about the game, but they know what to say to calm me down, offer me advice, or anything else. I really appreciate their willingness to help and do whatever they can to help everyone be more positive.
Another thing that we did well was celebrate our victory over Mount on Sunday. I was upset with some of the consequences we had for losing the first game, but for the most part, the team was able to push those aside and make the best out of what we had.
Practice today went very well. It was short, but incredibly helpful. Coach took some of our biggest weaknesses we showed this weekend, split everyone up, and we all worked on improving on one thing, and making someone else better. I know a lot of the girls who were hitting said working with the outside pitches helped them, and I know that the pitching drill coach had us do really helped me. Coach put x's up on the wall and we had to hit them using whatever pitch we thought was best. It was a great exercise because we had to think mentally about the count and what pitch to throw. It also helped me to not aim, just look at my target and throw hard. Or, as my dad would say " just let that arm RIP off." Ha ha, oh Dad, you crack me up. Also, I was able to figure out why my rise balls were more like a screw ball, and now my rises are working really well.
That's about all for today, I'll write again on Wednesday after we play Denison. Let's keep it going Beavers.
Diary Six (March 31, 2006) - Not much to say- We leave for Cincinnati and Lexington today! The team practiced really well this week, and we feel very confident going into this weekend. Also, we kept IMing each other tonight and pumping each other up throughout the day, getting excited for this weekend. I can't wait to see how we do.
Today at practice, Dandy Don had us do this positive gossip thing. I really enjoyed it, and I think it brought the team much closer together. We were all telling each other things we liked, or enjoyed, or thought were funny about one another. It was great to relax and laugh and build our teammates up.
Okay- that's it, check back Monday for the diary on this weekend!
Diary Five (March 28, 2006) - I'm finding it kind of hard to believe we are 7-8 right now. After all the work we've put in, I don't understand why we can't pull it together on game days. I know we have lots of individual talent, we work well together and get along well too. I don't understand what's stopping us from clicking. I am excited to play our first conference games. I want to think that we've gotten all of our bugs out now, and worked out all of our kinks, and we're going to do awesome this weekend.
It seems like after games where we haven't played well, we come back and have great practices. It's neat that everyday I learn something new, or something I can improve on. I don't know what goes wrong when we step onto the field on game day, but I am very confident we will pull it together. And like Coach said, we're working towards May 5...
Another thing I am excited about is this weekend. I love to travel and I love to play softball, so when we get to do both, it's even better. We play in Kentucky on Saturday. I love the feeling I get when I walk into the locker room and everyone's jersey is hung up on their lockers with their equipment packed and ready to go underneath it. I love carrying the equipment down to the vans and loading everyone up and hitting the road. (I do not, however, love climbing into the back of the van, squished together with two or three other people.) I'm also excited to ride back all the way from Kentucky with my dad (hi Dad, I know you're reading this) and jam to Meatloaf.
I found out that my high school team had their first game today (good luck Warriors!) I felt kind of lonely though, like I should be there with Kayla, warming up together next to the dugout. There are tons of things I miss about high school ball like listening to Another One Bites the Dust before every single game, getting out of dress code to wear our uniforms, and wearing my hair to the extreme top of my head wait, I still do that. But playing in college is fun too. Our team has already made a lot of fun memories, inside jokes, and I'm sure that will continue as our season goes on.
Let's go Beavers, kick some butt this weekend!
Dairy Four (March 15, 2006) - Well, we dropped both our games today. It was incredibly cold. My fingers were so cold that I could hardly bend them around the ball to pitch, and I'm sure Betts and Tonya felt the same way. It was kind of a tough way to start off our season back at home. I am still very confident that we will pull together. Coach keeps challenging us to work harder, and I think if we all improved on just one thing, our team would be that much better. I keep remembering too that we are working towards May 6th.
On a lighter note, I wanted to write this quick dialogue that happened at Arby's tonight:
*Arby's worker giving random man with a Michigan hat on a hard time*
*Me talking with random man in Michigan hat*
"You see that lady right there? She played softball at Michigan!" -me
"I know that's my daughter" -Mr. Prichard
Okay moving on.
I am also still having a hard time believing 5 a.m. practices are over. I woke up today at 7:20 and felt like I had slept in for hours it was great. The best part of today was wearing our warm-up pants and softball t-shirts around campus. I had a lot of pride because I knew that everyone who had those warm-ups on deserved it and it made me feel even closer to my teammates. (Sorry if that is too cheesy.) Everyone kept asking where our game was and wishing us good luck. It was great to see all the support. And, I was so impressed to see how many students came to the game! It was so cold, yet there were still 3 or 4 rows of bleachers packed with students and staff that came to cheer on their Lady Beavers! Thanks a lot fans, you have no idea how much that means to us!
We play Alma on Saturday. It's going to be a great experience because they are ranked
19th among Div. III schools. I am excited to see how we do against them.
I was thinking tonight and I realized that I have never been intimidated by what team I was playing, or who was on that team, or if a team's biggest hitter is coming up against me. The thing that gets me most down is myself. That is what I am going to work on. It is easy to be confident when you are doing well, but when you are getting hit all over the place is when you find out what kind of player you really are. I try to always remember what my dad's been telling me for years: just worry about the next pitch. That's all I have to do. If I keep remembering and dwelling on who I walked, who hit a double against me, or why I struck out, I am just going to get more down on myself. But I am going to stop dwelling on past mistakes. Tomorrow in practice I am going to work on hitting and watching the ball all the way in. If I throw live, I am going to pretend I am 3-2 on every batter, and work myself through the mental toughness of that situation.
I know I am better than what I have shown other people, and I know that our team is better than what we have shown to our coaches, ourselves, and other teams. We are going to keep improving each day if we work hard and diligently, and are going to kick some major butt this season.
Diary Three (March 9, 2006) - Florida was a good experience~ We finished 6-4, but we played some difficult teams; most of the competition was excellent. I would have liked to have spent some more time with my parents, but its fine because I know we went down there to play ball, and not to be on vacation. It was good to get a team out onto the field and see us in action. Inside Founders Hall gets a little dull after 5 weeks at 5 a.m.
On Thursday, the team had the parents over for dinner at our houses. We made spaghetti, and then did some fun stuff together. Each class had to do a skit or a talent kind of thing, and the sophomores stole the stage with their reenactment of a scene from The Sandlot. I'm laughing now just thinking about Amanda describing "gutbusters" and Catie's: "That Spannbino lady must be crazy!"
However, the best team activity by far (aside from playing of course) was being on the Slingshot. The slingshot was this contraption that almost the entire team (coaches aside) rode on two at a time. You got in to these two seats on a platform, were pulled underneath the platform then catapulted 365 feet into the sky at 100 miles an hour. It was so amazing and nerve-racking. I think the team had a lot of fun though, even if it was just watching other people go. Yaeger and Lindsay Miller went twice. What was even more cool was Nusbaum and I talking our dads into going on it later in the week. It was a great bonding experience.
Well, I'm happy that morning practices are over and that I finally can sleep like
a normal college student again. I am super excited though that our season has had
a great start and that we play Ohio Northern on Wednesday. I still can't believe I
am playing college softball, it was really cool when people asked what we were down
there for, and I got to say that my college softball team was down here for a tournament.
That's it for now
Diary Two (March 6, 2006) - Florida is so awesome! Not just the weather, the sunshine, and being outside, but being with the team as well. It's a lot different being with the girls almost 24 hours a day, but I think it's been good because we have been able to get to know each other a lot better being away from the stress of school. We've been having a great time so far, especially being 2-0. Yesterday was a great start to our season, we had a few errors, and I know I personally still have a lot to work on, but it was great finally playing outside in the sun and being on the dirt. Tomorrow we play early games; we have to be out of bed by 6:10am (which is better than 4:30am I might add.)
The ride down was a lot better than what I had heard and expected. It was a little cramped, and being in the car for over sixteen hours is rough on anyone, but it wasn't so bad. Already we've made a lot of memories, like coach Prichard getting lost on the way back from the fields, coach Spann's shiny belt buckle, and the Betts family in general.
Our houses are great as well. We have plenty of room, and we only have one roommate. We also have a nice pool (that we are allowed to dip our feet in) and a closed in deck that is great for relaxing, reading, or whatever. Congratulations to Yaeger for reading the first few pages of The Divinci Code, too. There is a sweet pond out in the back of our house that has to offer some great fishing. Next year I need to remember to bring a fishing pole.
Today was a free day; we were able to go with our parents or hang with the team and just relax. Most of the team went to Cocoa beach. We were allowed to lie in the sun for an hour and that was wonderful. After that we went shopping and bought cheap souvenirs.
I'm excited for our games tomorrow, I can't wait to put on my uniform again, have pre-game butterflies, and step out onto the field and play the game with my teammates. GO Beavers!
Diary One (February 27, 2006) - We leave for Florida on Friday! I can't wait. It will be great to see all of our hard work finally paying off. I know we still have a lot to learn and accomplish, but it will be great to just get outside and play some ball. I'm a little bit nervous, but I am excited to see all of our hard work rewarded when we put on those jerseys next Sunday. I can't believe time has flown by so fast. It seems like yesterday I was moving into my dorm and just learning my teammates' names. It's hard to believe that we've gone through a whole semester, fall ball, morning practices, and now the season is actually beginning! It's been great to get to know everyone and their personalities. I have met people so different from me, but it really shows what a team is when we can set aside all of our differences and work together as a team.
I'm amazed at how much college ball is so much different from high school ball. Here, I know for the most part that everyone for some reason or another wants to be on the team. In high school, it seemed like some of the girls were just doing it because. Whenever I heard people talk about how much dedication it took to play in college, I always thought it would come natural to me. But it's hard. Everybody on the team has to be willing to set aside their personal desires and do what is best for the team. Of course, there will always be little problems, but I think the girls on our team really want to be here and do well. I know if we keep pushing ourselves to work harder and continue to learn about the game, we will reach all of our goals.
Basically--- I just want to go "kick some butt" in Florida.