Well, I'm not going to pretend that I'm not upset about our showing in the Patriot League so far. Traveling to Army the first week in April, our hopes were high and everyone was pumped to get started in league play. We have always respected Army as a team, and knew we wouldn't be successful without a fair deal of struggle. Getting swept the first day was not only upsetting in the respect of starting off league play with two losses, but also how they won.
We dropped the first game pretty handily because our offense just couldn't get started. The second game, however, we were up the whole game. First inning we scored two runs, and then every time Army scored, we answered with runs of our own. This led to a three-run lead into the bottom of the seventh. Unfortunately Army's hitters caught up to our pitcher and got the bases loaded, then a girl hit a grand slam to end the game. Heart breaker.
The next day our first game started off fine, with Army scoring one run and then us scoring three after a scoreless inning. Then Army's bats came alive and scored seven runs in one inning. At the end of that game, we were really upset. We were hoping to split with Army on the weekend, but obviously that was no longer obtainable. Not letting that get us too down, we fought back the last game, "taking a stand" as coach called it, and shut out the Black Nights for our first win in the league.
Before playing Lafayette, we played Boston College on that Thursday. We lost both, though the second game we were up by one going into the fourth and ended up losing by two.
Now, this past weekend was a slap in the face. We thought we could fix our record by taking at least three from the Leopards so we would no longer be flirting with sixth place in the Patriot League. Unfortunately it turned out that they took three from us. So instead of being third if we won three, or second if we won all four, we are in sixth place.
Giving credit where credit is due, the Lafayette hitters did their job scoring 20 runs off of 35 hits, including six home runs on the weekend.
It's not going to be easy from here on out. Things need to start happening. We play Seina on Thursday and then take on Lehigh over Easter weekend. We need to wrack in a few more wins if we want to stay in it. It's hard to think that there's only three more weeks left in season...
Until Next Time,
And back to the New England weather... Where it's been overcast, wet, and I don't have to mention cold the past two days since we've been back. Well, cold in the sense that it's not Florida, but warm for New England's standards. But our field is still frozen. So, until it thaws, the weather will be considered cold.
Last week we were in gorgeous Kissimmee, Fla., where we played 10 games in five days and had one day off. We stayed in amazing rental houses complete with screened-in outdoor pools, game rooms, wide screen plasma TVs in the living rooms, TVs in each of the six bedrooms either hooking up a complimentary XBOX or PS2 with games, air conditioning, tubs (oooh sweet tubs to take baths in), and basically everything else short of a red convertible Jaguar in the driveway. It really made me miss my dorm in Lehy back on the hill... right.
Our first day of games was highly anticipated by every player. The mantra of "I want dirt!" was finally fulfilled, and the memories of the slippery field house floor were readily forgotten. Finally! With cleats on and sliding pads up, we all took our first steps onto the warm-up area... and remembered just how heavy metal cleats are. And in time we all felt the familiar sting of sunscreen and sweat getting into our eyes. No one really noticed these things, however, until we were forced to sit down and wait for the game to end on the field we would be playing on.
In our first 10 games of the season, we had every kind of highs, lows, slumps, and streaks you could think of. Basically it was a mini season compacted into a week. Unfortunately, our head coach had a death in the family the day before we left, so he was unable to attend the first six games. Fortunately, our assistant coach has head coaching experience and took the responsibility in stride. We hit lows such as: losing a three run lead in the bottom of the seventh to Valparaiso; ending our run in the bottom of the eighth against Providence with a double play; and the South Dakota State game's first inning. Fortunately, the highs outweighed the lows and include a bottom of the seventh rally against Sacred Heart started off by Perrone, complimented by a Deitz bunt, and a game winning RBI by Lally up the first base line; a team bounce back mid-day to beat Indiana Purdue FW; a Dessingue, Ogden, Webster double play to end a bases-loaded one-down sixth inning, followed by an off the bench triple by McKeever against Wagner; a Lally three-run homer; a Johnson, Babcock tag-out to keep the lead as a Valparaiso player tried to score on a passed ball; a Lally, Webster tag-out at home against Providence to go into extra innings; and so much more. Not to mention that we ended with a bang, winning both our games on our final day.
Other things than softball did happen down in Florida. After all, it was our spring break. I got to see my parents again, which was the first time since the beginning of January, along with some family from Florida I haven't seen in a year. It was great to see everyone's parents and family and realize what an amazing fan base we have. Seriously, we must have the best parents ever. They follow us across the country, have a cookout for 30+ people, continue to wake up at the crack of dawn on their vacation to watch us play (more than twice mind you), make random runs to the grocery store so we can get more milk, spend $2.50 (yes, that's two dollars and fifty cents) per bottle of water at the concession stand, all while successfully fighting off the urge to run up to their daughter during "team time" and declare either how much they've missed them or that they love them so much. OK, so maybe not 100% successfully on that last one, I know my parents failed from time to time and followed me to the bathroom or concession line...
The team went to the Hard Rock Café in Downtown Disney and afterward we were able to shop for a good amount of time. I was especially transfixed by a light-up ball that I didn't know was attached to a kid's wrist... oops, inside joke. On our day off, most of the team went to Cocoa Beach to catch some rays. My parents and I went for awhile, and when I realized that most of the team just wanted to lie out, we went shopping then went to the Epcot Center. I was never one to sit still, and the sun isn't exactly a best friend of our family.
Other team doings included house dinners. There were two houses where there were nine players to a house, and one house would cook for the whole team one night, and the other on a separate night. I was in House One, and we cooked the first meal which was homemade fajitas and salsa. Obviously, the other house was jealous and realized there was no possible way to beat our amazing dinner, so they continued to put hangers under the freshmen's bed sheets. Well, no one messes with House One's freshmen. When House Two cooked dinner for the team, we stole their toilet paper. All of it. We were pretty stealth about it too, throwing it out windows and under the garage door and such... Obviously this escalated into a huge rivalry that was still going on up to the night before our flight home. Oh, good times.
Everything looks optimistic and if we keep our heads up and our hearts in it, our record will take care of itself. There's been a lot of talk, but now is the time to let our play do the talking. Our next games are home against Boston University on March 26 and UConn on March 29.
Until Next Time,