Done With School, But Not With Softball!

May 10th, 2012

Finals are over and you know what that means: GRADUATION! After four years of studying and long nights spent at the library, I have a bachelor of business administration in marketing from the Mays Business School and a career waiting for me after myself and my teammates take care of some unfinished business.  For me, academics have allows been of upmost importance, knowing that unfortunately I can’t dive for softballs in centerfield the rest of my life.  I am extremely excited about the next chapter in my life, BUT that chapter doesn’t start until we experience the thrill of the Women’s College World Series, competing against the best, for a chance to do what most only dream of. WHOOOP!

Right now we are currently in Boise, Idaho. This place is gorgeous.  Our hotel backs up to a river with trails they call the Greenbelt.  I’ve never seen this part of the country. Me, Red (Brittany Clopton), and Linds (Lindsey Sisk) are hoping to find some fishing poles and see if we can catch some fish in our off-time.  I’ll let you know how that goes.  The river is at a record high and moving very quickly.  Red mentioned shipping the fish that we catch back home in dry ice or something (HAHA!), so Mr. Clopton be ready, you never know. =) 

Last night we had the chance to eat dinner with a group of Aggies up here in Boise.  Aggies are everywhere!! Just proving how vast the Aggie Network is and that you have a helping hand anywhere in world if you need it.  At our table we had the chance to talk with Pete, class of 55’, a beet farmer.  He was initially from California but made a life-changing decision to come to Texas A&M and be a part of our world-famous Aggie band.  In such a short time he was able to impact me.  Pete truly embodies everything an Aggie stands for.  The team loved the event and we’d like to thank you again for the great dinner and for telling your stories. 

Last weekend was Senior Day.  I never thought this day would come.  Thank you, Coach Evans, for what you said on the field about each senior and our families.  It really shows how much our team is like a family.  One of the funniest parts of the day was seeing a video that the freshmen made.  They “acted” like the three of us seniors, pointing out funny characteristics about each of us.  Red was overly-positive while sporting my new cleats as she pranced out on the field pretending to be me.  Sarah sported a bun on top of her head, a visor, and was making some All-American plays out on second as she made a fantastic attempt at impersonating Nat (Natalie Villarreal).  And LT (Lauren Tamayo) did her best catwalk out to the mound shaking those hips and showing attitude as Lindsey.  Our whole team rolled with laughter.  Man, I’m going to miss those girls!!!

Well, we’ve got a game soon and I need to get my game face on, so wish us luck! =)

Happy graduation and congrats to my fellow seniors, Nat and Linds! We made it!

BTHO t.u.!

April 26th, 2012

The Baylor Bears came to Aggieland for our last conference match-up Tuesday. Our confidence was high and it showed as Natalie Villarreal, our senior second baseman, set the tone of the game with a leadoff home run. Again our team rallied by putting multiple hits together, sending homeruns flying over the fence, and finishing the game in the 6th inning, 10-2. 

Tonight is the State Farm Lone Star Showdown. The series starts here in College Station at 6 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN2. As you know, the Aggies and t.u. are huge rivals. There is rich tradition in our university centered around this rivalry. It is this tradition that has made it possible for my teammates and me to play in the best atmosphere a collegiate athlete can dream of. I’d like to express what this atmosphere is like from center field.

First it begins in warm-up. You can feel the energy from all of your teammates and see it from t.u. Every throw, every practice swing has a purpose and a focus that builds as time approaches.  The stands begin to fill with a sea of maroon and burnt orange. The 12th Man will come out in full force, no questions asked. The stands get loud and the excitement we feel on the field and with the 12th Man in the stands feed off each other, creating the best home field advantage in the nation. This atmosphere allows us to make the uncatchable catch in the gap, rob a line drive shot in the infield, and deliver with a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 7th. Being the last series we play against Texas in conference, this game will be unforgettable. Come out and help fuel our stadium, giving us the best home field advantage in the nation!

Big 12 Update

April 25th, 2012

This month has been full of excitement with great wins in Iowa, Waco, our last game against Oklahoma at home, and now winning the series against Tech. We are really on top of our game and looking good. Just an example Cassie Tysarczyk went 6-for-6 on Saturday. She’s on fire, and it seems to be contagious. The team is putting hits together throughout the lineup.

I forgot to tell you about April Fool’s Day. In Iowa we got the bright idea to go to Hobby Lobby and buy ribbons to put in our hair for the game. This might not seem like a big deal but for Aggie softball it is. We don’t have many rules around the clubhouse except, no “bow heads”. So when Coach walked off the bus, our entire team put on these 2-inch wide, long, white ribbons. We proceeded to walk to the field, into the dugout, and did our best to act natural. Coach saw Amber Garza first, and her faced was priceless. She then acknowledged the entire team and how ridiculous we looked with our ponytails on top of our heads with huge ribbons on top. We made sure to get some quick pictures, to remember just why we don’t wear ribbons. I’ve attached one. Everyone then quickly took off the ribbons except for Lindsey Sisk, who embraced every possible second!!

Lo’s Grand Slam

April 7th, 2012

I have to tell you guys about yesterday! I’ll set the scene first. We are in the great state of Iowa. We played a doubleheader yesterday (two wins) and one game today. So, toward the end of the game yesterday, our freshman, Lauren Ainsley, went in to pitch. Lauren has had a great conference experience, coming in against Missouri a couple of weeks ago, but let’s just say it got much better yesterday.
She was pitching great. We had given her a nice 6-0 cushion, so she was able to relax and get in there and do her job on the mound. After her first inning pitching, I was standing next to Lo as Coach Evans walked up to her. She wanted Lauren to prepare herself to go in to hit if we reached Mel’s position in the lineup. Lauren had not swung a bat all year, except for the rare fair-ball game competitions, or just fooling around. The entire dugout was rolling with laughter, as we prepared Lauren for her first at bat of the season. Mel quickly found all necessary equipment for Lauren: an extra-small helmet, the lightest bat we brought with us, batting gloves and, of course, an arm guard to protect her pitching arm. Mel then took her out behind the dugout to get her warmed up. I guess Mel quickly taught her that you use the metal bat to hit the yellow ball…just kidding. (I found out after the game that Lo used to be quite the hitter in high school.)

The time had come and YES, bases were loaded!! As Lo walked up to the plate, the entire dugout had the biggest grins on our faces, as did the three Aggies on the base paths.

The first pitch came in……ball.

Next pitch came in…….she swings, rocks a foul ball in Coach Evans’ direction. (A feeling of excitement came over the dugout.)

Next pitch came in……Waist high……Lo swings……..GRAND SLAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First collegiate at bat as an AGGIE….GRAND SLAM! No practice needed.

Hawai’ian Bunch

March 31st, 2012

I have a lot to catch up on…so here we go!

Recently, we have had the chance to travel to some pretty awesome places. We traveled to Tempe, Ariz., for the Kajikawa Classic and to Palm Springs for the Cathedral City Classic. The two tournaments were jam-packed with some of the best teams in the nation. Our team’s victories and struggles in these two tournaments have shaped our team into what we are today, two months later, confident and full of fight!

Oh yeah, and we did just get back from a little island state called HAWAI’I. Whoop!

You name it, we did it!

-Hiked to the top of waterfalls

-Surfed waves all the way in to the beach

-Snorkeled with sea turtles and monk seals

-Took helicopter rides around the island of Oahu

-Swam with dolphins

-Body surfed Sandy Beach (My little sister, Brooke, got thrown about 15 feet onto the beach.)

-Hiked up Diamond Head Crater

-Faced 60-to-70 mph winds at the Pali Lookout

-Paddle boarded in the surf (If you are 6’8 and 260 1bs., this might be a little difficult.)

-Visited Pearl Harbor

-Experienced the Polynesian culture with hula dancing, tree climbing and fire-throwing dancers

-Had a team luau with a giant roasting pig

-Saw the Pipeline and the North Shore’s best surfing

-Climbed an old WWII trail up a cliff at 3 a.m. Whoop!

And we played a little softball! We left Hawai’i with a 4-1 record in the tournament, completely confident. It’s amazing how a road trip and memories on the road can shape our team and catapult us into conference play.

Gig ‘em!

KO

Kajikawa Classic

February 14th, 2012

February 9, 2012

Howdy! My name is Kelsea, a senior captain of the Fightin’ Texas A&M softball team.   I will be giving you a behind the scenes look at Aggie softball this season from a player’s point of view.  I hope to give you insight into the culture of Aggie softball and the chance to get to know our players. 

With that said, I’ll start by telling you more about myself.  I wear #2 for the Aggies. I am a senior captain this year and you can find me with a big smile on my face in centerfield.  My team mates call me KO or Pup.   It’s been a dream come true these last 3 years playing for the 12th man, an outstanding coaching staff, and teammates that are like sisters.  I have made memories that will last a life time, and can’t wait to share the memories of my senior season on this blog.  When I’m not on the field or in the classroom, you can find me in Del Rio hunting or fishing on the coast with my family (wearing life jackets at all times!).  Lastly, I will be graduating in May (Whoop!) with a degree in Marketing. 

The team has been practicing hard these past couple months and is ready to take the field.  I get goose bumps at practice anticipating the season knowing how solid our team looks. We are Old Army and will not let anyone stand in our way!

What’s ahead…Kajikawa Classic, in Tempe, Arizona, Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, three home tournaments, and Hawaii for Spring Break!    Our first home game is at home against Sam Houston State on Wednesday, February 15, at 4:30pm. 

In about 3 hours we leave for Tempe, Arizona, our first games of the season.  I’ll be updating you with highlights from the weekend on the road.

Gig’em,

KO

A Final Farewell

May 27th, 2010

First of all, I just wanted to say that writing this blog for the last time is really hard to do. I was not expecting to write the “farewell” blog for a few weeks, but sometimes you just have to roll with the punches. Ending something you have been doing since you were eight is emotional to say the least, but looking back on all the amazing times and all the friends and family I have met along the way, this has been beyond a doubt the experience of a lifetime!

Last week we came out to practice on all cylinders and were so excited about playing in our regional. We knew it was going to be a great, tough regional and that we would have to play solid to win. After two good days of practice, we were already back on a charter bus, this time it was headed for Baton Rouge, instead of Oklahoma. We got into Baton Rouge Wednesday night, ate dinner and then went to sleep because we had practice the next morning 

I’ve heard many quotes and sayings over the years, but one that is always in the back of my head is one that my boyfriend told me about putting your “sweat in the bucket.” My boyfriend, Keith Stein, played three years under Coach Mark Johnson, one year at A&M and two years at Sam Houston. During that time, Coach Johnson told the boys that at the end of the practice, everyone should be able to wring out their sweat into a bucket and everyone should have the same amount of sweat. If only a couple of guys are working and sweating hard, then the bucket won’t get filled, but if the entire team is playing hard, then the bucket will be filled.  This quote was definitely true in Baton Rouge thanks to the heat and humidity. After our practice on LSU’s field, our team definitely put in the hard work and effort, and we could have definitely filled that bucket up!!

We got back to the hotel, took showers and then all went out to eat at Mike Anderson’s Seafood restaurant. The food was great, but when it came time for desserts, I was a little on the bitter side. During trips, and during the entire season for that matter, we are all expected to eat to fuel our bodies the right way. When we go out to eat, we can only order water to drink (we have Crystal Light packets if we get sick of water) and there are absolutely no desserts. Well, this trip was different. During intersquad scrimmages the week before, in the bottom of the seventh inning Coach yelled out, “Oh, by the way, the winner of this game gets dessert on one of our away trips.” Well if you know our team, Coach might as well have said she would buy us all a new car, because as soon as she said that it was on! The home team, not my team, was behind in the bottom of the seventh when Coach said this, and ended up winning the game thanks to a Mel Dumezich walk off home run! I was really mad at the time, but I did, in fact, laugh when Mel rounded first with two hands in the air, holding up the “#1” sign and chanting “Dessert, dessert, dessert.”  Anyways, needless to say, that even though our team has won four out of six, the other team won when it really mattered and got to eat dessert at Mike Anderson’s.

After dinner, we went back to the hotel and waited until the next day when we could start playing. We definitely did not play our best on Friday, but came out with two huge wins on Saturday to ensure us a spot playing on championship Sunday. We fought hard, but ULL had the timely hits when we didn’t.  After the game, Coach talked to us and then the seniors left our cleats on home plate. This is another Aggie tradition that I love. After their last game, the seniors leave their cleats at home plate wherever you are playing. Our goal this year was to leave our cleats in Oklahoma City, but we ended up leaving them in Baton Rouge.

Speaking of my fellow seniors, I couldn’t finish the blog without writing about the two people who I know the most. These two girls have been through so much with me. All the good times, like going to the World Series and all our accomplishments on the field, to moving into our house where they taught me how to cook, as well as all the bad times like having to walk to the dorms after getting back at 2 a.m. and then going to 8 a.m. classes, to Alex slipping and busting it when the roads were frozen over, will forever be in my heart. Here are a few words about the rest of the softball team, last but definitely not least, the seniors!

First there is Macie Morrow (aka Mace in your Face, Macer or Macer the Eraser). Before I start out anything, if you don’t personally know Alex and Macie, you might not know that for the last four years, these two have pretty much been inseparable. They are in the same major, have the same class schedule and since we live together, there is hardly time for them to be apart. Cooking, shows and shorts are just a couple of words that let you see a little more about Mace. Macie (not to be confused with Marcie…on every order of food this year they put Marcie instead of Macie) loves to cook and try new things. I think my recent favorite dish Macie made me try was Couscous and now I love it! Macie also loves her television shows. Mondays are filled with One Tree Hill, The Hills and the Bachelorette and Tuesdays are Biggest Loser.  Another thing Macie is also known for is her short shorts. In fact, Ray, our strength and conditioning coach, was so tired of Macie wearing short shorts to workout, she made her wear Capri sweat pants that have never been washed. Macie was not too happy about it then, but now we can laugh at it. Macie always knows how to have a good time and I’m so lucky to have spent the last for years with her!

Alex Reynolds (aka Al or Alejandra) is definitely one of those players you love to have on your team, and if she wasn’t on my team, I definitely would be scared of her. She is the most competitive person on the field and just one of those people you want with you when the going gets tough. One thing about Alex is she can never be last. Whether it is in line for food, in line for the restroom, or in line for a drill, Alex is always one of the first ones. She is also the worlds earliest “Shotgun” caller! For four years, I might have sat in the front seat twice because Alex calls shotgun before we have even payed the bill at the restaurant! Seriously, who does that!? Anyways, back on track, Alex loves to make people laugh with all her funny faces and voices. Two things that I always think about when I want to laugh out loud are when Alex tripped doing tall shuffles before practice and when she yelled “GOING” when no one was going. Last year, we were both in the dugout during the Texas game and it is always the dugout’s job to watch the runner and let the catcher know if she is stealing. Well Alex thought the girl was going and yelled it at the top of her lungs. Turns out she was wrong and once she realized it she ducked down so nobody could see who did it. Too bad for her our video guy got the whole thing on tape!

I’m going to miss these girls so much not only on the field playing with them, day in and day out, but also living with them and sharing so many good times together! 

So now I guess it’s time to say goodbye. I want to say thank you for reading the blog every week and keeping up with Aggie softball. It has truly been an honor to have the opportunity to write the blog and play for this amazing university. As a senior I really and truly could not have asked for a better team to play with, a better coaching staff to play under and especially, I couldn’t have asked for better fans to play for. Just like the saying goes, “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it and from the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”

Thanks and Gig’em!

Callin’ Baton Rouge!

May 18th, 2010

Brace yourself Ags, a lot has been going on with Aggie Softball so just sit back, relax and enjoy the blog, or short novel to be exact!

First and foremost, I wanted to give huge congratulations to everyone who earned Big 12 awards this weekend. Rhi and Meagan made All-Big 12 first team and Mel, Lauren and Alex made second team. We usually have opening ceremonies before the Big 12 tournament begins to make sure everyone can be recognized in front of all the teams and parents, but the rain ruined that plan. Although the opening ceremonies were cancelled, it definitely did not stop us from having fun!

The night that the ceremony was supposed to take place, Coach called a team meeting in a conference room at the hotel. With most of the parents and Sugar Daddies on hand, cake and two cap and gowns, everyone soon realized that this “team meeting” was a graduation ceremony for Alex and Macie. These two were supposed to walk the stage this past weekend, but because of the Big 12 Championship, they weren’t able to. Tracy and Brian Rutherford took this matter into their own hands and planned our own softball graduation. As soon as Macie and Al got into their cap and gowns, Brian said some opening words, Coach Evans followed with a commencement speech, and then Tracy handed out their diplomas. Now these diplomas weren’t like any normal diploma. It came in its usual hard cylinder container, but this diploma recognized a Degree of Bachelor of Softball and has all the major accolades our class has been a part of. Since I’m graduating in December, I didn’t get the entire cap and gown, because that’s coming later, but the Rutherford’s were nice enough to let me receive this special diploma.  I know Alex and Macie enjoyed being able to receive their diplomas in front of all the people that love them. Thanks to the Rutherford’s, the Sugar Daddies, the friends and families, and also the coaching staff for doing that.

The next day, we were fired up and ready to play. We had our fingers crossed that the rain would stay away for the remainder of the weekend. Our prayers were answered and we were able to play against Nebraska for our first game on Saturday. With a total team win, we were set to play OU in the semifinal game of the tournament. Both teams had amazing fans and the atmosphere was incredible, but we weren’t able to pull out a win against OU that day. Everyone on the team hates losing, but I guess you could say that we were excited about what is to come. We knew that we played a good game against Oklahoma and we were happy with how our team feels going into regionals. After the game, we went back to the hotel, Stephen had Spaghetti Warehouse for us in the lobby and then we went to bed. The next morning, we all woke up, ate an early breakfast and were on the road to head back to College Station by 8 a.m..

While we were playing, Lindsey Sisk was at home doing a lot of rehab. You might remember hearing about Lindsey’s first and second injuries (slicing a tendon in her hand and then re-detaching it for the second injury). Well they always say bad things come in three’s. During practice about two weeks ago, Lindsey was running bases with the outfielders in order to help the infield with their quick throws. While running the bases Lindsey turned to go back to the bag and ended up tearing her ACL. She had to have surgery last week and we missed her so much during the Big 12 Tournament. Please pray for a speedy and safe recovery for Lindsey!

After we got home on Sunday all I could do was think about regionals. The team and some of the Sugar Daddies got together Sunday night to find out where we would be playing the first round on our trip back to the Women’s College World Series! I was getting so excited after every team that was called because I knew it was that much closer to telling us where we ended up. My hopes were that we would host a regional, but it turns out we are headed to Baton Rouge! I’m so excited about playing in this regional. It is going to be a double elimination tournament between us, ULL, McNeese State and LSU. This is a very challenging regional, which makes it ten times more fun!! If you are looking for something to do this Friday, Saturday and Sunday or maybe you just want to take a little vacation, there is no better place to do it than Baton Rouge! We need all the Aggie support we can get this weekend and let me tell you, these are going to be some great games of college softball. We had Monday off, but Tuesday’s practice couldn’t come soon enough. Everything we do from this point on is all about our team and what we have worked for all year!

One huge reason why we are able to be playing in the NCAA tournament is because of our amazing junior class! You knew it was coming so here it is…

First there is Rhi (aka Rafiki, Rhi-Money, Rhianisha, or just about anything that you could incorporate “RHI” into). In my opinion, we should forget all the Rhi nicknames and just call her “Clutch.” Since she walked onto this campus, Rhi has been the ultimate impact player. One thing that you might not know about Rhi is that she loves SpongeBob. She and Victoria can quote any episode of SpongeBob, and I mean ANY episode! Rhi also feels no pain. I forgot exactly what game it was, but I remember it was in San Diego and Rhi was pitching. A ball was hit literally right back at her face, ricocheted off her and flew into center field. After the play, everyone was waiting to see if Rhi was going to be okay, but she just turned to the catcher and was ready for the next pitch. Rhi is such a solid player and leads this team so well by her actions.

Next there is Kara (aka KayKay). I absolutely love this girl! Another one of my remedies for a stressful day is to walk two steps over to Kara’s locker and look at the pictures on the inside of her locker. There is one picture that always makes me laugh! It is a picture of Kara and her family, but the best part about that picture is Kara’s little niece, Lily. Lily is the cutest little girl ever and is going to look just like Kara when she gets older. In the picture, Lily is sitting on Kara’s lap and is making the funniest face. Kara is such a hard worker and makes this team better every single day. We have shared many memories of 6 a.m. workouts with Ray (our strength and conditioning coach) during Club del Ray and I will never forget those days, but I definitely won’t miss them! What I am going to miss is the time you thought you were Sharonda, and when you had to speak in front of the team your freshman year!

Kelsey Spittler (aka Spitty or Spitt) and I have been playing ball since we were little kids. She and I played on the Texas Smash when we were growing up and I love the fact that we had the opportunity to play together in college. One thing that hasn’t changed since we were little is her country accent and grammar. I never knew, until Spitty told me, was that you could “warsh” your clothes. Coach always tells us that your teammates are the people you want down in the trenches with you during battle. Spitt is definitely a person I would want to have with me in the trenches, not because she has earned consecutive strength and conditioning All-American awards, but because she is loyal and always there for you. I have to give her parents a shout out because after every game no matter the outcome, they are always there. We have so many laughs and memories in the outfield that I am really going to miss.

The next person I couldn’t live without in the outfield is Andrea Tovar (aka TO-VAR, A.T .or Ang). “Friend,” as Kelsey Spittler would call her, has a locker right next to mine so every time I come into the locker room she puts a smile on my face. Whether we are exchanging YouTube quotes or laughing at something funny that happened that day, A.T. always puts me in a better mood. There is one particular thing that happened this season that I think about if I ever want a quick laugh. After every home game, we all go to change in the locker room until Coach gets there, and then we have to go to the team room for a postgame talk. Well, after one game I was rushing to get to the team room and needed to put my dirty clothes in the pile. I whipped around the corner and chunked my dirty sliders as hard as I could, thinking they would somehow end up in the pile. Needless to say, they didn’t make it into the pile because Andrea’s face was in the way! I was very apologetic, but I couldn’t help laughing so hard! Andrea is such a hard worker and sets an example for the rest of the team.

Although she has only been here for one year, I feel like I have known Lindsey (aka Princess or Linds) forever! With her injuries, this year has been really tough on her, but she has shown this team what she is made out of. I know she is just itching at the opportunity to get back on the field and start playing again and when she does, everyone better watch out! Even though we call her Princess, this girl is the most competitive girl on the team. I’m so excited to see how she helps the team next year! Lindsey loves to sing every song she knows and no one can compete with her dance moves! I’m so happy to have been teammates with Lindsey for a year and I wish we could have actually played with her this season. Even though they are in California, her parents have been so supportive of the team and I’m so lucky to have met them.

Last, but definitely not least is Missy Siegel (aka Miss). Missy is just one of those people that make you feel right at home. Every word that comes out of her mouth I can’t help but laugh! Missy is always coming up with crazy things to do, we think it’s because she was an only child so she had to improvise, but whatever is was it made Missy so much fun to be around! Both Lindsey and Missy have made a huge impact on this team. Missy also loooves to dance and say funny sayings that I, for one, can never get out of my head! For instance, still to this day I have to get Kelsea Orsak to punch me every time I say “DAAANG!” and now “Child please” and “Duh!” have started to surface. I have also loved spending time with Missy’s family during the recent trips! This team would not be near as fun as it is without Missy!

Blooper #12: The Roof is on Fire!

You know you’re an Aggie when….you are smokin’ briskets on a Friday night, in the middle of downtown Oklahoma City, on the rooftop of the Sheraton hotel. After the graduation ceremony, the Sugar Daddies and some parents went to the rooftop of a nearby hotel to start cookin’ the meat for the tailgate the next day at the ballpark. We played football, listened to country music and had a blast. It was all fun and games until we heard fire trucks and sirens. My heart stopped beating when they stopped right beside the hotel because I could just see it now: “Texas Aggie Softball team Creates Havoc in OKC.” Fortunately, the fire trucks were not for us and only a couple of security guards had to come and make sure the smoke was coming from a grill rather than the hotel itself. The team, unfortunately, couldn’t have the end result of the brisket, but from what others told me, it was delicious! A huge thanks goes out to Rosenthal meats!

P.S.-I told you this was a short novel, but thanks for reading and keeping up with Aggie Softball. Now let’s go BTHO the Baton Rouge Regional!

WHOOP!

May 12th, 2010

I’m finally done! Well with this semester that is. I took my last final today and what a good feeling it is. Although school is done, in my mind, softball is just starting up!

Last weekend was a short and sweet! Due to everyone’s finals, we left College Station around 3 p.m. and finally got into Stillwater late that night. As the bus pulled into the hotel, Coach informed us that since there was a chance of rain on Sunday, we would be playing a doubleheader on Saturday and to get some good rest for the games! She didn’t even have to tell me twice to get good sleep, because as soon as we got into our rooms, Al and I passed out! We woke up the next morning so fired up about the two games, although all we were really thinking about was winning that first game. We went down to eat breakfast, showered, got ready, watched some of the Washington vs. Stanford game and then we were off.

 Determination. I felt like as soon as I stepped on the bus to go to the fields, I felt that we were determined and that we wanted those two wins more than anything else in the world. Needless to say, we ended up sweeping Oklahoma State on their home field, on senior day and I loved it! Although we were in Stillwater, the Ags still had a lot of fans in the stands. My Aunt Betty, Aunt Lorrie, and Grandma came from Wichita Falls to come watch us play. It was so good to see them and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day, but soon after the hugs, the team was headed straight back to College Station.

Our bus trips include a lot of jokes, people on iPods and definitely a lot of movies. It is really hard to get movies that the entire bus agrees on, but we watched every genre on the bus ride there and back. Our selection included Avatar, It’s Complicated, Face-Off, Awake, Lion King and the Burning Desire. I have to elaborate on the last one, because it really hit home. If you haven’t heard of this movie, it is a documentary about the 1999 Texas A&M vs. Texas football game. This year was unlike any other because it was the year that will always be remembered in Aggie history as the year that the bonfire fell. During the other movies, you can hear people talking amongst themselves, but not this one. At one point, when they talked about the fallen and how people left their Aggie rings at the stack, I had tears rolling down my eyes and I looked back and at least two other people were in my same boat. The movie was sad, but I feel like it was good for our team to watch together. Sometimes you take for granted everything that we have and that movie made me realize how lucky we are to play for such a cohesive and caring University who treats everyone like family.

When we got home, it was time to get some good rest in order to start studying for those finals on Sunday. Sunday was also a very special day for our mother’s! I just wanted to give a quick shout out to every one of y’all, especially my amazing mother! Thank you so much for everything you have done for me!

This week, Coach gave us Sunday and Monday off in order to focus on school. I’ve been asked before what my favorite day of the year is. Although I love my birthday, Christmas and Thanksgiving, I would have to say that another one of my favorite days of the year is when I’m done with finals for the spring. Just think about it, no more school, its summer time and post season is starting up. This is what our team has worked for since August and it is finally here! This week we have our sights set on winning the Big 12 Tournament. This is the last year they are having a Big 12 Tournament, so why not make the best of it? We will be leaving at 12:30 on Thursday and drive to Oklahoma City. OKC here we come!

Drum roll please, as I promised, I’m going to tell y’all a little more about this year’s sophomore class! Sophomore year is a weird year because you are not the freshmen, yet you still aren’t an upper classman. On most teams I’ve played on, the sophomores kind of hang low….not this class! The sophomores, consisting of Eden Morris, Becca Arbino and Kelsea Orsak, definitely stand out.

First there is Eden Morris. Eden has a lot of roles on our team that many people might not know about. She is our “yell leader”, preacher, mother, nutritionist, speed jump roper and a great friend. The first time I met Eden, she was on her recruiting visit. It can be intimidating for a small town girl from Georgia to step onto a huge college campus, but Eden had no fear. I enjoyed meeting her mom and dad and I knew I was going to like Eden when she asked if she could meet Reveille on her visit. Did I also mention she is a twin? Just kidding but we always joke with her because she and her brother look so much alike! I’m going to miss you Eden!

Another one of the sophomores is Becca Arbino (aka Bec). She is one of the crazy ones on the team. If you ever need to know any random fact or anything about anything, Becca is your girl. For example, if you need to know how to do first aid, Becca is the one to call. If you need to know how to cook a recipe, Becca is the one. If you aren’t sure about a question on your biology final, you guessed it, go to Becca. She knows everything! She is also a great singer. Last year, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee hosted the first annual athlete talent show. Every team had to have an act and Becca saved us from embarrassing ourselves by trying to do the Fosse video dance. Becca got up on stage and sang while playing the guitar. It was so good! I was shocked and I think the entire team was too! Becca is also known for, let’s just say, being a little clumsy.

The last, but definitely not least, is Kelsea Orsak (aka Puppy, KO, Kelso). She acquired the nickname puppy because, well, she is like a little puppy. Always hyper and just happy to alive, not to mention her feet and hands look like puppy paws. Kelsea is just one of those people that can walk into a room of strangers and come out with ten new friends. I feel so lucky to play in the outfield with her because no matter what is going on in my life; Kelsea will somehow find a way to make my day better. Her family is also so supportive of this team. I’m so fortunate to have met and gotten to know her parents, all her grandparents and her two awesome sisters! I feel like y’all have gotten a chance to get to know KO from all of the blogs this year since she has been the star of the bloopers, but KO is truly a great person with an amazing heart.

Blooper # 11: Question

Sorry again there is not a legit blooper, but I was thinking the other day and the team has talked about this many times, so I’m going to inform you about our dilemma. After practice, Becca, Macie, Savana Lloyd (played last year) and I cooked dinner and then watched the Biggest Loser.  Our team absolutely loves this show. It is very inspirational, yet whenever we watch it, we are always sitting on the coach eating our dinner and ice cream. It is funny because Kara mentioned the same problem earlier on in the year. Anyone see anything wrong with this picture? Just a though…

Finals!

May 4th, 2010

For the record, let me just say that Kelsea’s pregame speeches took a tremendous turn for the better and were fantastic! After reading the blooper, she knew she had to step up her game in the “speech-giving” department. She rose to the occasion and so did the entire team this week against Baylor and Texas Tech.

On Wednesday, we came out with a chip on our shoulders ready to play the Baylor Bears. The last time we played Baylor, it was on their home field and we lost in extra innings. It was a great game from both teams, but we were definitely hungry for that win. Wednesday could possibly have been our last home game as seniors and it was definitely an unforgettable one. We beat the Bears 11-1 with the 12th Man behind us the entire way.

“In the game of softball, you must have a short memory.” Coach Evans has used this quote many times during my career and how very true it is! Whether you have a good at bat or a bad at bat, you must forget about it because the only thing that matters is the next one. The team took this to heart Thursday during practice. We knew we had just beat Baylor and we were very excited, but we had a short memory and knew that the only thing that mattered was Texas Tech, our next opponent. After a short and sweet practice, Friday was already here and we were boarding the plane for Lubbock. We swept Texas Tech this weekend with two quality, team wins and now have an entire week to gear up for Oklahoma State. We will leave Friday afternoon to drive to Stillwater and the only thing on our minds the entire six-hour drive will be the game on Saturday. In addition to the two huge games we have this weekend, we are also studying and preparing for finals. So if you could be so kind as to take a second out of your busy day, I would appreciate it if you said a little prayer for my teammates and I to do amazing on our finals! Thanks and Gig’ em.

In addition to the blooper, I’m going to highlight a class every week from here on out and let you know a little bit more about each person within that class. Today I have decided to go with the freshman class (it’s only natural to start from youngest to oldest). So here it goes…

I absolutely love every person in this freshman class. Not to say that I don’t love everyone on the team, but each freshman brings a different personality to this team. First there is Victoria Lehrmann (aka V). She is just flat out hilarious! When I first met her at the beginning of the year, she seemed so quiet and reserved, but once I got to know her, she is not so quiet after all! She is extremely clever and knows just the right witty response to everyone’s remarks. For example, one day Alex was jokingly making fun of V’s hair during workout and Victoria whipped around and shouted, ” You know Grandma (this is the nickname she gave Alex) I’ve decided you’re just my cross to bear!” I couldn’t stop laughing at this comment and quite frankly, I can’t stop laughing at everything that comes out of her mouth.

Another freshman that I couldn’t live without is Sydney Shannon (aka Syd or Syd the Kid). Literally, I can’t live without her. I say this because although she was supposed to live in the dorm, she was my next door neighbor for most of this semester. At the beginning of the semester, she thought it would be easier to live with KO, which made us neighbors. When she decided that she was going to go back to living in the dorms, I was really upset and sad about her leaving! If Syd isn’t playing softball or at the dorms, she is most likely eating sushi. I’ve never seen anyone who loves sushi more than that kid. She is also my YouTube partner in crime. Syd and Victoria both play right field with me, so we share many, and I mean many, great laughs.

The next freshman that cracks me up every day is Lauren Schwirtlich (aka Cuz or Shortlicker…the second one is just a joke because one of our announcers accidently called her that one day and it just kind of stuck). At the beginning of the year, Lauren was known for being a little spastic, but now she has settled in and is doing a great job for the team. I’m not saying she doesn’t still have her spurts of jitters and clumsiness, but that is what makes her Lauren. Her locker is right next to mine, so personally, I don’t know what I would do without her. She is always keeping me in check, making sure I shine my cleats and wear the right practice shirt.

We now turn the spotlight to BIG D (aka Mel Dumezich). Mel is definitely the ping pong champ of the team; I think it might be because of her huge hands she uses to swallow the paddle. If you ever want to get to know someone better, just play catch phrase! This is the trick we used for Mel. At the beginning of the year, Mel was really shy around the team. We played a game of catch phrase with some recruits and Mel’s shyness was no more. I remember it like it was yesterday. Her word was “Tough Cookie” and she was shouting, and I mean shouting, out different clues to get everyone to guess. They were good clues, but no one could say anything because we were too busy laughing at her faces and accent. Mel is just one of those people that has such a good heart and who has so much pure talent, which she magnifies by working hard at what she does.

The last freshman, who definitely doesn’t play like a freshman, is Meagan May. Meagan is also one of those people who you love to be around. She is extremely smart and I’m telling you, she is an amazing drawer. I was looking through her pictures one day on Facebook and I saw a painting and asked her what it was. She showed me the real picture and the one that she painted and I was amazed. Meagan is going to do great things here at A&M and next time you see her ask her about midnight yell!

Blooper #10: Syd the Kid and the Heimlich maneuver
I was told this story by another source and I thought it had to be a blooper. After playing Missouri on ESPN, some of the girls went over to Andrea’s to watch the recording of the game. In the middle of the game, the announcers were talking about the Big 12 rankings and it had Texas as number one and their record, at the time, of 11-1. This is when Sydney looked up with a confused response of “Who did Texas lose to?” For those of you who were there, which Syd obviously wasn’t, we, Texas A&M, beat Texas on our home field. ‘Atta girl, Syd.

Y’all are in for a treat today, because there is another Orsak blooper. In order to relax and have fun, the outfielders do some football plays before we run out to our positions. Sometimes KO might just “hike” our gloves to us, or sometimes we set up routes to take a pass. This particular time, KO shouted to Kelsey Spittler, “Do the Heimlich maneuver and then cross!” Spitt was really confused and then realized that she meant to say “Do the Heisman and then cross!” That one definitely kept the outties loose and having fun!