Family

April 27th, 2010

Senior day was truly a day that I will never forget. The game on Saturday was definitely a disappointment, but Sunday our team came out and showed what we were made of. We pulled together as one unit, took care of each other, and beat Missouri in front of an amazing 12th Man. More than ever I really felt like this was my family. I know that we still have a lot of season left to play, but Senior Day makes you realize how much you have gained from this program. Playing at Texas A&M is unlike any other place because, besides from my own family, I have added the team and definitely the entire 12th Man into what I think of as my family. I’d like to take a second to talk about some pretty important people in my life.

First and foremost, I wanted to give a shout out to my mom, Alissa, and my dad, Glenn. They have been there through everything and I really don’t know where I would be without them. They have taught me so much and have always been there for me. My dad has literally been to every game this season and supports this team so much. I couldn’t put into words how much my parents mean to me and I want to thank them for everything. I also wanted to give a shout out to my sisters, Paige and Lexie, who aren’t always at the games, but are always rootin’ for the Ags. I’d also like to say thanks to all my other relatives who have come near and far to cheer on the Aggies. I love ya’ll!

Another family that I would like to thank is my teammates and their families, as well as the coaching staff. Going off to college is a scary thing. Although I’m about five miles from my house, the stress of school and competition make every day as a college student a crazy one. The 16 girls that I hang out with everyday during workouts, practice and games are definitely my safety net from all my stressors. They do what friends are supposed to do – make you laugh, tell you not to worry, tell you if your hair looks bad, and just be there for each other. Along with the girls, I’m so fortunate to have met and gotten to know all of their families. All the fam from Whiting, Ind. (Big D’s family), California (Becca and Lindsey’s family), Georgia (Eden’s family) and the rest of them from Texas, I just want to say thanks for everything. A huge hug goes out to Mrs. Suz and Mr. Doug Reynolds (Al’s parents) and Cindy and Tim (Timmy) Morrow (Macie’s parents). My fellow classmates and I have been through many ups and downs that have made us all better people. Thanks for all the memories! Also, this coaching staff has taught me so much about the game and about life that I will keep with me forever.

I know you know what is coming next! Another part of the family I have made here at Texas A&M is definitely all the amazing and wonderful fans!! All the Sugar Daddies, the regular fans and those that have never been to a game, but keep up with Aggie softball, I truly thank you for everything that you do. A special shout out goes to Cole Wilcoxson. You can usually find Cole right behind home plate yelling “SHIRT! SHIRT! SHIRT!” or banging his new Aggie ring against the metal to distract other teams. He has been my Sugar Daddy since my freshman year and has been to A LOT of softball games. He also makes the most legit banana pudding I’ve ever tried! Growing up in College Station, I was a part of the 12th Man as a kid, but I never really understood the role the 12th Man plays for every athlete. Now that I have had the privilege to play for such an amazing program, I now realize that every single fan means the world to every athlete playing on the field. The fans here at A&M bring another level that no other place in the nation can compete with. Thanks for all you do!

It is always great to win the game on Senior Day and then be able to celebrate. The team and our families went to the Zone and had dinner. After that, we do our senior pass down gifts. This should be called the senior “roasting” session, because we basically tell everyone all about the embarrassing moments this season. After the seniors talk about all the juniors, sophomores and fish, it is their turn to get back at us. The dinner and pass downs are some of my favorite times of the year.

This weekend was filled with fun and lots of family. We had Monday off (well if studying frantically for a final is considered “off”) and now all that is on our minds is Baylor. We play them this Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. and expect a great crowd. Please come out for the game on Wednesday and support us as we BTHO Baylor.

I also wanted to give huge congratulations to Meagan May for setting the single season home run record. Meagan is not only an amazing athlete who knows the game, she is also a great person and teammate.  She always puts the team first and I’m so excited for her and what she is going to accomplish during her four years at A&M. Most people don’t know this, but she is also an amazing drawer! Congrats Meagan!

Blooper #9

Before every game right after the outfield has finished bat hacky, Kelsea gives the “outties” a speech. Kelsea stands before us with her bat as a pointer and the other outfielders all take a knee. This talk gets the outfield in the right mindset for the game and how we are going to do our job as a whole. It started out as just a joke, but you know softball players and their superstitions, so we had to keep doing it. During the Texas game, let me tell you, her speech was great! But today’s blooper is for the one on Sunday. I think she just was shy in front of the ESPN cameras but her “intense” speech started off with, “Today is the day….that is not yesterday!” and it went downhill from there. Kels, you better be practicing for Baylor because we expect big things!

Ames, Iowa

April 20th, 2010

I’d have to say it was a good week Ags! We won our game on Wednesday against Sam Houston and then swept Iowa State on the road this past weekend. They weren’t the prettiest wins, but needless to say this team has a lot of fight and will do anything in our power to get that “W”. 

After beating Sam Houston, we knew that we had to come out to practice on Thursday ready to work. Like I said before, every team in the Big 12 is going to be good and no one is going to back down and “give” a win away. We knew Iowa State was going to be no different. We left Friday morning at 11 a.m. with winning two games on our mind. Before we left, we had to take care of some academic business first. To me, this is the busiest time of the year. With practice, games, the last round of tests and final exams creeping up on you, we also have to get things in order for next year. All athletes had early registration on Thursday before we left. This is an amazing benefit that athletes receive. Call me crazy, but I always love registering for next year’s classes. This year’s registration, more than last, has motivated me like no other! My roommates had the luxury of not registering because they will be graduating in May, but I’ll be taking a semester longer and graduating in December of 2010. You wouldn’t think that registering would be that difficult, but having to find the right classes that don’t interfere with conditioning/practice times can be stressful. Most of us wouldn’t be able to get through our lives without Mindy Phillips, our athletic academic advisor.

Sometimes I wonder what goes through Mindy’s mind when she has about six student-athletes (she also has baseball and volleyball) in her office stressed out and frustrated with their schedule. Mindy works wonders as an academic advisor and just someone to talk to if you are having a bad day. I speak for the whole team, as well as myself, when I say that Mindy’s patience, knowledge and personality have saved me, literally, from going over the edge! J She also expects the most out of us. Every month we are required to go to office hours with all of our professors to get an academic report signed. Most people think it is just another thing to put on our hefty “to-do” lists, but with this, I have really gotten the chance to get to know all of my professors. Also, my professors have gotten to know me, which helps out a lot in the long run.  I just want to tell Mindy thanks for all the hours she has put into our success off the field , thanks for being there for each and every one of us and just thanks for all that you do. I guess being a senior has made me think about how much I’m going to miss people like Mindy. They always say that you get emotional with age, so enough with the mushy stuff, back to some softball.

Like I said, we left for Iowa at 11 a.m. on Friday morning. We were able to watch “Angels in the Outfield” on the bus ride to Houston. That movie always reminds me of being a kid. I absolutely loved that movie when I was little and watching it now makes me love it that much more! I guess you could say I really took that movie to heart when I was little because I always looked for angels swooping down to help someone on the field. You never know, “it could happen!”

We got to Iowa and ate at P.F. Chang’s and then went to the hotel. We went to bed and woke up ready to play. After some late inning heroics by Meagan May, we squeaked out our first win, but knew we could definitely play better on Sunday. When we got back to the hotel Saturday night, we kept up with the baseball team’s game against Texas and then headed to bed. The next day we came out fired up and had a great victory to finish out the series. Speaking of playing Texas, we are finishing out our series with the Longhorns in Austin on Wednesday. Hope to see as many of you that can possibly make it out to Austin! It is going to be a great game and we are already gearing up for it!

Just Dance

April 13th, 2010

As many of you know, once Big 12 play hits, every game, every inning and every pitch is a battle in itself. We knew this week was going to test us and show us what we must perfect looking down the road. We came away with two wins and two losses on the week, but one thing is for sure…Fightin’ Texas Aggie softball has the best fans in the nation.  I know I keep repeating this, but I truly do feel blessed to play in front of fans that are rooting for you no matter what. I speak for the team and myself when I tell you how much we love playing for ya’ll and thank you for making every second worthwhile.

The week started off great with a solid win over Stephen F. Austin. I always like playing SFA for two reasons. The first is that one of my good friends, that I played ball with since we were little bitty, plays a great third base for them. Briana Bishop and I have literally grown up at the ball fields together. Now we are playing our last year of softball and I wish her the best of luck. Another reason I like to play SFA is to see their coach. In our team room, we have every All-American’s picture on the wall. SFA’s coach, Gay McNutt, was an All-American for the Aggies in 1985 and I just think it’s really cool to see someone in that position from this program’s history. To go along with history and taking pride in your school, another really neat thing that we are required to know all the names of the players who have worn our jersey number. What is really ironic is that as I was researching my number, I realized that my high school coach, Shelley Batson (who was Shelley Toney at the time), wore jersey number 4.  I could spend an entire day on what Coach Batson has done for me and how much she means to me, but until I took a step back and looked at the history of Aggie softball, I never realized she wore my jersey. Just proves that you learn something new every day!

After a great win over SFA, it was time for the Lone Star Showdown. Besides beating Texas, the atmosphere, the feeling in your stomach when playing your rival, and everything else, I would have to say that the dance off before the game was the all-time greatest moment in locker-room history. This is how it all went down: Due to rain and lightening, the game was delayed for a while. Well, the team was so pumped for the game, that sitting around waiting to play was not an option. We watched one of our highlight videos and then after that we just all ended up in the locker room. We had the music blaring and then out of nowhere, Kelsey and Lindsey busted out all of their dance moves. It was awesome! Now it is not uncommon for any one of us to be dancing at any given time, but I have been around for 21 years and I have never seen dance moves like that! Everyone joined in, but Mel and I were laughing too hard to join in. Mel and Lauren ended up getting a top secret video of the dance off, although, it wasn’t so secret the next day when they revealed the video during study hall. I’ve been thinking it should be put on YouTube, so I’ll let you know if this happens.

Speaking of YouTube, our team is a huge fan! My family makes fun of me because every time I go home, I have to show them the latest ones. They think all I do every day is search for YouTube videos, but in reality, our team is constantly keeping everyone up with the funniest videos.  Some of our favorites include, “David after Dentist” “Blood” “Josh Womack’s Bat Tricks” “Fosse Walk it out Dance” “Leprechaun in Mobile, Alabama” “USF and UCONN Baseball dance off” and “Scarlet takes a fall.” These are just a few of the many we recite to each other on an everyday basis.

So, with the dance off and a huge clutch hit by freshman Mel Dumizich aka “Big D” we were able to get a huge win against Texas on Wednesday night. Unfortunately, this weekend wasn’t as victorious, but we are getting ready for Sam Houston on Wednesday and then Iowa Sate this weekend.

Blooper #8
I don’t have a legit blooper this week (I guess everyone is really watching themselves around me so they don’t get “blogged”) but if you watch the YouTube videos, you will be sure to get a chuckle in there! I’m going to give a little background on the “Fosse Walk it out” video.  The original music to this dance is really slow and boring, but someone cleverly decided to put a rap song instead of the older music, and coincidentally it fits perfectly with their moves. Our team was going to do this dance for the annual athlete talent show, but after a couple practices, that one soon fell through. Enjoy!

Pumped!

April 6th, 2010

You know you are an Aggie when you go on the road and still have better fans than the home team. This was very true when we went down the road to play the Baylor Bears last Wednesday night. Right before the game, I looked into the stands (my teammates would fine me if they knew I was looking into the stands)* and saw three guys that looked just like some of the Sugar Daddies, but they were decked out in Baylor gear. As I was trying to figure out who they were, they took off the Baylor hat and jacket to reveal their true colors. Three of our Sugar Daddies had come in wearing Baylor colors so that they could purchase seats right behind home plate.  The rest of the guys were keeping the third base side stands awake, but I just wanted to say thank you for all the Aggie softball fans out there that came to support us, especially all the Sugar Daddies. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pull through with a win, but we will never forget that loss and it is something we will build from.

Two days after we went to Baylor, we were on the road again, or should I say waiting to get on the road. We were scheduled to leave for Nebraska on Thursday and play games Friday and Saturday so we could have Easter Sunday with our families. The weather was forecasted to be rainy and cold in Nebraska on Friday, so the games were postponed until Saturday. On Friday, we had practice at 11 a.m. and then left for Nebraska at 6 p.m. This trip was unlike any other in that we were able to take a charter flight. This is nice because you don’t have to worry about security, check-in, baggage claim, or waiting for a flight. Basically we get to the airport, show the flight attendant our ID and get on the plane. When we land, a bus is waiting for us to take us to our hotel….what more could you ask for?! On Saturday, we played a doubleheader against Nebraska and came away with one win and one loss. Not what we went to accomplish because in our minds, we were coming home with two wins, but that is over so now we will look ahead to our next opponent.

 We got back into town around 10 p.m. Saturday night. Some of the team went home for Easter while some of the girls stayed in town and spent it with their “second family”. For Easter, my family went to the 11 a.m. church service (we usually go to the 8:30 a.m. service, but my dad was supporting us in Nebraska and wasn’t fortunate enough to fly on a charter plane. He didn’t get back in town until 3 a.m. Easter morning.) After church we went out to eat and then I went with my boyfriend to pick out a boxer puppy! The puppies were so adorable and he decided on a black and white sealed brindle. I wanted to bring it back with us, but we have to wait six weeks! My Easter Sunday was a great day off, but I’m so pumped about the week to come.

 Since we had a day off on Sunday, we were ready to get back to work to prepare us for the week ahead. We host three great teams (SFA, Texas and Oklahoma) this week at home in front of the 12th Man…again, what more could a girl ask for?! This week is going to be exciting and we would love to see as many people in the stands as possible! The fun thing about playing these teams is that all of us know many of the girls from either playing with or against them our entire lives. I’ve talked to some of the girls on other teams and they’ve told me that they love playing against us just because of the atmosphere in our stadium.  Yet another reason why playing for Texas A&M is the greatest! So for all of you who have never been, this week is the week to come out and watch. For those of you who are regulars, we would love to see you there again, and for everyone else….I’ll see you there!

Thanks and Gig’em!

 *Our team has this thing called a Kangaroo Court. This is just something to hold everyone accountable for their actions and the actions of their teammates. If someone fines you, you actually have to pay that money to Erin. Some fines include things like not hustling, not looking sharp, being late and another one is definitely looking into the stands. So shhhh!

Blooper #7: MAYFLOWER!

On the plane ride home, some of us were playing the Name Game. The objective of the game is to get your partner to guess the person you are thinking of by using one-word clues. You cannot use places, names or numbers for your clues. If you call “First Try” and your teammate gets the answer on the first try, your team gets three points instead of one. Well, the person we were trying to guess was Christopher Columbus. Kelsea was so excited because she just knew Mel was going to get this from the first clue, so she yells out “First Try” and then yells “Mayflower” even louder. While the rest of us are really confused by the clue, Mel shouts “Christopher Columbus” and they get the three points. It was a good clue if you were talking about the Pilgrims! We had to explain to Kelsea that Columbus did not sail the Mayflower and if I remember correctly it was a three ships, one being the Santa Maria. It’s alright Kels, you always know how to put a smile on everyone’s face!

Rich in Tradition

April 1st, 2010

Howdy! 

One thing that I love about being an Aggie is the fact that one can say “Howdy” to a complete stranger and not feel embarrassed. Monday morning Becca and I talked to second graders from Hearne and Snook about bicycle helmet safety. We incorporated how important it is to wear helmets in our sport and talked about how it was the same as if you were riding a bike. At the end of the presentation, we gave each second grader a helmet so they had no excuse not to practice helmet safety. I tell you this only because those kids absolutely loved the “Howdy” tradition and boy could they scream it! They were a little shy at first, but once they warmed up, there was no stopping them. Gotta love all the Aggie Traditions! :)

Speaking of Aggie Traditions, many of you know there are more traditions at Texas A&M than I could possibly write about, but I’m going to let you in on some inside traditions of our own. Coach Evans loves the traditions that this school stands for and expects that each of us lives by them also. Our team is rich in our own tradition and also that of the school. I love the fact that Coach Evans expects her athletes to be a part of the student body and Aggie family. I guess people could say that some athletes get a bad reputation for not getting involved in traditions, and events with the entire student body, but that is not the case with our team. We go to Muster as a team, and my freshman year, when we were on the road, we had our own Muster as a team with other Aggie Alum.

Another tradition that I hated when I was a freshman, but love it now that I’m older is the freshmen yells. As a freshman, each one of us is required to learn and appreciate the Aggie War Hymn and the Spirit of Aggieland. On the Friday of the first week of team practice in the fall, all the freshman have to get in front of the team and sing the War Hymn and the Spirit of Aggieland. This is not to embarrass or pick on anyone, its purpose is to make the entire incoming class (freshman and transfers) learn both songs that are so important to the University. Our class had to learn the hard way that this is no joking matter. When we were freshman, we all knew the songs, but we started laughing and messed up on the songs. After we were done, Coach informed us that we needed to have better posture and take it more seriously. Needless to say, we had a five star performance the next Friday for sure!

Another one of the many traditions Aggie softball holds is our everyday routine. Every practice since Coach Evans has been at Texas A&M, they have ended practice the exact same way. Once the team is done cooling down (taking a lap and stretching), we give the staff high fives and then all meet back up at home plate. We finish in a circle around home, talk about business like lunch orders, uniforms, or anything that needs to be said, and then we finish with a yell. I mentioned this earlier in the blogs, but Eden tells us which yell we will be doing and then we yell the yell loud and proud!

Another tradition is the senior pass-downs. The team has several senior pass-downs including the “Yell Leader” which Holly Ridley recently passed down to Eden, the “good” stirrups that Jami Lobpries passed down to me, the person who whoops the longest in the circle which was passed down from Holly to Kelsey Spittler, the sweat pants that have never been washed (passed down to me from Jami) and the person who yells after someone gets on base (passed down to me from Lisa Gorzycki.) These are just a few of the many, but as you can see, we are rich in tradition! When a senior graduates, they will pass down something that they had to someone still on the team to keep the tradition going. I love playing for Texas A&M, because you know that what you are doing has been done by many amazing players in the past. In fact, in each one of our lockers, we have the names of the people who have worn our jersey.

Another tradition that I say we were very good at last weekend was the tradition of playing our best everyday! We swept Kansas in our Big 12 season opener and we can’t wait to get on the road this week. We play at Nebraska on Saturday so that we will have Easter Sunday to spend with family and friends.

Until next time…

Blooper #6: Meagan May

So being an outfielder I don’t get to see many of the little things that happen on the infield, but apparently the fans see a lot more than I do. I’ve been informed by more than one person that in between innings, Meagan May sways and dances to the music while catching the pitchers. I haven’t seen this, but knowing Meagan, this doesn’t surprise me one bit. So next time Meagan’s behind the plate check it out and let me know! Meagan is full of laughs so stay tuned for something even better than that.

San Diego, Here We Come!

March 23rd, 2010

Well hello again! In my mind, the best part of these blogs is when I can let everyone know that we came home with 10 wins the last two weekends and many great memories. Whoop!

Spring Break. Don’t those words sound so good! Well at least to a college student, spring break sounds so sweet. When the Friday before Spring Break rolls around, most college students are already headed to the hottest vacation/party spot for the next week. Not our team. We stayed put in College Station to play a tournament against Utah State, Wright State and North Dakota State. One of the advantages that I have known from growing up in College Station and that some have come to realize is that when all the college students are out of town, the city turns into a quiet and peaceful town. Being here when most of the students are gone is great; you can actually get places without waiting in traffic, no lines at any of the restaurants and no lines at HEB! J

Anyways, after winning all the games that weekend, we had Monday off of practice, but still had workout with Ray at 9:30 a.m. We had a great workout and then had the rest of the day to relax, pack and do nothing.

The next day was a very long one. My household got up at 6 a.m. to cook a great breakfast before practice at 8 a.m. Now I know you are thinking, why so early? Well Lindsey Sisk re-detached the tendon that she cut during the avocado accident a few weeks back and was headed in for surgery that night again. She wasn’t going to be able to eat anything after 8 a.m., so we got up and made a great breakfast for her and ourselves consisting of french toast and lots of fruit. After a great breakfast, we headed to practice. Once practice was over, we took showers, got ready and were off. San Diego, here we come!

When we landed in San Diego, the weather was gorgeous, the water was blue, but our stomachs were growling! We went to Cheesecake Factory (I’ve come to the conclusion that Cheesecake Factory is not as good without the cheesecake part) and then checked into our hotel. When we got to the hotel, I knew it was going to be a blast when I found out that Missy was my roommate and Kelsea and Sydney had a connecting room to us. After rooming with Missy for an entire week, I have come to know the true meaning of you start acting like the people that you hang around. Missy is known on our team for using the work “Daaaang” a lot and on Friday I completely caught myself using “Daaaang” as a filler word. If I remember correctly it was, “Daaaaang that was a good shower!” Thanks Missy.

The next day, was our vacation day! The bus dropped us off at Mission Beach and we had the day to do whatever we wanted, as long as it didn’t involve getting into trouble, injuring our bodies or getting way too sunburned. Throughout the day we shopped, laid out and soaked up the sun, saw some surfers put on a show and just enjoyed the day and each other. One moment that stuck out in my mind was when a lifeguard came up to us and started talking to us and then guessed we were a softball team from out of state. Now, I think he knew that from our awful farmer’s tans, but he said he knew because “we were a group of girls (more than 3) that hung out with each other and genuinely liked each other.” He said that he knew we were a team because usually girls don’t hang out with more than 2 other girls unless they are a team and he said that he knew we weren’t from California because California girls don’t genuinely like anybody! This comment made me laugh. When 3 p.m. came around we packed up camp and went back to the hotel. Coach didn’t want us out at the beach all day because she knew most of us hadn’t really seen sun since August and she didn’t want us to be too sunburned to play our best on Friday. Next, we took our own little tour of downtown San Diego.

After Wednesday, vacation was over and it was time to get to work. We had practice at 9:30 a.m. at San Diego State’s fields. We did our splits, then hit live off of the pitchers and then finished it out with a competition. After practice we went back to the hotel and had the rest of the day to explore San Diego again.  For me, I was able to see my Aunt Leila, Uncle Brent and my cousins Maddy and Thomas! My uncle is a Captain on the U.S.S. Nimitz, one of the biggest aircraft carriers in the world, so to see them was so amazing. Thursday night, I was able to go to their house for a great dinner and spend some time with them. From being in the Navy, they have lived in Japan and now he is stationed in San Diego so it really was awesome to see them and get to catch up. They were able to come see the games and I know they were fans already, but seeing the games I think made them even bigger fans of Fightin’ Texas Aggie softball.

The next day was game day and it was so good to take the first two from Harvard and Long Beach and then to come out with two wins on Saturday and one on Sunday was perfect. Our pitchers were amazing this weekend. Coach always says that you go to war with your teammates and I can honestly say that after this weekend, I want each and every one of my teammates down in the trenches with me. We played some hard-fought games and had fun while playing them. It can’t get much better than that!

After all the good times and games I was definitely ready to get back to College Station.  The people and places in San Diego were so nice. We met a lot of new friends who promised to keep up with Aggie softball throughout the season. After a long day of games, flying and bussing, we arrived in College Station around 12:30 a.m. with just enough time for sleep for the next day of classes and workout. I guess you could say we had enough vacation time and now it’s back the everyday grind.

Blooper #5: K.O.’s Profound Thoughts
When the national anthem is being played before a game, to me it is one of the most moving times in an athletic career. Away from the close wins, amazing catches and shut outs, there is something about the national anthem that gets me. Well, on Sunday before our game, the national anthem was playing and the wind was blowing the flag that everyone in the stadium and on the field was looking at. Well everyone except for Kelsea Orsak. She was on my right side, as was the flag, and I caught a glimpse of her starring out into the sky with this look on her face. I could tell by the look that her brain was churning and she was thinking something really profound. I started chuckling on accident just because Kelsea is known for sometimes being in her own little world and when the national anthem was done, I asked her what in the world she was thinking about. She replied “I was trying to figure out why number 6 on their team has a pair of handcuffs around her belt.” I just started cracking up and literally crying. The handcuffs are another story.

A Day in the Life…

March 11th, 2010

Hello there!

Thank you for patiently waiting for this blog to be posted. The “student” part of student-athlete is catching up to me and I’ve been busy playing catch-up from the missed tests and labs. From the academic facilities and resources, to the people who care about you and your life after athletics, Texas A&M University makes being a student-athlete an amazing experience. I’m going to take you through a typical day as a student athlete 

8:00 a.m. – Class…not much to say about that. There is a whole lot of note taking, listening to lectures and learning. This semester, my 8 a.m. “Health Programs in the Workplace” class is actually very entertaining. As a class, we were assigned roles to play for our workplace and throughout the course we are learning how to assess and implement a health program. I knew it was going to be fun when the only male in our class was assigned the role of a pregnant smoker.

9:30 a.m. – After class, is it weird to say that I look forward to working out? Our strength and conditioning coach, Ray Ellsworth, has a way of jump-starting our morning with some squats, bench press, hammer rows, abs workouts and much more. My favorite part of workout is the chocolate milk we are required to drink afterward. Now I know what you are thinking, chocolate milk?! Apparently, milk is a great way to get proteins back into your body and to rebuild the muscle.

Time between workout and 11:10 a.m. – Study!

11:10 a.m. – Biology Class. Again, a whole lot of note taking, listening to lectures and learning! J My parents would be proud.

After class, I head home to grab lunch and change for practice. If I feel behind on my school work, I usually get a little studying in during this break, but not long because next is treatment.

1:30 p.m. – Treatment. Before every practice, treatment is a must to keep the body rolling! Stephanie Kee and Laura Thomas take great care of us. If you aren’t in treatment, you are usually in the team room either on the computer, watching TV, or playing ping pong/pool. Right now, Mel is the ping pong champion, but she has some competition coming her way!

2:30 p.m. – Practice. This is absolutely my favorite part of the day. In practice, you get to hang out with the people you love while doing what you love to do. How much better could life get?! Practice is not only a time to get better individually and as a team, but I think of it as my stress reliever. Whenever I’m stressed or having a bad day, all I need is a little time on the field and I’m feeling better.  In practice, we usually do splits, then come together and do team defense, then hit live off of one of our pitchers. I feel really lucky to be able to practice off of some of the best pitchers in the nation. They make us better while we make them better. To end practice, we take a light jog to cool down, stretch, and then one of my favorite traditions is when we meet at home plate. Everyone (players and staff) meet at home plate, take care of any business, and then finish with a yell. Eden Morris is our “yell leader” and tells us which Aggie yell we are going to do for the day. If we are playing the next day, we always do a loud and proud BEAT THE HELL OUTTA (opponent)!!!

5:30 p.m. – Once practice is over, you can find everyone back in the training room getting ice and in the team room.

After practice, I head back home to shower and eat before I’m off to Bright.

7:00 p.m. – Biology tutor and study. I hate missing class, but with all of our travel, we miss a lot of class and the people at the Bright Complex are always there to help. If you ask any student athlete at A&M, they will tell you that Bright is there second home. There are so many resources for us to use. The computer lab, individual study rooms, group study rooms, tutors and the career services coordinator is a recipe for success. Everyone at Bright cares about you as an individual and wants to see you succeed.

Depending on what I have the next day, my day officially ends around 11:00 p.m. and it’s time to get some good rest for the next day.

This is just a typical day in the life of a student-athlete. Now, I’m a senior so I have it a little better than the freshmen who are running around frantically trying to fit everything they need to do in 24 hours, but being a student-athlete is much more than just performing on the field, but also doing your best in the classroom.

This week we won’t be missing any class because we are hosting a tournament against Utah State, North Dakota State and Wright State. We are coming out fired up and we hope to see you there!

Blooper #4: This really isn’t a blooper, but just wanted to inform everyone that the outfielders shattered the bat hacky record with a whopping 31! Whoop!

Until next week,

Bailey Schroeder #4

Snow Day

March 3rd, 2010

First and foremost, I’d like to give a shout out and quick thank you for the snow in College Station. Snow days in College Station are like finding a dollar bill in the jeans that you wore last week. It is an amazing, pleasant surprise and you never know how you want to spend it. Not only was the snow beautiful to look at and to play in, the snow also cancelled my Biology 112 lab on Wednesday morning. Whoop!

Although school closed for the night and morning, the snow did not slow down our team. Once the snow started to fall, I went over to Kelsea Orsak’s house and that is where all the fun began. After our short round of snow ball fights, it was time to put layers on and get ready for practice. Since practice was moved to the indoor football facility and the indoor batting cages, our team had to go by the fields to pick up our equipment. I should have known when I saw that the field was covered in snow that it wouldn’t take our team long to ruin the surreal landscape. The real snow battle, snow angel making, snow sliding and photo-ops came once Missy, Andrea, Kara, Victoria, Kelsea and I got to the fields. After all the fun and realizing that when snow melts it isn’t as fun when you are cold and wet, we headed to the indoor football field for defensive practice and then to the indoor facility for hitting.

snow agssnow andrea                                     

The next day we all geared up for our trip to Palm Springs, Calif. The beautiful weather in California made me wonder why people choose to live anywhere else. The hotel that we stayed at looked a lot like a postcard, with beautiful flowers and mountains in the background. Since our games were at night on Thursday and Friday, our team got to showcase some of our other talents. Well, let me just keep it as we got to play other sports. Our hotel had a basketball court, tennis court, putt-putt golf and volleyball net that we couldn’t resist. Being very cautious not to get hurt, the majority of the team came out Thursday morning and just goofed around. Macie and Mel ended up getting the tennis award since they were pretty much unstoppable at king of the court. After our morning of tennis and knock-out, we went on a team walk, enjoyed the scenery and ate lunch. After that, it was time to head to the fields for the games.

ags in palm springs 2ags in palm springs

I learned a lot of good things about our team this weekend from our games. Although we dropped two the first day, I think we learned a lot of lessons that we could build from. We fought hard the next two games and were disappointed when the game against Stanford was cancelled due to rain (I guess people from Texas bring the weather with them wherever they go.)

Aside from softball, another thing I learned about this team is that this is the funniest, craziest, entertaining, and closest team I have ever been a part of. I was thinking about what to write in the blog today and literally every second this team is together we are laughing and goofing around which makes everything so fun. From Alex’s karaoke and voices on the bus to Victoria’s one liners, from Sydney’s “Dawg” imitation, to Kelsea not knowing the words to any song but singing it aloud anyway, from Meagan’s witty comebacks, to anything that comes out of Mel’s mouth, from Kelsey’s stories and grammar, to Lindsey’s “Claw” and princess persona there is never a dull moment on this team. I can’t begin to write all the moments that I have literally had tears running down my face from laughing so hard. This is one of many reasons why I feel so blessed to be playing softball for Texas A&M with this group of girls. 

Since we missed a lot of school last week, I have some makeup work that I must attend to along with studying for two tests and a lab practical this week.

Blooper #3: Alex’s Dive-Back
During the game against Fordham, pretty much the only thing that you could laugh about was the Alex Reynolds dive. Al was up in the fourth inning; we were still scoreless and needed a base runner. Alex hit a pop fly so high that she had time to run past first base and head to second before the ball even hit the infielder’s glove. The infielder ended up dropping the ball and Alex knew she had to get back to first before the throw was made. She quickly stopped running, turned, took three steps and then dove. Too bad for her the base was farther than she thought so she ended up having to crawl back to first on her hands and knees. For us, the other team and the fans, it was quite a sight. She ended up being safe, but thanks Al for that hilarious moment.

Until next time, thanks and Gig’em!

 

Game Day

February 23rd, 2010

For the record and in case you were wondering, Lauren’s luck took a turn for the best and she is doing great now. Not just Lauren, but the entire Aggie softball team had an amazing week. We took one from Sam Houston last Wednesday and went 5-0 going on to win the Aggie Classic this past weekend. It was a total team effort and I’m so ecstatic to head to Cathedral City, Calif., this weekend.

Game days in Aggieland are one of a kind. Road games are fun because you get to see new places and be around the team for the weekend, but nothing compares to playing in front of the 12th Man. I’m going to take you through what game day feels like from a player’s perspective.

Game day is not just any other day. Game day starts from the moment you wake up and for my roommates and I, we usually start it out with a good breakfast. Alex and Macie get a good breakfast and are huge coffee drinkers. They love their Starbucks/It’s a Grind in the morning. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some Starbuck’s, but on game days my breakfast usually consists of something light, like a bagel with peanut butter and then I love to get my fix of Jamba Juice. This weekend was an exception. Macie’s entire family, some friends and Al’s mom were in town so we made sausage, egg and cheese breakfast tacos for the whole clan! They still got their coffee and I still had my Jamba, but the tacos were a great start to the weekend.

 After a good breakfast, we head to the training room. Our trainers, Stephanie Kee and Laura Thomas, are pretty much our guardian angels. They do everything they can to prevent us from getting hurt, but when something happens to us, they do everything they can do to heal us and get us back into tip-top shape. In the training room, you can find everyone getting treatment or doing rehab, getting ice, freezing our tails off in the cold whirlpool, or sometimes just chit chatting. I feel like sometimes the team is in the training room more than we are in our own locker room. In the training room this weekend, Al and I tried out being trainer for the day. Macie gets the knots in her back rubbed out before games, and when Steph left to go tape Eden’s ankle, Alex and I went to work on Macie’s back! I have to say we were pretty good for first timers even though Macie was a little sore the next morning.

For those that didn’t have treatment, the Sugar Daddies hosted a tailgate for the parents and girls before the games on Saturday. For those of you who haven’t been to any softball games, the Sugar Daddies are the crazy group of guys that sit behind home plate. For those of you who have been to games, you know who I’m talking about. These guys are great and the atmosphere of Aggie softball would not be the same without them. This group of guys is the most dedicated, witty and definitely the loudest group in college softball. To add to all the Sugar Daddy memories, I have to give a shout out to Brian, Tracy, Ashley and Conner Rutherford. Ever since I could remember, this family has not missed a home game and has traveled near and far to be with us on the road. They have definitely been a huge part of Aggie softball and I’m still holding to my theory that Ashley is going to be the first female yell leader at Texas A&M University. Thanks Rutherford’s!

After treatments and tailgating, it is about two hours before game time and we start getting ready for the game day “look.” The first person into the locker room turns on the music and sets the mood for the day. With the music blaring and as everyone makes their way into the locker room to get dressed, this is where it all begins. While we get dressed, you can usually find Kelsey Spittler rapping the words to every song, Alex dancing crazy in the locker room, Kara and Missy doing everyone’s hair and makeup, while most are putting on the eye black.

With game time winding down, we all meet in the team room an hour and a half before the game starts and coach gives us that motivational speech I talked earlier about in the first blog. She tells us what we need to focus on and usually gives us a small scouting report on the team we are about to play. When Coach Evans is done, we huddle, give a Gig ‘em and are out the door to start warming up. Warm up consists of jogging, static and dynamic stretching. We come together as a team, say a few words of motivation and then we start hitting. Outfield has the tradition of playing “bat hacky” while the infielders are hitting on the tees. For those new to softball or who just don’t know what bat hacky is, it is just like hacky sack, but instead of using your feet and a hacky sack, you use the bat and a softball. The goal is to not get hit in the face with the ball and to get as many bounces before the ball hits the ground. We are getting pretty good, but we definitely can get better. I believe our record for this year is 16 and last year was 21. After bat hacky, we get into game mode by warming up our arms, hitting off the tee, bunting with Coach Jackson, hitting front toss, and BP with Coach Firnbach.

Now with a few minutes before game time, we have our on the field warm up with infield and outfield. If you have ever had the chance to get there during this time, you might have heard us screaming at the top of our lungs to each other. This is just a way to get everyone in check and on the same page. The tradition is that one person yells “YEAH” and then another person’s name, and then that person has to yell “YEAH” and then the person who called their name. For example, I would yell “YEAH KAY KAY!” to Kara Rau, and she would yell “YEAH BAY BAY!” back to me. It’s just a fun way to get in sync and ready for the game.

After on-field warm ups, we huddle again, coach talks to us again and gets us even more fired up and then we break to do a team prayer. Eden Morris is our preacher on the team and always says a great prayer to jump start the game. We end with the “Our Father” and finally it’s time to PLAY BALL!

As you can see, we all get very fired up for game day in Aggieland. We love to play in front of the greatest fans in the nation and now you have a little insight as to what our game days usually consist of. It’s not just walking out onto the field to play a game; it is a whole day’s worth of getting ready and a whole year’s worth of preparation.

Let the Games Begin

February 15th, 2010

Hello Ags! First of all, I’m very thankful that I am writing this blog to you instead of telling you face to face solely because of the fact that I have absolutely no voice. After this past weekend, full of yelling and cheering for the team, I have completely lost my voice and sound pretty awful!

After being greeted off the plane in Arizona with beautiful weather, we got on the bus and headed straight for something to eat. We ate a great dinner at P.F. Chang’s and then went back to our hotel. That night at the hotel the only thing on our minds was waking up in the morning and finally being able to play our first game of the 2010 Fightin’ Texas Aggie softball season. After getting a great night’s rest, we woke up, ate breakfast and then headed to the bus. I think our team is a firm believer in the rule that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Looking around at our tables, you would have seen a wide variety of foods ranging from eggs, sausage and bacon, potatoes, cereal, waffles, fruit, English muffins, regular muffins, oatmeal and all sorts of goodies. So needless to say after we fueled up, it was time to let the games begin!

Overall, we had a very successful weekend in Tempe, Ariz., at the Kajikawa Classic. First, we opened up with a huge 16-1 win over Wisconsin. In this tournament, we wanted to come out and make a statement about the team we wanted to be this year. That game showed that no matter who is in the other dugout, we are ready to fight. After Wisconsin, we played No. 11 California and had a huge win with the help of freshmen Sydney Shannon hitting a three-run home run in her first collegiate regular season at bat. The next day, we knew we had to keep fighting because we were going to play some tough opponents. We had a big win over Nevada and then we were gearing up to play Arizona State. Now for those of you who haven’t followed Texas A&M softball for the past two years, this game meant a lot to the juniors and seniors on the team. We know this is a new team, with new players and a new feel, but for the juniors and seniors there was a little bitterness from the Women’s College World Series two years ago when ASU beat us in the championship series to win the national title. Our team played a good game on Saturday night against Arizona State, but we were unable to pull out a win. We made mistakes on the field and didn’t get the timely hits that we needed, which our team will definitely learn from. I love to play tough competition early on in the season because now we can see what we need to work on so down the stretch when it really counts, we will have learned from our mistakes. The next morning, on Valentine’s Day, we came out and beat Cal State Northridge to finish out our long and hard-fought weekend. To sum up the tournament, I was proud of our team as a whole and especially the younger players. Just like coach said in her talk after the games, we were able to learn a lot about each individual teammate as well as our team in the past five games.

Although the week was filled with excitement and anticipation, our team did face one setback at the beginning of the week. I guess the best way to sum up the event is to say that junior transfer Lindsey Sisk got into a fight with an avocado and lost. Super Bowl Sunday brings friends together in all sorts of ways, usually not bringing them together at the hospital. To keep a long story short, Lindsey was making guacamole for the game, and was trying to get the seed out of the avocado, when the knife slipped off the seed and straight into her hand cutting the tendon to her middle finger (non-throwing hand). We learned Monday afternoon that she would have to get surgery and be out for 4-6 weeks. Lindsey has brought a lot to this team so far and I can’t wait to see what she does when she recovers. So just keep your thoughts and prayers with her to have a speedy recovery.

This next week is a busy one. We play in Huntsville against Sam Houston State on Wednesday at 4 p.m. and then host the Aggie Classic against Mississippi State, Oregon State, and Louisiana Monroe this weekend. Just starting the season is a great feeling in itself, but playing in front of the 12th Man just doesn’t compare. Please come out and support us next weekend. This team is so fun to watch and I guarantee it is going to be some great games. Hope to see everyone out!

Blooper #2: Lauren’s Week of Misfortune

Now, I usually wouldn’t make fun of someone’s misfortunes, but that is what teammates are for. Lauren Schwirtlich is a freshman from Corpus Christi and is my cousin. (This, we didn’t realize until our dads starting talking and found out we have some of the same kinfolk…small world, huh?) Anyway, the first sign of bad luck came when she decided to get a haircut and it didn’t quite turn out the way she wanted it to. We all realized something was wrong when she walked into the locker room with a “down in the dumps” look on her face. Our team is our family, so we all asked if everything was okay, and this was when she just responded by letting her hair down and showing us the bad news. Now messing with a girl’s hair is something that one should never just experiment on and let’s just say that this experiment ended up in Lauren having to cut even more hair off.  Her new hair cut looks awesome, but the point is that no girl should have to go through something like that.

Her next string of bad luck came when we were practicing in the indoor. It was cold and rainy so we were able to scrimmage in the new indoor football facility. While we were waiting on everyone to get there, we heard the door open and everyone turned to see Lauren taking her first step in, tripping on a piece of wood and nose diving into the ground.  Since the whole team was there waiting, we got a pretty good view and after making sure she wasn’t hurt, we couldn’t help but laugh.

As they say, all bad luck comes in three’s and Lauren is no exception. In Arizona this weekend, on a more serious note, Lauren unfortunately got sick in the hotel on Saturday and was unable to come with us to the fields. When one person from the team is missing, it is huge. Luckily, she was fine on Sunday and was ready to go for our game against Cal State Northridge. Lauren is a huge part of the amazing freshman class on the field, and in the funny moments off the field. Hopefully all that has passed and this week will be nothing but sunshine and good luck! We love you Lauren!