By: KAYLEE DARNELL
Friday (Day 1): Bus Ride There
The seven to eight-hour bus ride to Lebanon, Tennessee consisted of lots of games, laughter and sleeping. We stopped about four hours into the trip to get lunch, where we stopped at subway and everyone was able to use an actual bathroom, not just the tiny one on the bus, which was much needed.
While being on the bus, coaches and players played a card game called “Speed” for at least an hour and then some played the “ABC” game. Around three hours into the trip, the entire team talked about the book we’re reading, “The Mental Game of Baseball.” That took about half an hour.
Throughout most of the trip, girls were in and out of sleep to try to pass time on the long bus ride. We arrived at the complex about an hour and a half before game time, which is when we started warming up.
Friday (Day 1), Game 1: LOSS 8-0
In the first game of our season, we came up short. Our defense was there and had minimal to no errors, but our bats just were not there. We haven’t had much live hitting at practice, plus this was a last-minute idea to play, so it was almost expected that our bats weren’t going to be as hot.
We had five hits during the game, each from five different players. Throughout the entire game, no one missed a beat in the dugout.
We were all constantly cheering and chanting and staying positive. There were no outstanding plays, but our pitchers did an amazing job for their first appearances.
Friday (Day 1), Game 2: LOSS 3-2
We were up two to nothing going into the bottom of the fifth inning, but it slipped between our fingers when the other team scored three consecutive runs, taking the lead. Our bats were more adamant in that second game, and we continued to have base runners throughout every inning.
Senior Kiah Ferell earned her first RBI of the season by scoring junior, Savanna Schmitz, who reached base on a throwing error. Ferell then earned her first home run of the season in the third inning. After this game finished, we loaded up the bus and headed to Wendy’s to fill our stomachs.
We then got to the hotel around eight at night, got our room assignments and all headed for bed because we had to be up early for another day of games.
Saturday (Day 2), Game 3: LOSS 3-1
We woke up bright and early ready to play another double header. This day started with breakfast in the hotel and lots of hair braiding to prepare for the games. Sadly, in the third game of our four-game series, we came up short again.
At the plate we had five hits, which was led by sophomore Mackenzie Myars, who went two for three at the plate with an RBI which scored the solo run in the seventh inning.
Senior, Aly Brickel threw an entire game, only allowing three runs off five hits, and striking out three in her first performance on the mound this season.
Saturday (Day 2), Game 4: LOSS 3-2
Once again, we came up short, but this game was one of the most exciting of the four. We had only two hits during this game from sophomore, Brittany Vanderbrink and senior, Kat Bessler. Bessler also recorded her first RBI of the season when she pushed Vanderbrink across the plate with a one-out single to right field after a throwing error occurred at second.
Our defense held it down for more than half the game, keeping all runners from scoring and making huge, must needed plays. It was towards the end of the game when we started slipping and making mental mistakes, which ultimately costed us the win.
Saturday (Day 2): Bus Ride Home
This bus ride was much sadder than the one on the way there because of our overall outcome. No one enjoys losing, but we used this bus ride to reflect and talk about what needed to be done and what our next step is.
We talked as a team about our hitting and talked independently between people with how we played. We stopped about halfway home to get dinner which you could pick between either Taco Bell or KFC.
Once we ate dinner, we still had roughly five hours left on the bus, which resulted in more games of “Speed”, “ABC” and our annual freshman initiation. All three of our freshmen had to sing karaoke on the bus, which then resulted in a concert from practically the whole team and around an hour of joke telling on the microphone.
Once we finished our SNL bit, we all headed back to our seats and everyone started dwindling down. Some people went to sleep for the remainder of the bus ride, whereas others just listened to music waiting for the time to pass.
We arrived back at the school around 12:45 in the morning and everyone headed home for bed. This weekend didn’t go how we all wanted and planned for it to go, but we gained experience and now know what we need to work on for upcoming games.