Editor’s note: The St. Bede Lady Bruins softball team made its annual spring trip to play in the Lady Warrior Southern Classic in Tennessee. The Lady Bruins teamed up off the field to chronicle the team’s adventures for the BCR.
WEDNESDAY: Departure time 3:19 p.m. Leaving the St. Bede Academy Lane for the start of this 2013 season, we have nothing but excitement to be released, goals to be achieved, and friendships to be made. Arrival in Paducah, Kentucky 9:12 p.m. After settling into our rooms, we met in the lobby, with our families, for a quick pizza party. We went straight to bed afterwards to rest up for not only tomorrow’s continued travels, but most importantly, our debut as the Lady Bruin Softball Team 2013.
THURSDAY: Departure from hotel at 9:02 a.m. Except for a sudden softball bag mishap, the two hour bus trip from Paducah, Kent. to Nashville went smoothly. Arriving in the city of country music, we could feel the excitement around us. What better place to make memories but in our hotel near the Grand Ole Opry. Shortly after arriving, and once again settling into our hotel rooms, we loaded up the bus in search for a field for a little practice before our six o’clock game that night. After meeting some nice gentlemen at McGavock High School, they agreed to let us practice on their softball fields. We went back to simple fundamentals for the first hour of practice, and worked on defensive situations for the second half of practice. One of our assistant coaches, as well as a Lady Bruin alumna, Abby Milus, stated she was very impressed with our fielding. “For the first time on the field this year, the Lady Bruins worked together extremely well. The team spirit is exciting to see, especially this early in the season.” After practice, we returned to the hotel for late lunch, where we were entertained with some good country music sung by our wait staff. We returned to our rooms to get prepared for the upcoming games. Suiting up for the first game of the season was surreal, especially for the seniors. Our games, were in Smyrna, Tenn. where we faced two teams, one from Pennsylvania and the other from TN on their home field. For the Lady Bruins as a whole, we struggled offensively. Defensively, we had few errors. After both games, we gathered in the circle and had many positive things to say. We focused on pointing out the positives in the two games, as well as the continued team spirit. This year, one of our focuses is instilling confidence in our teammates, as well as ourselves. I think I can speak for numerous softball players when I say that an animated bench makes an exciting game. We have a short practice planned in the morning and then a free day until we all attend a show at the famous Grand Ole Opry.
GOOD FRIDAY: It’s a rainy day so coach called off practice. Off to the mall for a little shopping then a planned trip to the Grand Ole Opry to see Craig Morgan and a bunch of other acts. Quite a few of us went to the mall together. It was a crowded place but it didn’t deter quite a few of us from picking up some cowboy boots and other goodies. We took a trip downtown to see another part of Nashville. Many places had live music but we needed to get back for our night at the Opry. Our group of 40 strong was together in the balcony. We all enjoyed the show. It will be something we will remember for a long time. We got back to our hotel for some much needed rest after a long fun day. We have 3 games to play. We are ready to improve upon day 1.
Saturday: Exciting day ahead. We got up early to make the trip to Lavergne for three games today. We feel bad for Tara Kunkel as she has been feeling sick and missed today. We went 2-1 today and had our share of bumps and bruises, literally. Our only loss was against a good hitting team from Hendersonville. Bats were a little warmer today but not where we need to be. It was good to see Morgan Knoblauch play as she has been hurt. A few others were banged up including our newest team member Emmi. She had a few nice hits earlier in the day and pitched a good game 2 but had to sit in the last game. She should be OK as she was laughing and cheering with the rest of us in that last game. She looks to be a good addition. Lainie pitched two good games and we ended up coming back in the last inning of game 3. It started with Nicole Yaklich getting on base with a single followed by two-out hits from Lydia, Barbi, and Lainie… all seniors. Two nice catches in the outfield later and we end with a 3-2 WIN. What an exciting way to end a great weekend. We ended with a short talk from Coach Prokup and a team prayer. Coach added a nice touch by including our families in the prayer.
A few of us are heading home for Easter after the games today. Lexi, Mo, Abby, Morgan, Emmi and Ella are staying with their families to enjoy another great evening in Nashville. Ella’s family is having a little reunion as her brother came up from Georgia and sister from Memphis to watch her play. I think Coach will have a lonely bus on the way home. He is going to miss the noise. The rest of us will have the same long ride home tomorrow.
This trip was a great start. Our two wins were the second most ever down here. We know what we need to improve on and are ready for the challenge. The goal is to peak in May.
Thanks to my teammates in helping with this blog and to our families, coaches, friends and family who attended and helped with our fundraiser, and St. Bede for allowing us to make the trip. The seniors will miss this next year.
We are hoping the coaches and administration continue this tradition for the benefit of all future Bruin players. Note to coach…stay in same place next year.
Ella Voss, Nicole Yaklich, Mo Dean, Lainie Schweickert, Barbi Prokup, Lydia Stariha, Abby Nowakowski, Christine Daley, Morgan Knoblauch, Emmi Christensen, Olivia Mueller, Lexi Miranda, and Tara Kunkel – 2013 Lady Bruin softball team.