Here comes the rain again… (February 18, 2009)
Another win with cloudy weather and spitting rain. Where is the sun? I mean, I know the groundhog saw his shadow, but come on… it’s Florida!!
Our Lady Noles took advantage of Jaguar errors from the first inning, coming out 5-0 after the second inning. We kept making contact and putting the ball in play, getting 2-out rally hits and forcing South Alabama to make great plays.
I am loving the use of our pitching staff! Terese, Sarah , and Lo are all amazing pitchers and bring a different strength to the pitching staff and the game. The strength that these women have is also encouraged by their teammates. Having a solid offense and defense behind you is more than comforting as you take the mound and face the same opposing line-up inning after inning. Great job Noles!
I wish you could be in the dugout during our games! The fun that we have joking around, keeping it focused on the game by guessing what we think will happen next, and cheering. The coaches are always talking to the girls and setting high standards for their approach to the game as well as their ability to play. It is such an honor to be apart of that!
This weekend is the Seminole Classic. Our first game is on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 2:30PM, versus East Carolina. Meet us at Joanne Graf Stadium!
First home tournament comes to an end… (February 15, 2009)
We’ve been winning and it’s nice. Believe me, if you have any competitive bone in your body, you hate to lose. After a big 8-0 victory over #23 ranked Purdue, our girls lost a tough game to Mississippi State 5-4.
As a former Florida State softball player and a huge fan of the program, I knew we were going to beat Mississippi State from the start of the first inning. We came out fighting… and when we ended, and had the loss, I knew there was something different in the heart of these girls. Sometimes, we hate the losses more than we love the wins. I love the way we’ve been playing though… and the best thing about this sport… we’ve got another game on Wednesday night!!
More to come after our Wednesday night game on February 18 @ 6PM versus South Alabama. See you there!
Shout out to our Lady Seminoles for their ACC Honors!
Sarah Hamilton – ACC Co-Pitcher of the Week
Ashley Stager – ACC Player of the Week
Rain, rain…go away! (February 14, 2009)
Growing up in Western Washington all my life, I’ve learned a thing or two about rain and patience with the uncertainty of weather. When I tell people I’m from the Seattle area, one of the first comments made to me is “It rains there a lot doesn’t it?” Well, my fellow Floridians, did you know that it rains more annually in Tallahassee then it does in Seattle?
Yes, yes it does.
So, it didn’t come as too much of a shock to me when I heard the rain at 8AM this morning and got the text from Coach Alameda telling us that we were on rain delay until noon, and then at noon, telling us that we were playing at 8PM. I’m not going to lie, I was a little bummed. It was my first official Valentine’s Day with my wonderful boyfriend, and he had made all these plans that I knew nothing about. I was getting excited about winning a great game and spending a romantic evening together. Well, in the world of sports, we often go into games with a game plan. Game plan change!
New mission: game time at 8:00PM, win game, eat chocolate late at night. Doesn’t sound so bad to me!
Rain delays are like time change; it messes you up. You’re expecting to play at 2:30PM, warm-up at 12:30. Your mind is set and your body is getting amped up. Then you have to wait 5 more hours. You get tired, you eat, you’re bored… you’re waiting forever.
The Noles played like the game was scheduled for 8:00PM. With support from our loyal fans on the most romantic day of the year, the Seminoles ended play early in the 5th inning, beating Miami-Ohio 10-2, sending everyone home in happy spirits. The coaching staff commended the girls on their game mentality, patience, and focus. The weather could have changed everything, but when you live in Florida, sometimes you’ve got to prepare for the worst.
Rain + Valentine’s Day = Win #2 for the Seminoles in the Sunshine State.
Our hardest part of the tournament is tomorrow morning, when we compete in our first double header of the season, playing #23 Purdue at 11:15AM and immediately following is Mississippi State at 1:15PM.
“I’ve got chills and it’s not from being cold” – Coach Tommy (February 13, 2009)
Finally! Our first home tournament! The girls are pumped and the teams are ready to play.
The music was bumping in the locker room before the girls came out to warm-up. If you’re not dancing and laughing in the locker room, you’re getting rubbed out and stretched by one of our trainers in the treatment room. Despite the world’s worries about Friday the 13th, we shut out
We are praying against the rain tomorrow… we’ll see how it pans out for the games. Rain, rain go away!
Continuing the winning streak! (February 11, 2009)
I usually don’t like to say that stuff out loud, but for some reason, blogging is not talking and well… I think that rule only applies for no-hitters and perfect games. Shhh… we don’t speak of that stuff!!
I think every team goes through a time where they come off a high of winning something really big and then finds it hard to get back into the groove of things. There is a lot of grace for understanding that it is the beginning of the year, most of the girls are nursing or getting out of tough injuries, and well… the weather was just so dang muggy!!
I loved that we won. I thought it was great that the coaches mentioned that even though it wasn’t our best performance, we still have the “W”. Practice tomorrow. New game on Friday. Let’s get it done!
I also loved that the game was in Tallahassee… and our first home tournament is sneaking up on us! It doesn’t matter who you are, every team loves playing at home. Your field, the way the ball plays the dirt, your fans, home field advantage all the way! There’s just something about people knowing who you are, performing in the stadium you sweat on every day, and sometimes… not ALL the time… better strike zones! Athletes love playing at home.
Speaking of playing at home and fans… BIG shout out to our Seminole fans tonight! Both Coach Alameda and I mentioned how great it was to see so many supporters at the game. Thank you so much! It’s an honor to play at a top university like Florida State, but it’s an even bigger honor to get to know our fans and build relationships with them! After I committed to Florida State my senior year in high-school, my Mom and Nana brought me down here for a visit during spring break. Florida State just happened to be playing Florida at the time. Now, growing up in Washington, I knew a little something about rivalry. Washington vs. Oregon… that’s an interesting conversation to have with alumni of both universities. Yet, I really had no idea what true rivalry was until I officially watched FSU play UF. I remember walking away from that game thinking, “Now those are fans! If this is what college softball is like, I can’t wait to play!”
We love our fans and tonight was awesome! So thanks! YOU are the MVP today!
Come out to JoAnne Graf Stadium this Friday at 2:30PM to watch the Lady Noles take on Appalachian State. Can’t be there? Watch it on Game Tracker!
We WON! (February 8, 2009)
I couldn’t be more proud to be a Florida State Seminole!! What a great weekend! What a great Championship win. Our first in several years.
Because we won the game last night, it is important to note that everything we did yesterday, we HAD to do today. That included Coach Tommy, Coach Pick, me, and our bus driver Raymond all buying Starbucks before the game. We stand in the same places in the dugout; I particularly stand in between our trainer Eunice and Coach Tommy. Even Coach Alameda picks up a piece of trash and throws it away, knowing that something great will happen because of it. I had my lucky pen, no one touches Coach Pick’s clipboard, and well… you get the picture.
Oh yeah… and we WON!
This team can fight and fight we did. I love the way this team talks the game, how the coaches have faith and confidence in the girls, and the girl’s pursuit to play with passion and risk. Today these ladies played like it was their last game. We can always appreciate blowouts, or pitcher domination. There are times when we are at awe with how someone or something can clinch the victory from the very beginning to the very end. Yet, today was a real Championship. Two great teams fighting hard. Texas wanting to win their tournament on their home field. Florida State wanting to make a statement for themselves. It boiled down to the home team coming out on top: the Seminoles.
You can read all about what happened online, or even watch it via GameTracker, but you cannot hear the silence of the dugout explode into cheers and screams as Carly Wynn made not one, but TWO diving catches to save runs from scoring. You wouldn’t have been able to see the determination to find an inconsistent strike zone from Terese Gober, but the victory that was all over her face as she trotted into the dugout starting the bottom of the 7th. And you definitely didn’t see my triple fist pump when Ashley Stager hit her second home run of the weekend, this one notching the walk off runs that would win the game for the Noles. I have to tip my hat though, to Jessica Gilmore, for creaming a single in the 5-6 hole, for a two out rally in the bottom of the 7th.
That is what this game is all about… fighting until there’s nothing to fight for, and even then, if it’s not the end result, it’s your pride. Once the game is over, it’s over, and you have to walk away knowing you left it on the field.
If that’s not enough, Carly busted out the camera again on the bus ride to the airport, asking the coaching staff how we felt about this weekend. Hard to express in words, but I think our smiles said it all. We just wanted to catch our flight back… and that almost didn’t happen, but we made it back to Tallahassee safe and sound.
Next game: Wednesday, February 11 @ FAMU 6PM
“Nothing’s ever cheap, you earned it!” – Coach Santiago (February 7, 2009)
I’m going to start off by announcing the MVP of today’s first game versus Stephen F. Austin: the Seminole War Chant!!! What a game! Guts and glory all the way. No matter how we got on, or how the runs came across home plate, we made contact, we ran it out, we won the game. “Nothing’s ever cheap, you earned it!” Coach Santiago told the girls on the bus after the game this afternoon. The dugout was rockin’ in the bottom of the 7th, when we were down by one run. One of the girls picked up two softballs and started beating the chant on the water cooler: we scored a run to tie the game. SFA answered back in the top of the 8th by scoring, making it 2-3. This time, Carly grabbed two balls and put a beat to the chant. The girls were yelling and clapping… two plays later, we had won the game.
There’s just something about a war chant.
Back at the hotel we ate and thought that we would be playing at 5PM. So eating fast, we sat around and waited for Coach Alameda to give the final word. As we huddled in the lobby, Coach Pick gave the news that because Texas had just lost to Iowa, we became the #1 seed and we were playing SFA again at 7:30PM that night. If we won we were in the championship!!
After an hour and thirty minute lounge time, we all met in the lobby again. I had to get a coffee, I was tired! I know I’m not playing anymore, but it’s still an exhausting day! I got my usual grande white chocolate mocha from the Starbucks in the lobby. Coach Tommy and Coach Pick saw me, and jumped on the bandwagon. We still believe this helped the big win later!
The bus was loud as we headed to the field and the girls were looking for redemption while warming up for the game. We had to make this game count… show them how real Seminoles play. And we did! 6 runs in the first inning! Three homeruns in the entire game!! Our offense was hot! SFA was a scrappy team and held their own, looking to come back by scoring 5 of their own runs during the game, but we answered back every time. Being a pitcher, it’s extremely relieving to have an offense behind you when the other team is taking their hacks at you too. None of the pitchers on our squad hit, so it’s extra special when we get to be apart of the excitement. Of the many things that I miss the most and one of my favorite parts about the game, is running to home plate to meet my teammate after she hit a bomb!! That’s something you can’t take with you. Watching the girls huddle 3 times today was a thrill for me. I wanted to get some cleats on and run out there!
The MVP for this game is most definitely our offense! Great swings!
We made it to the Championship game versus Texas. Talk about redemption!
Texas Shaped Waffles (February 6, 2009)
You know a weekend is going to be great when the hotel you stay at serves waffles. But not just any kind of waffle… waffles in the shape of Texas! The breakfast here is amazing! If you know athletes or have been one, we love to eat, so we can definitely appreciate an awesome and free breakfast.
Today was such a special day to be a Seminole! The girls were so happy and excited as we all waited in the lobby to get on the bus this morning. The scene was pleasant to take in: girls taking pictures, others talking to parents, and a couple girls were in “the zone”, listening to their ipods and picturing the games ahead. I was a little nervous myself. On the ride to the field, Carly busted out the infamous camera. Every year she films the team in our off the field experiences. By the end of the year she has some pretty good footage… most of it could be used as blackmail! She takes all the clips and makes a DVD out of them, and we all get together as a team and watch it. So, if you really wanted to see what Seminole Softball is all about, you might have to snag a copy of the DVD.
Both games today were outstanding! What a way to start off the season! The team looked relaxed and focused during warm-ups. Game one versus Iowa was a thriller! We dove, we caught, we hit, we ran, we executed… we played the game well. I kept hearing in the dugout throughout the game, “We worked on that at practice! All our hard work is paying off!”
And it did!
The girls have been grinding hard all fall and January, working on plays and pushing fundamentals. Coach Tommy said it the best at Wednesday’s practice: “Just play the game.” And they did… the girls played hard and the chatter never quit. With all the excitement, I kept catching myself giving a fist pump or two. It’s great to be a Seminole!
Game two versus Texas was hard fought. We came out chomping at the bit, driving in a run in the first. Texas is a respectable program and we hate to lose a game at all, but the girls battled until the last inning. I noticed how intense the situation got… how badly the girls wanted the win, or just the chance to get in the batters box and hit the ball. There is determination in that dugout and on the field that has been long overdue! We left it on the field… but the greatest thing about this game… there’s always tomorrow!!
Game One MVP – Our base running was outstanding! We were aggressive and smart… stealing an open opportunity whenever possible.
Game Two MVP – Courtney Stager. She kept the game going in the 7th, with a line shot to right center with two outs. Courtney is a fearless player, which is rare to find in rookies, but extraordinary to have on the squad.
We had dinner at a tasty Mexican restaurant called Papasito’s Cantina hosted by Steve Suknaic of the Austin Seminoles Club. Parents, extended family and friends all joined us for a buffet-style dinner. Texas is known for their hospitality and the food was delicious. They set out cowboy hats and bandanas in the middle of the tables, next to the chips and salsa, which the girl’s took full advantage off. Flashes were going off everywhere as the girls posed for the cameras, making silly faces and munching on the notorious pre-meal snack.
It’s just day one, and I know as most of alumnus do, the years fly by quickly. Two games down, plenty more to follow. Let’s make this weekend count!
The team with Steve Suknaic of the Austin Seminoles Club
And we’re off… (February 5th, 2009)
Seminole Softball 2009 has officially begun! The anticipation is high, stomachs are fluttering, and the Lady Seminoles are happy… the first game is tomorrow at 2:30PM… it couldn’t get here any faster.
I’m honored to be working with the team, taking on new roles and encouraging the women that I have played with over the past 4 years. I get to experience softball from a new perspective… from the dugout, without a uniform on. I’ve just got my Seminole Pride and a little something that only the coaches know about: retirement. I’m really enjoying my experience on the support staff and I get to travel!!! The coaching staff has been so gracious, allowing me to be at practice, pitch to the girls and it is humbling to know that my experience will be influential for my future.
The fall pre-season was a cluster of new emotions, higher expectations, sweat, and long hours on the field and in the weight room. None of this goes unrewarded. As an athlete, we train everyday, without getting to show our skills in front of our fans for months. Yet, when the time is right, we have to forget every small thing and just play the game… use what comes naturally.
With the season starting tomorrow I want to encourage my Lady Seminoles:
You were born for greatness and greatness you shall become! Leave it between the lines. Let nothing keep you from knowing how amazing and honorable the name on the front of the jersey stands for. Be strong and courageous… for strength comes from within and courage has never hurt anyone…it’s keeps us from missing out on opportunities that could have been missed we if hadn’t tried. Commit and lead. Play with heart and be passionate about your teammates and this game… live for the small moments… for those make the big ones even better!