May 21, 2002
A day-by-day look at Seminole Senior Pitcher Leslie Malerich, as Florida State prepares for their 6th appearance in the Women’s College World Series:
Day 1 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma:
Well the day started off way too early this morning. I was so excited when I got to the airport at 6:00 am but at the same time a bit tired after not getting enough sleep the night before. It was crazy getting things together for the trip last night and I was just so happy to be going to the College World Series that it was hard to fall asleep.
Getting on the plane in Tallahassee was another story. There was such a long line for our flight that there was some concern that not everyone would be getting on the same plane. Luckily, the people at Delta were able to hold the flight and make sure that everyone got on the plane. Also, I was ecstatic that my boyfriend Robbie was able to make the trip to Atlanta with us. It was nice to spend that time with him before my teammates and I made the trip to Oklahoma City. Unfortunately, Robbie was unable to make the trip with the team and cheer us on during the World Series. But he did wish us luck before leaving for his home in Connecticut.
The flight was good. Nothing too exciting happened until the very end as we were making our final approach to Oklahoma City. It seemed our pilot forgot where we were going and made a sharp 90-degree turn toward the runway. Let’s just say that everyone was a little startled by the sudden change in direction, but luckily we made it on the ground safe and sound.
Once we landed and got situated in our hotel, we had a little time to relax and grab a bite to eat before heading over to Don Feller Stadium for a little sightseeing. Man, what a stadium! Even though this is my second time to Feller stadium, it is great to be back again. I couldn’t have ever dreamed of being back in Oklahoma City playing softball. But I know I can speak for the whole team when I say that everyone was in awe of what they saw. We spent about 30 minutes at the field taking pictures and just having a good time. It was great to walk around and see the Florida State name out on the outfield wall and on banners around the stadium. The whole team worked so hard to get here; we are all very deserving of this opportunity. This is a once in a lifetime chance and we want to make sure we make the most of everything.
While at the field, Casey (Hunter) and I had a chance to reminisce a little about when I was 17 years old and playing with the Orland Sparks, an 18-under club team. I told Casey that I scared myself when I first stepped in the circle for my warm-up pitches. When I threw my first pitch I grunted so loudly, it echoed back and almost blew me off my feet. Before I knew it, Casey was pretending to throw pitches, adding in a few of her own grunts. Unfortunately, she didn’t get any echoes but we still have a few more days here to work on that.
After a team meeting at the stadium, we headed for dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. The whole team seemed very relaxed at dinner, well except Brandi, who was a little upset that she was the last one to get to her lobster tails. She was teasing our waiter before the food came out, so the waiter got her back and made her wait for her food. It was so funny watching her face as everyone got their dinner, while she was sitting there with no food. I guess you can say that the waiter got her back. He finally came back from the kitchen a minute later with her food. We talked very little about softball at dinner. Sure there were a few comments, but its something that we are not trying to stress about. The key this week is to come out relaxed and I think we showed that at dinner. During dinner, Casey and I got up and danced with the waiters and waitresses to Stayin Alive. And then later on with a little encouragement from our coaches, a few more members of team got up and danced to the YMCA. It was great to see everyone hanging out and having a good time.
On a final note, I hope Tatiana (George) gets some sleep tonight. It was funny everywhere we went today there was Tat sleeping with her face pressed against the van window. We got on the plane, Tat was sleeping. We got in the vans and drove to the hotel, Tat was fast asleep. We drove to the stadium and Tat fell asleep. We drove to dinner, and you better believe it, Tat was sleeping. I had never seen one person sleep so much in my life, it was crazy. But then again, it was a long day for all of us. We are all going to sleep very well tonight.