Kicking off season Las Vegas style
Thursday night felt like Christmas Eve. I couldn’t sleep as my stomach was doing back flips in anticipation of the following morning. At 5:45 I awoke to Katy Perry’s “Wide Awake,” the alarm I choose for those early mornings when I need to trick myself into believing I actually am wide awake!
But who was I to complain? It was finally game day! After a great team breakfast, a much-needed cup of coffee and hair braiding by the one and only Hooch Fagaly, we loaded onto the bus and headed off to pregame batting practice.
Friday’s games against two great opponents -- Baylor and the University of San Diego -- were a blast. We finished the day 2-0, and while it sounds corny to say they were great team wins, they truly were. While Kylee Lahners was on fire with a couple of three-run home runs, we had hits and contributions from everywhere in the order -- only scraping the surface of what our team is capable of.
Our Friday night concluded in a quick hour of study hall and a family dinner at Bucca di Beppo. The Huskies are truly one huge family. We spent the dinner floating around and catching up with all of the moms, dads, sisters, brothers, aunts and uncles we hadn’t seen since our fall tournament. By the end of the evening we were exhausted, and on the bus ride back to the hotel reminisced about playing five games a day back in travel ball and wondered how we did it.
We picked up wins against Arkansas and the host team from UNLV on Saturday. In between games, we headed to the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” neon sign at the south end of Las Vegas Boulevard and took some team pictures. While waiting in line, a woman in a wedding dress and her newlywed husband asked us to take a picture with them. Only in Vegas, right?
We played our final game of the tournament the next morning against UC Davis. The final score was 16-2 in our favor, and the game featured several firsts. My favorite was fellow senior Bryana Walker’s first collegiate at-bat! For those of you who don’t know Bry, she’s one of our stud pitchers, although you would never know it from the poise and swagger she demonstrated in the batter’s box. She drove a solid single over the Aggie shortstop and into left field and is now batting a solid 1.000. Not too shabby, B-Walk!
Our fan support in Las Vegas was awesome, as usual. But this weekend was extra special as we had the opportunity to meet one of our biggest fans, pound for pound, in person. Jaymee Mosey is a little 7-year-old girl who had, through her aunt’s Twitter account, tweeted me throughout the 2013 Women’s College World Series.
For her birthday she had received tickets for our games at the Sportco Kickoff Classic. We talked after each of our games, and I knew she was having the time of her life. For Sunday morning’s game, Jaymee’s day was made when Coach Tarr invited her into the dugout to be our batgirl!
Meeting Jaymee reminded me of how awestruck I felt when I attended my first college softball game and got all the players’ autographs on one of my game balls. Now the players are my sisters and we are living our dream.
We have a pretty short week back home in Seattle before heading down to Tempe for our second big weekend of play. Looking at the local forecast, which calls for showers and cool weather, you better believe we can’t wait until Thursday. Bring on that Arizona sun and 80-plus degree weather!