2004 Army Softball Diary
After a long week of practice and rain we left at four o'clock in the morning to head to the Albany Airport for our flight to Orlando for our spring training games. The whole team was excited about going to Florida and the warm weather. We arrived in Orlando just before noon. After a few hours getting settled in and relaxing, we headed out to some fields to practice. The past three years we have gotten to Florida late at night, it was nice to finally be there early and be able to practice. After practice everyone went their separate ways. I was tired from the long week and my parents weren't there yet, so I went to bed to rest up for the next days games.
We started off the week with a game against Gardner-Webb. We lost that game in the bottom of the 7th, which is always a tough way to lose a game. There's nothing worse than walking off the field in the middle of an inning because the game's over. We had another loss to Youngstown State later that afternoon. We left nine runners on base without scoring a run, so we all knew there was a lot of room for improvement. We all just wanted to put these game behind us and move on.
Sunday we played Wagner and Rider. I got the start against Wagner. It was my first start since my shoulder surgery and for some reason I was very nervous. I'd pitched quite a bit in relief this season, but this was my first start, and even though I've started a lot of games in the last four years, I was nervous for this one. I warmed up before the game and felt good, my pitches weren't working as well as they used to, but I thought I was doing alright. Once the game started, it was a lot different though. For some reason I could not keep the ball down or get any movement on it at all. Thankfully Leigh (Harrell) was able to come in and do a great job, finishing the game to get the win for us. Against Rider we made too many errors and left too many runners on base, just couldn't put anything together. I was very frustrated, so were the rest of the girls and coach, because we knew we could play better than we had been. The worst part of the morning though was that Abbie (Gottschall) got hit in the nose with the ball and her nose was broken. Randi Burt, our trainer, and LTC Wallace, our head Officer Representative, had to take her to the hospital while the rest of us went to a picnic put on by the West Point Society of Central Florida. The picnic was a great chance to relax and forget about the games. LG (Lauren Gobar) joined in on a flag football game that some guys were playing in the park we were at. She definitely had a better arm than any of the guys who were out there. The rest of us started up a game of volleyball in the sand pit. Soon everyone started joining in the game, CSM Sutherland, Mrs. March (Lindsay's Mom), then Mrs. Wallace (LTC Wallace's wife) and their children Olivia, Eric, and Scott. It was so much fun. I think Leigh and I were the only two that had played volleyball in high school, but we still had a lot of fun.
Monday was our day off, but we went on a three-mile team run that morning. CSM Sutherland and LTC Wallace went on the run with us and we ran through the back roads of Orlando. I can't imagine what people must have been thinking to drive by us running in formation, I don't imagine it is something they see. After the run, we were free to do whatever we wanted. My mom and dad had come for the week so we drove to Cocoa Beach. The weather was beautiful and we spent the day walking on the beach and relaxing.
Tuesday we were back to playing with a game against SE Missouri State. We jumped on them scoring five runs in the first two innings, unfortunately it was starting to rain pretty hard. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with us leading 5-1, the game was called because of the rain. Since SE Missouri was the home team and they had not gotten their full turn at bat in the 5th inning, the game didn't count. Our game against Dayton later that day was also cancelled because of the flooding on the field.
Wednesday we played at a different set of fields which were very wet from Tuesday's rain. Our games were pushed back because it took the field crew so long to get the field playable. Our first game was against Farleigh Dickinson University. We finally played like we all knew we were capable of and won the game 7-0. Everyone played well and Nikki (Posey) hit a two-run homer, Ronnie (Lauzon) hit well with three RBIs, and Chris (Stauffer) did a great job pitching. Columbia was the next game that day and our defense played well, committing no errors. Unfortunately, offensively. we were unable to push across any runs. After the games my mom had to break some very bad news to me. My grandpa, her father Ace Hendricks, passed away that morning. I have never had anyone that close to me die before and I was heartbroken. My grandpa and I were very close, I can't imagine him not being around. That night my parents and I went to see the movie Hidalgo with Lisa (Huntington) and her parents. It was a good movie and took my mind off everything that was going on. Lisa and her family are so much fun and it was great to spend the evening with them.
Thursday was another day off. My parents and I had planned to go to the Houston Astros/ St. Louis Cardinals spring training game. The game was sold out though, so we ended up going to Universal Studios instead. After four years of going to Orlando for this spring break trip, Universal Studios was the only place that we hadn't been to before. The day was a lot of fun. Friday we had our final two games of the week. We started off by playing Wagner again and ended with IUPUI. Both games were close games, going into extra innings. The games definitely proved that the advantage goes to the home team, especially in extra innings. Wagner won the first game and we won the second. At least we ended the week with a win, but I was still frustrated with our overall performance. All of us on the team were frustrated and felt that we should have won more games, but we can't quite figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.
Saturday was my 22nd Birthday and my parents took me to the Astros vs. Cleveland Indians game and then to dinner. Everyone went to bed early because we had to leave the hotel at 4:30 the next morning to get our flight back to New York. I wasn't really looking forward to coming back to West Point, especially since it had been snowing and the weather in Florida was so nice, but we have the rest of our season and the beginning of our league games to look forward too.
CDT CPT Ashlie I. Christian
Company D-2 2004
Captain, Softball Team
GO ARMY SOFTBALL