May 9, 2012
I am currently writing this on the way to the Horizon League tournament in Valparaiso, Indiana! The team had practice this morning then hopped right on the bus (with some Chipotle in between) before heading to Valpo to watch the game between UIC and Green Bay, the winner of which we play tomorrow.
We finished the regular season in second place in the conference behind Valparaiso and were able to clinch the No. 2 seed with our two wins over Detroit last weekend. We only ended up playing the scheduled doubleheader on Saturday against Detroit due to bad weather since three hours of continuous rain is not really conducive to softball! That was a bummer because Sunday was supposed to be our Senior Day, as well. Stevie Bradich, Lauren Arceneaux, and Seana Stillson were disappointed that they could not play but were at least happy that it was not the end of their season.
So instead, we ended up having an unofficial senior day on Tuesday. Our team chaplain, Adam, put together a Jesuit slow-pitch team and we slugged it out for 8 fun innings. Seana pitched a great game, only allowing 14 hits and 5 runs. Stevie went 4-for-4 on the day and Lauren's defense was unstoppable at second base. Loyola softball took home the win but the Jesuits were not without some spectacular moments of their own, including an inside-the-park home run and dive into home, just to name a few. The game was a fun way to recharge and I'm thinking we have started an annual tradition (Hello, Adam?).
After that, however, practice got serious. This weekend is the tournament and we have no intentions of losing. I was just talking to Lauren Moore and I have never seen her so competitive or just flat-out pumped. The attitude on this team is so different from anything I've ever experienced before (which is intense, let me tell you). We are extremely focused and are motivated by what we know we can accomplish. We want to be the first Loyola softball team to make the NCAA tournament and we just need to focus on one at-bat, one inning at a time.
Oh, and a shout-out is also necessary to Brittany Gardner for winning Horizon League Pitcher of the Year award! She deserves it and we are all so proud of her!
Until next time and I hope some of you can come out to Valpo and support us this weekend!
Emily Bentley #27