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LAS CRUCES, N.M. – The Ohio State softball teams opens the 2009 season at the Hotel Encanto Invitational, hosted by New Mexico State. Follow the action with On the Road with the Buckeyes from senior captain Kim Reeder.

Next week: Whitney Cooper from Baton Rouge, La.

 
SUNDAY
The fact of the matter is, in our minds WE. WON. We went 5-0 on the weekend whether the scorebook says so or not. Unfortunately, the scorebook still says 4-1 regardless of how we feel, but let me take you through our final day of play in New Mexico anyway …

Going into our last game of the day against New Mexico State, we had a “drop-dead time’ of 1:30 p.m. At the beginning of the sixth inning we were down 3-2, with the bases loaded. Courtney Pruner hit a grand slam at 1:18 p.m. At 1:21 p.m. we were on the field, ready to give the home team their half of the inning, but the Aggies just had to come discuss with the umpire that the drop dead time was up, although it was only 1:22 p.m., not 1:30 p.m. The Aggies argued that drop dead time was up because their watch said so, even though the coaches had synchronized their watches before the game, and they read 1:22 p.m. It was decided that the inning was over, and wouldn’t count because both teams had not had their at-bats. As time kept running, it eventually turned 1:30, and the drop dead time was reached. The score reverted back to 3-2, despite Pruner’s monster grand slam, and we were sent away on the bus to the airport with a “loss.” 

Now, about us.  The first game of the day went well, as we beat Colorado State. Lindsay Bodeker pitched a good game, while our offense exploded once again. Rachael Shepherd had her first career two homerun game. Sam Marder also had a homer for us, while Tory Haddad had a double to left field. During our game break, we grabbed a quick bite with a bagel and some peanut butter. I started the second game, which turned out to be the type of game that tests a team’s strength. I would like to take this time to applaud our team, as we remained composed throughout the game.

Despite the debacle we encountered on our last day of the tournament, we pushed through, and now sit here in the Dallas airport, awaiting flight number two. Keep in mind: we are currently overcoming adversity as we deal with an hour and a half delay of our flight, due to someone getting “sick” on the last flight. The difficulty of most trips is the academic factors we have facing us on Monday. As Megan Miller and Sam Marder sit here making jokes on ways to get out of the 8:30am midterm Monday morning, the sense of humor has appeared to have returned to our team. I hope everyone enjoyed my updates throughout our first weekend of season. Stay tuned for further blogs by Whitney Cooper next weekend as we travel to Louisiana. As always, GO BUCKS!!

SATURDAY
Another day, another dollar! A rare thing happened this morning. We were allowed to sleep in until 10:00 a.m.! After a nice 10 hours of sleep, we headed to IHOP for the breakfast of champions. As per usual, I ordered the Viva La French Toast Combo, and proceeded to play peek-a-boo with the adorable baby girl in the booth next to me. The team also entertained ourselves while waiting for our food by playing with Karisa Medrano’s little cousin. Breakfast was followed by team study tables, which is key to keeping our team GPA above a 3.0. After a few hours of free time, it was, yet again, time to eat.  We stopped at a local deli to grab some sandwiches and continued to the ball field for our third game of the weekend.

After a thorough warm-up, we proceeded to have our best offensive game of the weekend, beating Ohio University 12-3. Whitney Cooper, Tory Haddad and Dee Dee Hillman were among those that contributed in this offensive attack. Freshman Vanessa Spears is batting 1.000 after her first true at-bat as a Buckeye, singling up the middle. Lindsay Bodeker had a great first game back since her second knee injury, pitching four innings before Megan Miller finished the last inning. The Buckeyes are still going strong with two games left in the tournament.  After our win, we grabbed a quick bite at Jack in the Box (the California girls’ favorite) before heading to the hotel. With lights out at 11 p.m., I’m cutting it close by writing this blog! With breakfast at 6:59 a.m. for our early games tomorrow, looks like I need to be getting my game-day sleep. Sweet dreams!


FRIDAY

It’s that time of year again! It’s GAME DAY!! After a delicious buffet breakfast that included French toast, enchiladas, amazing bacon and other goodies, we had a quick team meeting to discuss our opponents and our strategies. Then we were off to the ballpark! We started off the season with a bang. Scoring 22 runs in our first two games was a great way to begin our tournament. I started the first game against Cleveland State at 11:30 a.m. Naturally, playing on the dirt for the first time in months, we had a couple kinks to work out, but after all the rust was brushed off, our team made up for it during offense. With some B.D.S.( Big Dog Swings) by Courtney Pruner, Whitney Cooper, Samantha Marder, Alicia Herron and Rebecca Schultz, we showed just how much our off-season Body by Palumbo workouts benefit us.

We didn’t only demonstrate our power with extra base hits; we showed our skill with execution in the short game with key bunts by Rachael Shepherd and Schultz. Megan Miller completed our excellent day at the ball field by throwing one of her best games in our second game against Missouri-Kansas City. Our team was excited throughout both games and was loud and pumped for our first day of competition. After the completion of our games, we went to dinner at Rissotto’s for a filling meal of pasta and our team’s favorite dishbread. Once dinner was finished we returned to the hotel where we were given a few hours to relax with our parents before lights out at midnight. Our next game isn’t until 7 p.m. tomorrow evening, so until then, Go Bucks!


THURSDAY

The season is here!!! Everyone was excited to head off to New Mexico this morning. As we loaded the bus, all the old jokes of past years and bus trips to the airport started to surface. Unfortunately, Bill Miles was not able to give us our good luck speech that he usually does every bus trip, which ends in “And bring home the bacon!!” As a senior, I was busy absorbing it all in, the start of my last season as a Buckeye. We got to the airport andchecked in our whole team, which always takes some time. Some got Wendy’s for lunch with our $15 per diem, while others decided to hold out until we landed in Dallas, hoping to find some BBQ. 

The trip from Dallas to El Paso was quick. We waited for our charter bus for about 20 minutes or so, and made our way to Las Cruces. Stopping at an Italian place called Dion’s, we all expected to order some carb-loaded pasta, but sadly there was only pizza, subs, and salads. After each person orders their own (12-14 inch keep in mind) pizzas, we finally checked in at our hotel. After a quick rules and regulations talk from Coach K, we went to our rooms to unpack and watch some TV before lights out at 11 p.m. Tomorrow will be my last first game of season ever. =( I’m going to miss the excitement that comes along with the beginning of a Buckeye season.