It’s been a few weeks since I wrote, but after a full month at home, I finally had to hit the road for a bit of hectic travel.
Since last time, DePaul has finished its fall season. We had some very good games and some not-so-good ones. I feel you can learn a lot from either type of game, and I think our girls understand that. No game is ever the perfect game, so there’s still always something to strive for. As a pitching coach, I am pleased with the progress my pitchers made over the summer. We’re working on some specific things this fall, and I feel like we made some great strides to be ready for the springtime. All three of my pitchers are hard working, so I know we’ll have a good staff once February rolls around.
After fall season wrapped up, I hit the road for various things. First was my former catcher Megan Willis’ wedding in Austin, Texas. I won’t turn down a trip to Austin ever, but I definitely would not have missed Megan walking down the aisle for anything! There’s a special bond pitchers and catchers have, and Megan is one of the best I’ve worked with. She and I just had complementary personalities on the field, which allowed us to be close off the field, as well.
Her wedding was beautiful, and the reception and celebration afterwards are for the photo album. Her husband played baseball at UT, so it was a big reunion. I needed a night to catch up with old friends and have some fun! Oh, and I almost forgot; I caught the bouquet! Ha ha ... I don’t think that means anything, though.
My next stop was New York City for the Women’s Sports Foundation’s annual dinner, which was the third one I’d been to. Every year the Foundation hosts a huge dinner to honor female athletes, and our whole team was invited this year. It’s amazing how many current and former athletes attend this event. Many Olympians from Beijing were there, including Shawn Johnson, Nastia Lukin and Sanya Richards (a former Longhorn who brought her fianc, former Horn, Aaron Ross) to name just a few.
I should note this event isn’t just a dinner. We all flew in to New York on Sunday, and Monday morning we had a team appearance at the Sports Museum of America. If you haven’t been to this museum, you need to go check it out. It has the biggest collection of sports memorabilia I’ve ever seen and includes every sport you can think of. We were able to take a tour and it was fun to read and learn many fun facts. Jessica Mendoza’s cleats, Tasha Watley’s batting gloves, Monica Abbott’s glove and my jersey from Beijing were all put on display while we were there. After seeing them put our items in the cases, we had an autograph session and the turnout was awesome! Our team does a really good job of mingling and interacting with fans, so we enjoyed ourselves.
Monday night there was an athletes-only boat cruise around the seaport. What a night it was! All the athletes mingled up on the top deck until we were called down below for dinner. Our team took pictures with each other as if we don’t have enough already! =) We also took a picture with a few of the women who played in the All-American Girls Baseball League that was featured in the movie League of Their Own. We owe them so much! I don’t think we’d be where we are today if they hadn’t shown the world that women can play ball. The dinner was nice, but the fun parts of the night were the ice-breakers and dancing. The softball team is not shy when it comes to the dance floor; most of us were out there breaking a sweat with smiles on our faces! It's not very often do we get to let loose and just enjoy the company.
The dinner on Tuesday night was an all-organic menu to support the Go Green effort. I joined folks from the Sports Museum of America at their table and after the dinner and presentation, everyone was invited to an after-party at Jay Z’s 40/40 Club. Again our team wasn’t shy! We passed the night laughing and dancing and it capped a fun two days! After not seeing the team for a month, it was nice to spend some time off the field with them.
Wednesday after the dinner, Caitlin Lowe and I headed down to Baltimore for a photo shoot with one of our sponsors. We were showcased in the uniforms, as well as the new fitness line. We had to do some stretching and warm-up routines, and then some running in order for them to capture us in authentic form. We also did some posed shots together, which we think turned out cute! =)
Since it’s the month of October, that means it’s recruiting season. I went out to California for my first recruiting tournament of the year. As much work as recruiting can be, it’s also a chance to see a bunch of old friends, teammates, opponents and old coaches I played for and against.
As I type, I’m on a plane to Houston for two nights. My high school, Cy Springs, is retiring my jersey before their football game, so I am making the trip for the ceremony. It’s going to be well worth it. A bunch of my friends from home are coming to the game and we’re all going to dinner afterwards. It should be another fun night to add to my list!
Oh, I almost forgot to update you guys on my little baby boy. Tucker, the puppy is doing wonderful ... well, most days! He’s adjusted to me leaving pretty well. He can now sit on command, although his name and "come" still seem to be foreign concepts. I think he has selective hearing. He sometimes sleeps in bed with me when he feels like it. He discovered my porch and just loves to just sit out and watch the street. It’s quite the sight to just see him sitting next to the rail watching the world pass by. I can’t take him on walks without him stopping traffic! Yes, a lady literally stopped her car and got out just to see my puppy! What can I say, he’s a handsome one!
Well I think that’s it for now ... I’m going to read accounting! The joys of school again!
Keep Reaching for the Stars ...
Cat Tales: Preparations & Olympic Participation
Sept. 14: My new dog Tucker
Oct. 3: FInding my routine