May 16, 2013

My Championships Experience - Softball Edition

My Championship Experience is a diary blog written by Summit League student-athletes detailing their experiences at each of the 19 Championships. 
South Dakota senior Kate Snow writes about her experience at the 2013 Summit League Softball Championship: 

Wednesday, May 8
Our journey started this morning by leaving the DakotaDome at 6:30 a.m. so that we would have time to drive up to Fargo, N.D., and eat lunch before our scheduled practice time at 11:45 a.m. We decided to take the scenic route through Fargo while going to the field so we waited to eat lunch until after practice at 1:15 p.m.. We couldn’t check into our hotel right away so we went to Cold Stone to pass the time. By the time we checked in, we went to our rooms to relax before getting ready for the banquet. We got all dressed up and went to the banquet. Everyone looked great! I could hardly recognize people out of their softball jerseys. My coach asked me to do the invocation a couple days ago and since I always do our pregame prayer I figured why not. We all got seated and the introductions began and then it was my turn to go up on stage and pray. Boom, nailed it! Now on to supper. The food was great and we all had a good time. I was really proud of my teammates and the awards we won. After the banquet, we just hung out. We had a team meeting to refocus for our game tomorrow. After being up for over 17 hours I decided to call it a night. 

Thursday, May 9 
We played at 4 p.m. so we could sleep in. Caribou Coffee was at 10 a.m. if we wanted so a group of eight of us went and got coffee and then came back and went to breakfast. We had a couple hours to relax before we left for lunch at Jimmy Johns at 12:15 p.m. Then we came back to the hotel and had an hour to get ready before we had to leave for our game. On the bus we listened to our walk up songs to have fun and pump us up. We got to the field, warmed up, and we ready to go. Since we were seeded third, we played No. 2 Fort Wayne. Game time came and I was the DP in the nine spot. The game started off well as I drove in the first run. I was happy we scored first, but wasn’t going to settle for just that. We didn’t perform as well as we would’ve liked. I think nerves were a big part since this was our first time. But we were going to pull together and come out stronger tomorrow. 

Friday, May 10 
I didn’t set an alarm this morning since we didn’t play until 3 p.m., but I woke up at 9:15 a.m. anyway so I decided to go with Christine (Broders) and Matley (Jones) to get coffee again. After we got back, we went to breakfast with a group of teammates. Not long after that, our team met in the lobby to walk to a sandwich shop across the street. I was still full from breakfast so I saved my sandwich to eat later. We got to the fields early so we could watch part of the previous game. We put our cleats on and began warm-ups. Little did I know, that would be the last time I would lace up my cleats as a collegiate softball player. The game definitely did not go as planned. We didn’t hit the ball as well we would have liked. You could our team was playing tense and was not very relaxed. I was the last out of the game and I absolutely broke down. To know that I would never be able to step on a field with my family of teammates was heart-breaking. For the last five years, I put everything into becoming the player that I am today and to help build the foundation for the team that we are. I couldn’t believe how fast the time had gone. After we shook hands, our coaches talked to us and told us how proud they were of how we did and how our season went with it being our first year eligible for the league tournament.  To qualify and do so well was such an accomplishment. I couldn’t be more proud of my team and everything we accomplished together. After we all hugged it out, I went and hugged my dad and talked to him. He told me how proud of me he and my mom are. They’ve been my biggest supporters, I couldn’t ask for better parents. After we talked to our parents, we gathered back together as a team and decided that we didn’t want to stay and watch the championship game on Saturday. We stayed to watch the 6 p.m. game and it was gut-wrenching knowing that we should’ve still been in it. We only stayed until the fifth inning because it was so windy and cold. Our coaches stayed to watch the games Saturday, but we got on the bus and went home. We finally pulled into town around 12:30 a.m. 

Saturday, May 11 
Since we decided not to stay, we were just hanging out and checked the game tracker to see how the games were going. Later that night, I found out that Lindsey Boyd and I made the All-Tournament Team and I was absolutely ecstatic to get that recognition. I was also very happy to see Lindsey get that award, she is one of the most dedicated and hard-working people I know and she definitely deserves it! As hard as it was to have our season end early, it was humbling being chosen for the All-Tournament Team.
Don’t forget to check out the next edition of My Championship Experience as it follows the Baseball Championship, May 23-25, the final Summit League Championship of the 2012-13 season. 

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