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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life on the road: Fast food, batting cages, final exams

By Katie Grimes No. 21
Special to the Advertiser

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Las Cruces, N.M.


Monday morning had a bittersweet feeling as I arrived at our locker room at 4:15 a.m. On one hand I had to say my final good-byes to all four of my roommates who will not be on the island when I return from the road. On the other hand it was the start of possibly one of the most exciting road trips of my career.

As I gave my last hugs and loaded up the bus I thought about how exciting this trip is for everyone. I could tell Coach Bob was more excited that morning rather than anxious about our long travel day and the team had a sense of relief that this road trip was finally here.

Once we got to the airport and I looked around the plane at my teammates who were either studying or sleeping I thought about how this was going to be my last road trip as a Rainbow Wahine and how I wanted to make sure it was a long one.

We all know we have an opportunity to go all the way, but we also know how difficult it is to be on the road for extended periods of time. The long traveling days create fatigue and take away from our physical edge, not to mention that we are taking all of our final exams by Thursday. But everyday Coach Bob reminds us about getting our rest, taking care of business, and savoring this moment, because it does not happen very often.

When I was at the San Francisco airport eating lunch with the crew (Jocelyn Enrique, Makani Duhaylonsod-Kaleimamahu, Mikalemi Tagab-Cruz and Jenna Rodriquez) Jenna was asking me about the WAC tournament and I remembered she had never been to our conference tournament before. Then I realized none of these girls have been to a NCAA tournament before either.

I began to tell them about my freshman year (2007) when our team went all the way to the NCAA Super Regionals and were one win away from the Women's College World Series. After telling my story, I began to feel really excited about this road trip and how much we can accomplish. The seniors had a taste of what it is like to go far in postseason, and it is our job to relay that information down to the younger girls.

After a long day of traveling we finally arrived in Las Cruces, N.M. at 1:30 a.m. We all bombarded a fast food restaurant by 2:00 a.m., and slept in this morning. Most of the girls woke up and studied all morning and some girls woke up to take final exams.

We had a short meeting about what to expect for practice today because from here on out we are only allotted exactly one hour of practice time on the field per day. Since our practices are normally two and a half hours, it was going to be essential that we be efficient and condense our practice into less then half our normal time.

We packed up the vans and headed for the field. At practice we did our normal warm-up, infield/outfield drills and routine, and then we split up and hit in the cages and live off of Coach Bob.

After practice on the field was over, we went over to the football field and we ran to get used to the altitude change we experience when we travel away from paradise. At least that's what the coaches say, I think they wanted us to run off all those burgers and fries we ate at two in the morning from the night before.

Anyway, when we got back to the hotel, we all dispersed to get food and to start cramming for our finals. We have a "finals session" tonight from 5:45 p.m. to 10 p.m., where our academic advisor will proctor our exams in a conference room at our hotel.

After our first two days on the road we have had a lot to do. As game time gets closer our team gets more and more excited and I know everyone is looking forward for the tournament to start. Tomorrow is our WAC banquet, practice and more exams. I will keep all of our fans and everyone back on the islands updated with our road trip and how our team is doing. Thank you for reading!

Aloha and Go 'Bows!