Hostility, pride at Wac banquet Hawaii tops WAC honors
By Katie Grimes
Special to The Advertiser
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — You could cut the tension in the air as we entered the Western Athletic Conference banquet.
While the room was filled with more than 150 ladies, keep in mind we also are ballplayers of a very competitive nature.
As we walked into the dining area, stares and glares were shot our way as we, the WAC regular-season champions, walked through the room.
Truth be told, I love to be hated, especially knowing the resentment stems from our almost perfect season. However, despite all the hostility, it was a great day for our team, our program, and our university. For the second time in our program's history, we swept all the major awards at the WAC banquet.
The awards were well deserved by those who received them, acknowledging their hard work on the field, during conditioning, and especially the extra attention in the weight room.
Along with sweeping the top awards for the season, we had five players named first team All-WAC and one player named second team all-WAC.
We also were presented with the regular season WAC trophy at the banquet, which was a great honor for the team as a whole.
One of the best aspects of this team is that we all work well together, from the seniors on down, we complement each other's strengths and weaknesses, and we have truly learned how to play as a team. So taking home the 2010 WAC champions trophy will be a part of all of us forever.
After the banquet we went back to the hotel. Some girls rested while others studied and took more finals.
As for me, I took my last final exam for the year, and I finally became a college graduate!
At around 3:30 p.m., we got together in the lobby where Coach Bob discussed practice and the rest of the day. After our meeting, we jumped into our vans for the field, where we took batting practice in the cages and watched San Jose State play against Louisiana Tech. We will play San Jose State, which won, so it was important that we watched the game.
When we were finished with our hitting and infield/outfield drills, the team got together for our own meeting. The other seniors and I decided to address the team with a bit of an attitude for our pre-WAC tournament speech. I told the girls congratulations for all their awards and for all their achievements this season. It has been an amazing record-breaking season, so savor the moment because this was the last day any of those achievements will matter.
I told the team that the first game of the tournament starts the beginning of the end, and there is one title we have not garnered in the history of Rainbow Wahine Softball, and that is to win the WAC Tournament Championship.
We all know we can beat every one of these teams, but right now we have a huge target on our backs, especially after sweeping all the awards at the banquet.
As I mentioned all this to the team, their faces began to light up with excitement, and I could tell the passion was back. I told the girls we are not just "happy to be here" we want to win this tournament because no one ever remembers who comes in second place ...