Tuscaloosa, here we come!
By Katie Grimes
Special to the Advertiser
May 24, 2010 Oakland, CA
We are on the road again, tonight we are staying at a hotel in Oakland because tomorrow we are flying out from the Oakland Airport and heading to Tuscaloosa! Today makes officially two complete weeks on the road and we're starting our third week on Tuesday. A lot of people ask if it is difficult to be on the road this longabut if anything it is starting to get easier. Being on the road makes softball feel professional, and it eliminates all the distractions of being at home. Yeah, it would be nice to sleep in our own beds, but I know these hotel beds are more comfortable than the dorms
twin extra-long beds.
Earlier today when we were still staying in Palo Alto, we lifted at Stanford and did some running on a turf practice field at their athletic complex. It felt good to get in a lift, it allows us to stay strong and keep the edge in our physical fitness.
A lot of people keep asking me about how much this season is emulating the 2007 season, which in a lot of ways it is. In 2007, we had very influential seniors, Tyleen Tausaga and Alana Power; amazing juniors, Brandi Peiler, Kaulana Gould and Kate Robinson; and even better sophomores like Clare Warwick. This season we have the "core four" seniors, great juniors like Melissa Gonzalez and Jenna Rodriguez, and the ever amazing red-shirt freshman, Kelly Majam. So yes, in a lot of ways, this year's team is very much like the 2007 team, however there is one major difference, our
mentality. In 2007 everyone watched in awe as we climbed the charts in the national rankings and counted every homerun for our school record. We played at UCLA as an underdog team for the regional's and won which felt like an upset. For the super regional we headed to Tennessee to face one of the most dominating pitchers that ever played college softball, Monica Abbott.
The key difference is in our mentality. We came on strong during our conference season, posting a 19-1 record. We were the favorite in the WAC tournament and the seeded team in the Regionals. Everything we have accomplished has been expected of us after our successful regular season. We have watched our national rankings quietly climb, but no one was really stunned. We know that we are a good team and if we keep working hard we can continue to win. As far as the homerun record, I think when the season started and we realized how much power we had, and we knew we could beat the school record. Our regional was not easy, but we have been playing well and we went into the Stanford Regional and took care of business. Overall, we
have accomplished so much this season as team and as individual players but we have not done anything that we did not expect to do.
As for our mentality going into Alabama‹the top seeded team in the tournament‹is we are going to play Hawaii ball. We cannot worry about who we are playing and what they are ranked. We are a good team and our goals were to come this far and even beyond, and that is exactly how we are going to play. We have an powerful offense and a strong pitching staff that we back up with a smooth defense. Everyone is so excited to continue this awesome journey, and we are going to be ready to play.