AROUND the HORN with Allison McClain
Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Greetings softball fans! Allison here again. I return from sunny Florida to find myself blogging from Shreveport this week as I come to you—Around the Horn.


A late arrival on Sunday evening ended the long trip we made that day after having played six games over the course of last week. Mardi Gras break gave us a chance to escape the inconsistent weather of Shreveport, the pressures of exams and papers, and an opportunity to play a week of competitive softball in the sunny state.


I wrote last week about having visited Universal Studios in Orlando, but I come to you with much more excitement and insight into our trip and our upcoming week. As softball players, we have the luxury of playing multiple games in a day—unlike most sports. With that, we played Central Florida and Stetson last Tuesday and Wednesday and were able to beat the Hatters on their home field with a dramatic ending, but fell the Knights of UCF in a late rally of their own.


After having returned just a day or so ago, I have been asked many times, “How was Florida?” I respond by admitting, the sand of Daytona Beach is much harder to run, stretch, and catch ground and fly balls in, though it’s true—we did it.


A few deep stares by the locals and some curious comments by couples walking the beach line, we ran barefoot and chanted “C” as if we do everyday on our home field. The day was meant for us to let loose and enjoy the beautiful weather. Some of my teammates played Frisbee, some swam in the freezing cold water, while some ventured off to write clique quotes in the sand as if they were creating a Facebook bumper sticker. 


White sand covered the carpet of our sleeper bus for the remainder of the day when we headed back to DeLand. In fact, I still am dumping sand out of my bat bag to this day—though, maybe I should consider packing some away for memories.


Our Friday games didn’t end the way we had hoped as we lost to Kentucky of the SEC and Maryland of the ACC. We were given the opportunity to prove to several large universities that we not only are capable of playing with anyone, but also show that the name on the jersey doesn’t necessarily mean anything, as we feel like our game is up to that level. Honestly though, we let ourselves down in some aspects of the game. We struggled to put up hits against each team and we allowed them to base too many runners.


On a good note, Saturday ended successful as we finished off the tournament with a 1-0 win over Stetson. Earlier that day, we dropped another game to Maryland stranding 13 base runners (which is very uncharacteristic for our team). Though, having played the way we did, we learned a lot about our idea of Centenary softball and one another.


We learned that to be competitive, we have to support one another. A TEAM sport, like it is, we each have responsibilities to perform at our best, though help one another out when someone is having an off day. The most impressive thing about my team is that it’s never that one person who gets the job done that day, it tends to change from game-to-game and that’s why watching us play is so exciting.


As a senior, I’ve been around many different teammates and have realized everyone has their own idea of winning...though, as the season is only beginning, we are continuously reminded that this game is based on the process, not necessarily the end result. This last week, the process didn’t reach our expectations, as we know the way we play this game is about scoring runs. We don’t get shut out of games—someone may beat us because we ran out of innings, but we refuse to beat ourselves—it’s just the way we play this great game.


My teammate I introduce this week is junior Alli Shepperd. You may recognize her name from the obnoxious cheers we yell from the dugout...or from her successful season last year as a member of the All-Summit League team...


I introduce...

Allison Shepperd #15


3rd Base

Marshall, Texas

Marshall HS


AM: Major?

AS: Health and Physical Education


AM: Best part about Centenary?

AS: The friends I have made here


AM: Favorite movie?

AS: The Notebook


AM: Food you can't live without...

AS: Flammin' hot cheetos


AM: Most memorable softball moment?

AS: Hopefully soon it will be my first trip to the NCAA regionals with the Centenary Ladies


AM: Being a Centenary Lady....

AS: is a privilege and has allowed me to make life long friends


AM: Three words to describe yourself?

AS: Fun, Determined, and Friendly


AM: Who would play you in a movie?

AS: Dotty Hanson in A League of Their Own


AM: Dream vacation spot?

AS: Hawaii


AM: Biggest pet peeve?

AS: zippers, I hate them being unzipped...weird I know


AM: A movie title to describe your life?

AS: For the Love of the Game


AM: I am most happy when...

AS: I'm surrounded by my friends and playing


AM: I'm looking forward to ________ this season....

AS: A trip to the NCAA Regionals


AM: Favorite quote...

AS: "The game doesn't care who you are.” –Coach Angus


I leave you with a little of how my team contemplates a rather unsuccessful week of games... but now its time to move on and only reminisce through the many photographs and laughs we shared these past few days, while we prepare to build on our 11-6 record playing two home games this week.


Today, we host Grambling at 6 p.m. and Baylor, Wednesday at 5 p.m. Look forward to seeing out at the ballpark. Go Ladies!


Until next week...


“I come to play everyday.” –David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox


For the love of the game,

-Allison McClain #8