AROUND the HORN with Allison McClain
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Good things always come to an end. Hi and welcome back to Around the Horn. In my last and final week as a student-athlete at Centenary, I open with a sigh of relief and nervous energy as school winds down and the softball chapter of my life fades away with great memories to look back upon.


It was a busy week to say the least, though an anticipated and joyful one at that. It is amazing to think I have spent the last four years as college athlete. It seems just yesterday I pulled up to campus, unpacked all my belongings, and hit the softball field for the first of many practices. Though that time has come, where I prepare for the next chapter in my life and that involves long nights at Minute Maid Park amongst screaming Houston Astros’ fans.


This edition, I wanted to look back on a successful last week of softball our team has had. We began with a double header at home for my final two home games of my career against Northwestern State. As an in-state rival, NSU’s games mean more than just a score. It’s always nice to pull off wins against those types of teams.


In game one, we were able to ease through with timely hitting and solid pitching, winning 7-4. Our team went down 1-0 in the top of the first, but managed to stay composed and score two in the bottom half of the inning. A five run fourth inning sparked a quick lead and the Demons never could regroup.


Game two was even more dramatic as rain ended it early in the middle of fifth. We were able to squeak out a complete game just in time. Four homeruns were hit by four different players in that game (Shep, Kalyn, Em, and me)—which is quite amazing...in fact, three came in one inning. We won 10-6.


A long night came for the team, as we had to pack and prepare to head out to the lovely city of Fargo, North Dakota to face Summit League foe, NDSU over the weekend.


We left Shreveport by flight early Thursday morning after a weather delay, but before we flew out, several of us were able to take pictures with local rapper, Hurricane Chris, who accompanied us on our short flight to Dallas.


Our connection took us from Dallas to Minneapolis. Once in Minnesota, we bussed to Mall of America, where we had an hour or so to walk around and shop. Most of us hit up the favorites, H&M and Urban Outfitters.


We then loaded up and drove 3 ½ hours to Fargo. What fun that was! Another bus ride for us—don’t we love them? Haha...not.


After nothingness on the road, we arrive in the town, home of the famous movie, Fargo, as well as the Bison. Luckily the weather was nice and we could play outside (which, by the way, doesn’t happen often).


Friday rolled around and we played two games. We ended up dropping both games to second place NDSU. Our team was poisoned or something similar as the injury bug hit several players during the double header, causing us to shift our defense around quite a bit.


In Saturday’s game and after an already clinched Summit League tournament berth, we came out very relaxed. Without several starters in the lineup due to an injury, again, the defense played a little different. With Lauren on the mound, we were able to score early after Caitlin led off with a homerun. After having a 3-0 lead in the first, we kept building on a successful day at the plate, scoring eight runs and holding the Bison to just four.


It was a bittersweet ending for the seniors in their last regular season game to come away with a win. I personally walked away with a feeling of excitement, yet an understanding that my softball career was coming to an end—for good.


Coach Montgomery surprised us with Minnesota Twins and Kansas City Royals tickets for Saturday night. We celebrated a good ending to a third-place regular season finish in the league. The MLB game just made me much more anxious to begin my internship with the Astros.


I was able to garner about 3-minutes of my 15-minutes of fame, as I know a Minnesota Twins employee. She put me in a Blue Bunny Challenge, held on the upper deck of the Metrodome in front of the entire crowd on the big screen. I was chosen to throw a ball from the upper deck onto the field, trying to make it in a blown up contraption. I missed. Though, if I'd made it, I would have received free ice cream for a year.


Caitlin, Lauren, and Beth were kind enough to go with me on my journey across this stadium. And in return, my Twins’ friend gave the four of us front row seats on the Twins’ dugout for the rest of the game. We couldn’t have asked for better seats, literally.

We have pictures to prove it.


A long day of traveling home on Sunday left most of the team cramming to study for finals, which have to be taken in three days, due to the departure for The Summit League Championship held in Macomb, Illinois held later this week.


We go in as the third seed facing recent opponent, NDSU. Western Illinois took first place and will play Southern Utah in the first round of games. Softball only takes the top four to the tournament and we play a double elimination bracket. Games will be on Friday and Saturday and the winner will get a bid to the NCAA Regionals.


The team leaves Wednesday for the great city of Macomb. GO LADIES!


I finished last week with my final round of teammates, though; I thought it would be quite hilarious if I offered you an insight into my thoughts...other than reading Around the Horn. So, let me introduce, myself....


Allison McClain #8


First Base

Diboll, Texas

Diboll HS


AM: Major/Minor?

AM: Communication—Professional Writing/ German


AM: If you could be one place right now, where would it be?

AM: Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros


AM: What is something you cannot travel without?

AM: my iPhone, MacBook and Leo, my Build-A-Cat


AM: What is something that most don’t know about you?

AM: I read my horoscope everyday and am looking forward to another palm reading


AM: Centenary softball...

AM: has allowed me to build so many great memories while playing the game that I truly love.


AM: A TV show you can’t miss?

AM: hmm...Army Wives, during the summer


AM: Dream vacation spot?

AM: Boston, at Fenway Park, during October, watching the Red Sox win a World Series.


AM: Favorite color?

AM: red


AM: Why the number 8?

AM: never been any other number, always and forever, will be number 8


AM: If you could meet anyone in the world, who would it be?

AM: Oprah


AM: What are your plans after graduation?

AM: I will be interning with the Houston Astros in the Media Relations Dept. for the summer and hopefully after that I will work in sports information at the collegiate level.


AM: Something you fear most in life?

AM: being unsuccessful


AM: Favorite food?

AM: chips and salsa—must be my Texas roots.


AM: Something I cannot live without are...

AM: kitties


AM: Favorite quote?

AM: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Ganhdi


Well, I’ve wrapped up all 16 players on my team...a long season it was, but an entertaining and exciting one for sure. I hope you gathered pleasure out of learning more about what goes on in the minds of a student-athlete.


It’s been a great journey and a fun year writing to each of you. Hopefully, I will be back next week...


Though until then, I must say my goodbyes. Have a great week and keep track of the Ladies on the quest to win a Summit League Tournament Championship.


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


For the love of the game,

-Allison McClain #8