Turnin' Two with Allison McClain
Tuesday, January 22, 2008

1/22/08

 

Hi! I’m Allison McClain, a member of your Centenary Ladies softball team. A junior utility infielder from Diboll, Texas, I am here all season to share the inside scoop on Centenary softball from game updates, road trips, as well as players and coaches.

 

After a week back to the basics of school and softball, I have found myself immersed amongst the ever-so strenuous load of being a collegiate student-athlete. Our team kicked off the season with a “bonding” day two days before the rest of the student body unpacked their belongings from the Christmas holidays. Awaiting the season to begin seems to be the most difficult part of this time of the year. With only about a week or so left until our first game, our preparation has not let up. From 6 a.m. morning workouts to the three-hour practices every night—we are ready to play. 

 

So, school has started back....and the life of little sleep and a lot studying continues to challenge me as well as my teammates as we all fight the pressure of being successful. Though, I must admit, it helps to have a team there experiencing this life with you. 

 

The first week back we opened the season with our favorite of all drills. Wet and muddy, we pushed through the 26-minute drill only to experience a week or so of soreness. We consider ourselves not only athletes, but knowledgeable athletes at that, so we spend quite a bit of time on mental training and understanding our roles as members of the Centenary Ladies softball team. So, with that, a few hours were spent on building each other’s trust and learning more about each of the members of our team since we will spend every waking moment together come two weeks from now. In our first meeting back, we worked on defining roles and how this season will be a journey for each of us as we all play a part in building this team. We mapped out our destination through goals in which we plan to achieve throughout the season.  We also defined coaches and players as integral parts in achieving these goals and what each of us needed to do in order to successfully reach our destination.

 

Practices have been cold—I have to say, but playing in the Summit League, this weather is no comparison to the temperatures we face up north... We are just lucky to be on the field this early in January. Throughout these last few weeks, our practices have focused on game-like situations. One day was devoted only to base running, another to hitting. A few rain days here and there have challenged the way we practiced and the team can agree, tarping the field is by far the most exciting aspect of playing softball (NOT!). Nevertheless, we always get the job done and are ready to play. Since the new Summit League additions of North Dakota State, South Dakota State, and IPFW, we are looking forward to traveling further north to take on teams who are possibly covered in snow as we speak. Since the majority of our team is from the south, mostly from Texas, it is obviously not the ideal weather for a game of softball, but after two seasons here, I have quickly learned that playing in the cold isn’t much of a choice.

 

Our team is ready more than ever, I can already tell, for the season to begin. We are anxious and excited to have 14 girls returning from last season and two newcomers who have proven to be a key impact on our team. The fall was successful, but the spring is our season and with only a few weeks until the first pitch, nothing can be more exciting than the feeling of our first win. Our pitchers and catchers are a whole year older and carry a year of experience under their maroon belt and that alone makes me extremely eager to compete. 

 

We open the season with a day of scrimmages against local rival BPCC on Saturday, February 2 and then kick off our official season traveling to Texarkana on February 8 to face Oklahoma State, UAB, and Arkansas.

 

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

 

See you again next week!

 

For the love of the game,

-Allison McClain