Another jam-packed weekend

Washington Athletic

From left, Whitney Jones, Victoria Hayward, Kaitlin Inglesby and Courtney Gano are already enjoying Palm Springs.

It is hard to believe it is already Week 3 of the 2014 softball season.

Last weekend at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe, Ariz., was awesome. We finished 5-0 and were able to run-rule four of the five opponents we faced.

We played our first game against Illinois State and entered the fifth inning with a seven-run advantage. Freshman and local favorite Kimmie Myers (from Casa Grande, Ariz.) led off the inning with a clutch pinch-hit walk and scored the winning run when Kaitlin Inglesby hit a sharp line drive past the pitcher for a walk-off single! The final score was 9-1, but we were able to maintain the focus required to put the game away, which let me tell you, isn’t always easy!

After a quick debrief and chat with our parents and assembled fans outside of Farrington Stadium (aka Sun Devil Stadium), we headed to Paradise Bakery for a light lunch. To celebrate our run-rule victory, Coach Tarr treated each of us to a cookie for dessert. It’s not often that you get the “green light” for sweets from Coach Tarr. With those cookies under our belts (pun intended, though we don’t wear belts per se), we traveled off-site for our second game of the day, vanquishing the previously unbeaten San Jose State Spartans 18-1.

After dinner, we headed back to ASU to watch one of the week’s most highly anticipated games: the Arizona State Sun Devils versus the reigning national champion Oklahoma Sooners. Even after a long day of softball, we couldn’t turn down an opportunity to watch a couple of the best teams in the country play. Hey, we just love softball!

We had the luxury of late afternoon games Saturday, spending much of the morning working on homework and relaxing. Saturday nights’ games were against SIU Edwardsville and Michigan State. Both games showcased our offense as well as some great pitching with Bryana Walker in the circle for both games. The girl was on fire.

One of the things I love most about playing centerfield is that I can stand directly in line with the pitcher and have a perfect view of the catcher, umpire and strike zone. When our pitchers are killing it, I’ve got the best seat in the house!

We rolled our offense and dominant pitching into the second game of our doubleheader and shut out Michigan State 8-0 in five innings.

Our most anticipated game of the weekend came the next morning, as we faced Oklahoma. Bry got the call and continued her dominance, striking out a career high 14 Sooners and holding them to one, lonely, unearned run. Our offense came around again, getting runners on base in almost every inning. The final score was 3-1, and we headed back to Seattle with another tournament championship in our back pockets.

We are already in Palm Springs, Calif., for this weekend’s Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. This weekend is one of my absolute favorites and a must attend for all softball fans. Not only do we get to face great competition while enjoying beautiful Southern California sunshine, but with 28 of the top teams in the country in attendance, we have the opportunity to catch up with past teammates (college and travel ball) and friends who are playing on other teams.

The next few days are jam packed, with doubleheaders on Thursday against Maryland and LSU, Friday against Texas and Northwestern and a single game on Saturday against BYU. Lucky for us, our flight isn’t until Sunday afternoon, providing us the perfect day off for a little R&R and some pool time.
I can’t wait to be back on the field with my teammates, this is just the beginning!

Follow me on Twitter for even more updates @VictoriaHayward.
Go Dawgs!