Road trips create memories
It is amazing all of the places softball can take you. I know I’ve talked about all of the traveling our team has done over the course of the season, but now while we’re on our last road trip together until postseason, I’ve had time to think about just how fortunate we are to visit all of these beautiful places.
This week alone we have ventured to three cities, all of which we had time to explore and enjoy. We began in South Bend, Ind., home of the Fighting Irish, where we split our doubleheader on Saturday in two exciting back-and-forth battles. During the first game we had to make adjustments to a harder field than we were used to. It proved to be home-field advantage for the Fighting Irish, as they pounded the ball into the ground for base hits.
After losing the first game we came back with something to prove in Game 2 but found ourselves down four runs in the seventh inning. We’ve been in similar positions before, so we didn’t despair. After putting together a few walks and extra base hits, we were tied again at 7-7, and we went on to win 9-7 in the ninth inning.
The next day we prepared for the rubber match of the series, but Mother Nature didn’t want us to play Game 3. The temperature never got above 32, so the game was canceled. Instead of sitting around in the hotel, our coaches decided to take everyone to Chicago, and we spent the day enjoying the city.
A few of us visited local attractions such as “The Bean,’’ Shedd Aquarium and Navy Pier, while others spent their time shopping on Michigan Avenue.
Later in the day the snow began to fall, but we took it as part of the experience of Chicago and embraced every minute of our surprise trip. We left with plenty of great pictures, memories and Garrett’s popcorn, a Chicago favorite. When we returned to South Bend, the snow began to stick, so many of the Florida girls began a snow ball fight and made a “Frozen” inspired snowman properly named Olaf.
The next day we headed to Pittsburgh to complete our weeklong ACC trip. Again we were lucky enough to tour around the city. We got to see PNC Park, Heinz Field and the Consol Energy Center, where the Penguins play. Walking around the beautiful city as the snow fell was a treat, and it was hard not to think of how amazing this trip and all of our others had been.
Softball has allowed me to travel to places I thought I would never see. From Hawaii to Boston, I’ve been blessed with a great second family to travel with throughout my three seasons as a Seminole. Looking back on it all, I can’t imagine a more exciting and enriching college experience, and we still have more to look forward to.