This weekend was very exciting for several reasons. First of all we always get really pumped to play the first conference series of the year, and secondly, going to Jacksonville is always one of the best trips, and for obvious reasons.
When we arrived in Jacksonville we were immediately met with warm sunny weather, a welcome change from the finicky Nashville weather we have been experiencing.
I think coming into the weekend we all sort of knew it was going to be a challenge in some ways, but none of us thought the first game against UNF would go the way it did.
We started out the way we should have with a 4-0 lead through the first four innings, but then we sort of fell apart. I’m not exactly sure what happened, but we weren’t playing Lipscomb softball.
We are stubborn and feisty. You don’t mess with us. We got run ruled and embarrassed that first game, and of course we had to make a point to show them that it was a fluke and wouldn’t happen again. That’s one of the many reasons I love my team.
We came out with a fire the second game Saturday, and after Paige Neely and Gracey Aguirre hit their back-to-back home runs, we all knew how game two was going to go. As our assistant coach J.J. Dillingham so wonderfully put it, UNF poked the Bison in game one, and you don’t want to do that because then you’ll get the horns.
Sundays are always hard to wake up for and kind of get going during conference play. It is the third time you are playing the same team in a weekend, and Saturdays are long days. So, Sunday really wasn’t any different than normal except for the fact that we basically woke up to gorgeous 70-degree sunshine, but once the game started we didn’t take long to get going at all.
Our bats were hot all the way around and our pitcher, Ashley Anderson, was on fire. She only allowed one hit and we won to take the series with a 7-0 shutout of UNF.
Well now everyone’s happy. We won the series and now it’s time to go home and let real life set in. Except this weekend we had a setback. Unfortunately we would be leaving our sunny paradise to come home to freezing cold snow and ice, and apparently we weren’t supposed to do that because our flight home was cancelled.
While in theory it sounds great to be “trapped” in Jacksonville for an extra day, it’s actually very stressful for a lot of the girls. I think we and others forget sometimes that we are student athletes, not just athletes, and many of us had assignments or tesst or projects all due Monday or that we needed to work on and couldn‘t because we were on the road.
That along with players who need to go home for family reasons made the cancellation a bit stressful; however, we of course made the best of it.
Thankfully we made it home around 8 p.m. Monday. We were incredibly blessed to get the flights and arrangements we did to get home. We had to take an afternoon flight out of JAX to Baltimore and then on to Nashville because of the winter storm that hit Nashville Sunday night.
While many of us were completely fine staying in Jacksonville, it was great to get back home. Now we are focusing on playing Ohio on Wednesday and then our next conference series against FGCU this coming weekend at home.
Once we get rested from all of our flights, don’t worry we will be ready to go!