Monday, June 22, 2009

Happy "late" Father's Day!

With Father's Day last Sunday the many great Father's in our lives have been on my heart!
We are so blessed, beyond words!!! So many incredible Father's! Casey, My dad, Casey's Dad, our Grandfathers that we hold so many great memories of, our brothers, our friends, and so many "fathers"! For all of them we are so grateful!

I think ultimately of our heavenly Father! Our Lord of Lords, our Savior, Jesus Christ. What a great example He gave for us and for Fathers. His sacrifice, the Ultimate sacrifice He gave for us. We all are able to feel His love, by grace! We can not even fathom how great His love is for each and everyone of us. For this we are all eternally thankful! He is our eternal father and has blessed us with so many incredible earthly fathers!

May we all love, appreciate, and acknowledge those who are "fathers" in our lives.

Thank you to my dad, to Casey for the dad he is, and the many dads in my life and others!

Ace and Grandpa Finch
Ace and "Pops" Daigle along with "Gramie" Daigle


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Perfect, Only from HIM!

It was perfection for us (The Bandits) defensively tonight! What a night! A lot of fun! So much fun, not going to be shy about it! Its been a long couple of months getting back. Rachel Folden and I were on the same the page, groovin, she called a great game! It was so much fun to be out there competing with my teammates, Go Bandits!

I have to give all the glory to Him, the only true perfection I know. You, Jesus! Thank you! By your grace and only by your grace! The Valleys and the Mountain Tops you are always there at work, moving and shaking! Thank you Lord for your perfect timing in all things. We will keep looking to You through it all and in all!

USA Tryouts was a lot of fun! It was a young group for the most part but ballers they are! It was fun to be a part of the excitement, youthfulness, and eagerness. For a lot of the players invited it was their first USA experience. It was great to be able to witness them going after their dreams, dreams of wearing the red, white, & blue. This is what it was all about. They were taking it all in, treasuring, and storing it! Lots of fun in San Diego. I am so grateful to be able to be apart of it and again have the honor of wearing USA this summer. I will be playing in the Canada Cup, Oklahoma World Cup, and the Japan Cup. I look forward to competing with this talented group.

It was a little different this time. A new quad, many new players, and a new Coach. Sadly Coach Candrea retired from USA along with many legends of this game. They will all be missed so dearly! It won't be the same, but we look forward to the future of USA Softball. Look forward to Coach Miller and the future players of our game. It was a special week! A little reunion for us returners too. Congrats to all the invites, thanks for a fun week of great softball.

After tryouts we were able to catch up with Casey for a couple days. Very short days it felt like. It was so much fun hanging with family and being with Casey! Casey is doing so well! We are so proud of him and all he is doing for the Express. He sacrifices a lot, and is so encouraging of my lil' softball gig! ;) I am so grateful and so honored to call him my husband! He is having such a great year! Keep it up honey!

Ace is now locking me out of the bathroom stall... yet another milestone! Oh, he is getting so big! Too big! We are loving every minute spent with him. He is such a fun lil' man and so full of it. He is into singing, bull riding, fighting the thing called sleep, baseball (like his daddy, he is not shy to tell anyone and everyone his daddy plays baseball), eating (I think we are in a growth spurt), animals, attempting to swim (he doesn't get very far), being outside, wearing his catchers mask, and just a sweetie and a lover, he loves to cuddle! He is so much fun and what a blessing!

Every good and perfect gift comes from Him!

Dreaming & Believing!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Headed to USA Try Outs

The Bandits pulled off 2 more Win's against the Force. It was great to open up the season at home at Judson University. Its so much fun to play in front of our home crowd. We have many amazing, dedicated fans whom we are so grateful for. I was able to feel the "click" a little bit on Saturday night closing out the game. Our bats were booming on Sunday finishing with a big win!

I went to Boston for a signing Sunday for a quick in and out trip. Was able to meet some great people on the east coast. Die hard Red Sox fans that's for sure.

Now, I am headed down to the Olympic Training Center for the USA Softball tryouts. There are 41 girls going down there for four days filled with scrimmages and great softball. It will be great to be back in the USA environment. Its been a long off season! My mom pointed out to me a couple of weeks ago that I will be the oldest invite. Crazy... I was in the clear by like 5 years, just a couple of months ago and now at 28 I am the oldest. Try outs are always a bit nerve racking no matter what your status or history with USA is. Its good nerves though, those butterflies that you have a love/hate relationship with. I look forward to getting back on the field with the red, white, and blue.



Friday, June 5, 2009

Gotta love this game!

It's a game of failure and all about consistency. Not getting too high or too low. Tonight was a rough one. I'm not a good loser and I hope never to be. I love to compete! I love this game! But I HATE TO LOSE!

These past few months have been a roller coaster ride for me getting back into things. My pitching mechanics have put me through the ringer. I have been battling with them. There has been major internal struggles going inside this body. A major tug o war, nothing like you've quite seen of TV... A tug o war! You try to keep them in your body and far away from your brain/mind... this is the hard part. Not going mental... its not easy. Especially when you are battling yourself daily! I was debating to even write about it publicly but here I am.

I feel many others may have this same struggle and see there is a light at the end of the tunnel. This game isn't easy, not even for Olympians! :) (and its not about what you've done in the past, its the past!) I'm not a quitter but when your mechanics won't cooperate its a rough ride. I know mentally what I need to do, its just getting the physical part to comply. It clicked about 2 weeks ago, Amen! I was filled with tears on the mound, finally I felt like I should feel. My pitches were moving like they should and I had that "pop"! Amen, I was dancing leaving the field! Now, its just trying to get my body to do this consistently. For a while I had to make a conscious effort every single pitch and at times it still didn't happen. I did it all, video taped, visualized, analyzed, prayed, it all... over and over. Honestly this was such a tough time for me about a month ago. But by God's grace, a lot of work, believers in me, I'm on my way out. Yes, through tears, struggle, doubt, many hours in frustration, Coaching, and much more it finally clicked. The moment I had been waiting for the magic click.

Now is the tricky part getting it to click each and every time. And yes I am greedy, click without even having to think about it. This is where I want to be. My first outing was on Wednesday night for the Bandits. Wow, it felt good out there. I was so stinking fired up! I'm back! Finally!
Of course, it never comes fast enough! Just when I thought this... well the Lord is keeping me on my toes. Keeping me humble and keeping me grateful for the good times out there.

Then came tonight... well it was a rough one. I didn't have it. I had bits and pieces of it in the pen but it wasn't that magical click. So I battled out there on the mound. There are going to be days where you don't have it, but I wasn't ready to take a step back. I want this train to keep moving! It was one of those days where I relied a lot on my change up and hitting my spots. I felt confident in getting 2 strikes but where was strike 3? I battled and thanks to my defense it didn't turn out too bad. 1 pitch, as soon as I let it go, I knew... I knew. Not good instantly. I haven't hung a screw ball like this one in a while. UGH, I will relive it over and over again for a while. The 1 pitch, the 1 mistake. YUCK! For you pitchers out there you know exactly where I am it with this.

After my outing I went over to the pen and it clicked again. The magic click. Wow, I had my legs again, I was finishing strong on my pitches, I had the "pop"! I know its within its just a matter of getting it there every time I step on the mound. Good news is my speeds were up, 67-68 on Wednesday! Good stuff... tonight there were down a bit. I need to continue to go to work and be as consistent as I can and continue that magic click. Every time. And battle even when that magic click isn't there, you battle and battle confidently. This is what makes you the pitcher, player, person you are... your battle.

It was a rough battle tonight for us on the field. Defensively we had it rough. But there were some great things on the field though at the same time. We came back twice, we had quite a few good at bats. In the end we beat ourselves... this game does this. Its a gut check... Luckily for us we have tomorrow, it is our first series, and we are loaded with talent. Its just a matter of continuing for consistency, working hard, respecting the game, and respecting our opponents. Its going to be a battle all year here in the Pro League, we play each team in a 5 game series. They are going to know us and we are going to know them. This is the best of best here in the NPF. It will come down to many dog fights and many whoever makes the first mistake loses kinda games. What an awesome season this will be! Great times!

However, we are aware of the fight and I'm proud to go to battle with these girls and we will be ready.

Loving this game, the good times and the bad times.

Dreaming & Believing... for the magic click every time!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Opening Day for the Bandits!

What an amazing night last night. I have to admit I was a little teary eyed taking the field last night as a Bandit. I was surrounded by incredible female athletes who are all living out their dreams! There was a huge staff working so hard to pull this off for us and for the future of our league and more importantly the millions of young girls out there. What a night!

Yes, I have to admit there were not thousands of fans in the Stadium. Maybe field is more appropriate but to us its OUR STADIUM! To us, its not about that, its not about money, publicity, fame, sponsors, its about playing the game we love!

Here we are the best of our sport competing, never taking a single day for granted in uniform. Appreciating every person that stepped through the gates (or gate) to watch us. Here in the NPF the teams stay after sign EVERY autograph, chat, and mingle with our fans. Thank each and everyone who comes out to watch! Some of my teammates spent there own money to make our Stadium what it is. This is what it is all about. We do not expect anything, but hope for... hope for more opportunity to play. These women get it, they love it. I was humbled to take the field with them. Our goal is to give these fans reasons to come out again. Play softball the way it was meant to be played. We respect the game, play it hard, appreciate every second out there.

To see how much the Bandits Ownership have done and have given for this team is mind boggling! But incredible and we are forever grateful. Our Stadium is one of the best, it truly exemplifies what Professional Softball is all about, we are treated like Pros! I feel so blessed to be a part of such a great ball club! And as players we get it, we are willing to help out, and do all we can to help it continue.

Taking the field last night was a little bit more emotional for me. I have to admit, it might be my last, and that overfills my eyes with tears. At this point in my life a wife, a mother, I am not sure how many more seasons I have, if any after this one. My hope is to give it all I have this season just as I have all of my seasons. My hope is that it is enough for our sport and this league to continue, just as the many women before me have done. To think of maybe not taking the field next summer honestly instantly causes a big lump in my throat. I will not be thinking of this but it will be in the back of my mind every day this summer.

I LOVE this game! I LOVE my teammates! I LOVE competing! I LOVE the opportunity we have. I LOVE it!

I am reminded of how the Lord tells us to live, live as if everyday is our last. Tomorrow is never guaranteed. And the feeling of urgency and giving it all we have, should not just be because it might be our last season for example. It should be how we live daily! We never know, our days on earth are numbered and each and every breath is gift!

My hope and prayer is that I live this way not only as a Bandit but in every other aspect of my life.

Always Dreaming & Believing!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Summer & Softball

How about this years Women's College World Series? Amazing! Talk about some incredible games! Every night I have been covered in chills tuning in. Looking forward to tonight, Can Florida come back? Washington seems unstoppable at this point. However, you never know and this series has proved that.

Summer has been going good! We have been enjoying having family in Round Rock and loving every minute spent with them there. Its the first time we have been close to family for the baseball season. An answered prayer for sure! Casey is loving being in the South and has warmed right up! Even found the fishing spots, not hard to do for him.

I am so excited to be back with the Bandits this summer! There are so many amazing women here in the National Pro Fastpitch League who have given so much for this league and our game. I am in awe! These women have put their "real lives" either on hold or have made it work in order to be able to pack up and leave to play for the summer. This is such an amazing opportunity, so many unselfish women, owners, Coaches, and the list just goes on and on! The NPF is full of talent, the best of the best. I look forward to the challenge of every series. I look forward to opening up tomorrow night against Philly! This is my 5th summer on the roster and to see how much has been invested into to making this what it is, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and hope!

I have loved every second getting back on the field with teammates! It is such a special feeling and the best environment!

Ace is doing great! Enjoying being a Bandit too! He had his first Dentist visit last week. He was so good, my little guy! He just laid there and was a champ. Not too hard with SpongeBob playing on the ceiling! :) His 3 yr old Dr. visit on the other hand, he wasn't too excited for. He thought there would be a few shots, but luckily not this visit!

Ace on the field in Rockford, swinging for the fences!

He is just crazy, still sporting his jersey everyday! Head to toe! Too funny! The other day we were headed to Rockford for a scrimmage game against the Thunder and I was telling Ace he was going to see Cat (Osterman). I was asking if he remembered her? He replied, is that a jaguar or is she a girl? Too too funny! Cat got a good laugh about it too! ;)

Well better get going, off to practice!

Dreaming & Believing!