THE HURDT LOCKER: A PLAYERS PERSPECTIVE ON ISLANDER SOFTBALL

Margo Hurdt will be blogging for the Islander softball team this year to give fans an insider's perspective on the 2010 season. She starts the season with daily updates from the road as the team prepares for the Hawaii's upcoming Oceanic Time Warner Cable Paradise Classic.

Mar. 3

Well not the way we really wanted to start conference but at least we got one win. We came into this series having an 11-game winning streak and were pretty confident. We rolled into San Antonio about three hours before game time, were able to get a good lunch and then headed to the field after changing at the hotel. The field, being 200 ft all around, looked way smaller than our huge field that is 220 in center and 210 on the sides. The night had a cold breeze and wind blowing across right field. We have always had a strong rivalry with UTSA. We are totally different teams, they only have one small girl with speed and the rest of their girls are long ball hitters. On the other hand, TAMUCC softball has a ton of speed with our long ball hitters here and there.

Being very different teams, it was going to be an interesting series. We lost the first game. Apparently when you don't play defense, hit or pitch you get beat 12 to 2. Well, we figured that out real fast. The second game we decided to change things up and get the job done and won 6 to 3. We hit the ball as a team, Elena (Crabtree) pitched awesome and we made the plays in the field. We looked like the team that had won 11 ball games in a row.

After winning the second game we headed to my house in Boerne, which is about 15 minutes from UTSA where the parents had made a wonderful dinner for all of us. We ate pulled pork, trash potatoes and salad. It was just what we needed after a long day at the field. Once everyone was full, we loaded up in the vans and headed back to the hotel.

The team slept in till 9 then got up for breakfast. After breakfast we headed to the field. We lost the third and final game against UTSA. They just out hit us and we put ourselves in bad hitting counts. Their pitcher was good but we made her that much better by swinging at bad pitches. Even though we didn't really like the outcome of this series, we are looking into the future. To us, we are 1-2 and will keep that mind set. Conference games are the games that matter. This weekend we have another tough series with the up and coming Sugar Bears from Central Arkansas. We are going to work hard the next two days and we should be able to get back into the wining mode but until then... SKAWEEEP!

Margo #8

Feb. 21

WHAT A WEEKEND! Let's just say we were spoiled in Hawaii with the weather and we came back to rainy days in Corpus Christi.

We got back on Monday, had Tuesday off, practiced on Wednesday and then played Thursday through Sunday. Tuesday was full of test taking and stressful school work, Wednesday we had a light practice just to get the muscles going and then Thursday we played two games against Boston College and Centenary. We won both.

We got the bats going against Centenary and our pitching staff came through against Boston College. We tarped the field right after the games for a "light drizzle", this was the heaviest light drizzle I have ever been a part of. The field was soaked!

Coach had us come out at 8 a.m. and we thought we would take the tarp off and head to class...weren't we wrong. We were out there for two hours in the morning and then another four hours in the afternoon, talk about quality team bonding.

We probably took 50 gallons of rain water off the field using sponges and rakes. I give us one thing...Islander Softball girls can get dirty. We were covered from head to toe with mud, dirt, water, and everything else you can think of.

The games were cancelled Friday but because of all our hard work, the games continued on Saturday and Sunday. We ended up sweeping the weekend with five wins and zero losses. We played really well this weekend, I have never seen so many bombs hit at Chapman field in my whole college career. Everyone got to play and did so well.

This week we have games on Tuesday and then another tournament at Chapman this weekend. Couple more games and then we are in conference where the games really matter. Well, until then....Skaweeeep!

Margo #8

Feb. 13

Today was the last day of the tournament and we were ready to play. We ate as a team together for breakfast and then got ready for the game. If we won the first game we got to sit a game and then play, if we lost we played right after.

Well of course we got stuck playing the No. 10 team in the nation who had run ruled us two days before. We went in there thinking we have nothing to lose so as a team we were way more relaxed. We faced the same girl we had faced the game before so we were ready for what she had to bring. We attacked the at-bats early and got hits when we needed them. I started the first three innings and Addie finished the game up. We ended up losing 5-2 but played much better than we had all weekend.

We had to forget about the loss to Stanford and get ready for McNeese. Since we had already played McNeese once, we were ready for whatever they were going to throw our way. We ended up crushing the ball and winning 10-2 in five innings. Megan (McKinney), our only freshman, came out swinging today. She hit anything that was thrown at her. She wasn't the only star of the game. Every time I looked, Hannah (Schwarz) was either safe at first or scoring. Lauren Sanders, Brittany Tucker and Caley Jeter also had big days on the field.

Overall, the Islander Softball team played hard and as a team. It was the best I have seen my team play and there is only more where that came from. After the games we went to go eat dinner on the beach at this place called Shore Birds where you cook your own meat on a huge grill. This was a challenge for some girls, but in the end everyone loved the experience and got to see the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. The beauty of the orange, yellow, pink and red from the sunset couldn't be captured in a picture. It is something you must see for yourself.

After dinner we got to go to the market shops where we haggled prices for little trinkets and t-shirts. Most of the girls were beat from the big day we had on the field. Tomorrow is our last day we get to spend in Hawaii. This trip has been something the girls and I will never forget.

The team has three options tomorrow, either snorkel, surf or north shore. I can't wait to tell you about all the cool stuff we see tomorrow. But until then... ALOHA!

Margo #8

Feb. 12

Well, we woke up with a new mindset and were ready to take on the day. We had a good breakfast, did some laundry for $3.00 a load, and then got ready for the two games we had today.

The weather was of course perfect. There was a slight shower every once in a while, but I felt as if it came right when we needed a quick cool down. The first game was intense! We ended up scoring the first run with the help of Caley Jeter's double, a sac bunt by yours truly and then a single on the right side line from Btuck (Brittany Tucker).

The second run came from the beast freshman Meagan (McKinney). She hit a monster shot over the right field fence. The win was big for us, sending a message to the conference that we are ready for conference.

Now the Hawaii game was a little bit different. We faced a girl with a mean rise ball that we loved to swing at. We ended up losing 9-0. It was a tough loss but I think this loss has molded us together as a whole.

Tomorrow is a new day. We start bracket play tomorrow. We don't know when our first game is right now, but hopefully will find out soon before all the girls fall asleep. Well until tomorrow... ALOHA

Margo #8

Feb. 11

Game day baby! The team started the day off with wonderful all-you-can-eat pancakes from IHOP. Jeter and B-Tuck (Brittany Tucker) had an intense pancake eating contest. It was close but I'm going to call it a tie.

After breakfast we had a productive study hall session and then it was time to get ready for the first game of the season. Girls are so different than boys. You know we have to put our game make up on and make sure our hair looks good. Once we were all dolled up for the game we headed down stairs to the vans.

We got to the field pretty early to have people get treatment if they needed it. Once it was time to warm up the nerves started to stir. As it got closer to game time the girls were more anxious and excited to play. Coach Flo (Teresa Flores) said in our pep talk "The only difference between Stanford and us is the budget." As we relaxed a bit, it was time to play.

Well to sum the game up, you can't win making errors and not putting the ball in play. I can't say this game gave the girls a boost of confidence but, it did make us see what we need to work on and what we can improve. The beauty about this sport is there is always a new game to play the next day.

Coach Schu (Jake Schumann) wasn't the happiest camper after the game but gave the team some words of wisdom and, I think the girls and I are ready to take on McNeese and Hawaii. The pitcher and second baseman from Stanford were both almost picked to be on the Olympic team, so props to Hannah (Schwarz) and Lauren S. (Sanders) for getting an awesome hit!

The team is trying to take the positive out of the experience and move on. McNeese Cowgirls watch out! Until tomorrow....ALOHA

Margo #8

Feb. 10

Even though today was our third day in Hawaii, waking up still seems really hard. Once we finally got up and going, we threw on our practice clothes and headed to the field. We have practice every day pretty early but it helps us accomplish so much more in our day.

We had a pretty successful practice other than Morgan taking a ball to the forehead. After a bag of ice she was left with a pretty impressive bump on her forehead. Took it like a champ! After practice we exercised our brains with a wonderful study hall session conducted by our very own Mrs. Bailey Wilson. Study hall was the last team activity we had all day.

Everyone got to do their own thing today. Mind you there were rules involved...stay in groups of three or more, don't go off with random people you don't know and have fun. Following all the rules, the girls grouped up to take on Hawaii.

My group consisted of Elena Crabtree, Addie Tallman, Melissa Casey and Megan McKinney and we were later joined by Alejia Cain. We shopped until we dropped. Man, there are so many stores here! I'm pretty sure it would take a whole week to hit up all of them but we tried our hardest.

In the middle of our shopping extravaganza, we stopped at the beach to snorkel. It was only six dollars to rent the gear and we went right off the beach. We saw all kinds of fish swimming around but the reef was really sharp. We had some slight injuries here and there but nothing too serious.

After the sun had set we met up for dinner with the majority of the team at this place called Buca. It was an Italian family-style restaurant where they brought three types of entrees to the table for everyone to share, very appropriate for the Ohana theme we have this season.

This was our last day of Hawaii fun, now it's time to get serious and have a different kind of fun....winning ball games! All the girls are really excited about playing tomorrow, long awaited! Stanford here we come! Until Tomorrow..Aloha!

Margo #8

Feb. 9

We started the day off with a bowl a cereal in the hotel. Once we got dressed for practice, we headed downstairs to the vans. Practice was successful, we worked on some defense and pitchers pitched bullpens.

After practice we headed back to the hotel and got ready for the Polynesian Culture Center. The trip to the culture center was beautiful! The ocean was every color blue you could think of and the hills were covered with the most beautiful greenery. As we drove the 45 minutes to the culture center, the girls took countless pictures of the unforgettable beauty of Hawaii, I have never seen anything like it.

Once we got to the culture center we ate BBQ then split up into smaller groups. A rough break down of the culture center, it is like a museum/theme park. You walk around and every place there is an island represented. For example Hawaii had its own area in the park, along with Fiji, Somoa and other islands around the area.

As we stopped by each island station we were briefed on the history of the island and its culture. We learned so many things and were exposed to new and interesting cultures. This was one of the coolest things I have ever got to experience.

At the end we were taken to a luau where Melissa and Coach Schumann got to show off their hula skills. After the luau we went to the amphitheater to watch a wonderful show of all the dancing and culture all the islands had to offer.

Over all this day was very educational and was a great experience for everyone. Tomorrow we have practice in the morning, study hall after and then a free day! Can't wait to share what goes on tomorrow....but until then.... ALOHA!

Margo #8

Feb. 8

The time change has had an effect on some of the girls here in Hawaii. Most of the girls were wide awake at 5:30 a.m. ready for the day to begin. Too bad breakfast wasn't till 6:30. After breakfast we headed to the field to take some batting practice.

The field is 200 feet all the way across the outfield. Having no wind blowing the ball back in and the field being 10 plus feet different from our home field, the girls were cranking the ball over the fence. Talk about a confidence booster.

Batting practice only took about an hour and half then we hurried back to the hotel, changed and headed to Pearl Harbor. Once we got there we watched a short video about the history of Pearl Harbor and World War II then they took us out to the USS Arizona.

It was really impressive the way the memorial was set up. We learned that the people who were on the Arizona who didn't die during Pearl Harbor attack could still be buried in the ship if they wanted. There is a hole big enough on the side of the ship for a scuba diver to fit an urn in.

After Pearl Harbor the team split up into small groups and got to go wherever we wanted. My group, consisting of Elena, Addie, Byars and Lauren Sanders, headed to the beach. It was so beautiful and the water is so clear!

This was a great day to start off our week in Hawaii, there is more fun to have and we all can't wait to experience more! Until tomorrow... ALOHA!

Margo #8

Feb. 7

We started our venture to Hawaii on Saturday night. Leaving campus at 7:30, the Islander softball team traveled up the Texas coast to Houston where we would spend the night and then head to the airport in the morning. We made one scheduled break and one unscheduled road side stop on the way there.

Once we got to Houston we took a quick nap, went to bed at 12:30 a.m. and had a 4:45 a.m. wake-up call. After a good toasted bagel and some cold milk, we got into the vans and headed to the airport.

Our plane's front tire had a tear in it so we were herded off the plane and got the privilege of sitting in the terminal for two hours wondering why it was taking so long to change a little tire. Once the tire was fixed we headed to San Francisco.

Since our tire delay took two hours, when we landed in California we had to head straight for the gate. With Burger King in one hand and our plane ticket in the other, we jetted to the gate. I learned that if you paid an extra $100 you got an extra 2 inches for leg room, thank god most of us are short.

The plane to Hawaii was huge, the biggest I have even been on with nine seats a row. The view was beautiful out the window, or at least that's what I was told. I was the lucky one in the middle of the plane. We landed in Hawaii at 4:00 p.m. local time or 8:00 p.m. Corpus Christi time. Once we got to the hotels, we unpacked, showered and got some grub at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. It was pretty good!

Now extremely tired from the day, we are finishing up quizzes online and watching highlights from the Super Bowl. Until tomorrow...ALOHA!

Margo #8