Every time you win, it diminishes the fear a little bit. You never really cancel the fear of losing; you keep challenging it – ARTHUR ASHE

First things first, I’m going to talk about how the weekend went. It has taken me more than a couple days to be able to express it into words for you all. We had two pretty big games a head of us, the first team was against Maxell, and the second was against Uenos team. They had placed second in league last year. We lost 3-1 against Maxell, I went into the game in the third inning when we were already down 3-1. We were hitting the ball later on in the game but a lot of the time we were hitting it right at people. That loss was a tough one  because it felt like we carried the momentum the whole game! A loss is a loss, and we can only get better from it.

I was really mentally preparing myself for the next game against Ueno’s team. I have never had the opportunity to throw against her even while playing with Team Canada, so it was pretty cool getting my first start against her. If you all don’t know her, she was pretty much the heart for their 2008 Olympic team and helped them reach their goal of a gold medal. The game started out pretty good, we hit a first inning home run and I seemed to cruise through the first 4 innings throwing really well. Once that 5th inning hit, I seemed to feel like I was in a bit of a funk, I’ve never felt like this before and it was quite frankly a very ODD feeling. I could not throw a strike, I got behind the first hitter, and walked her and the next batter came up and I was not able to find the strike zone at all. I ended up walking the bases loaded. Its easier said then done to just “throw a strike” when your in those types of situations, because well, I was trying, I think I was trying to hard to throw one and it back fired. So there we were bases loaded, none outs with a 1-0 lead. I ended up striking the next girl out, and the next batter hit a fly ball to center which allowed the runner on third to score, thinking we were going to get out of there with a tie ball game, I threw a wild pitch and the second run of the ball game scored. Just not acceptable, that sort of stuff can’t happen on my end. We got out of the inning loosing 2-1. I came off still thinking we were going to be able score and win so I was trying to stay up beat. I ended coming out the next inning.

We lost that game, and I’ve never really felt like that. I’ve usually had great control over the strike zone. I sat in our dugout for 20 minutes after the game just thinking about what happened, analyzing the situation, trying to figure out what was going on in my mind. I was a stir of emotions there for a while. Only because I hate losing obviously, but I know how hard our team works and how much they care about this sport. I want them to know when I’m out their in the circle I’m giving everything I have to them any way I can. Losing is a disappointment to me and I ALWAYS feel like their is something I could have done. I could have thrown a better pitch to stop that passed ball and we would have been out of that inning. Woulda shoulda coulda, its all a mind game up in your dome. This game for me was a tough one to swallow. But I have got over it, I have learned from it and I promise to myself and to my teammates a situation like this will not happen again.

HIROSHIMA

This was our last league game leading up to a 3 day break for the team. It was a break for everyone to shut their minds off and just recharge. People had the option to either go and see family, travel, or head back to Kariya. Megan and I decided to go site seeing. We headed to Hiroshima on a day of adventure to soak it all up. Can I tell you guys how great it is having her here. She has been so helpful in so many ways, shes their for me to vent to, to talk to about softball, to talk to about boys, to talk to about life, and its nice to have someone to confide in when your a million miles away from everyone.

One word to describe Hiroshima and that is “Tragic”. I posted some pictures below, one of them is of the last building standing after the bomb, as well as pictures I took throughout the museum. One is of Hiroshima when  it had all the buildings and the other is how much the bomb took out. What a scary thing to think about. I was walking around the museum looking at real life photos and watching videos and I had this knot in my stomach thinking that this actually happened. What got me the most was when I was listening to this audio tape I bought to take around the tour and it talked about how many kids were left without families, and how many were burned so bad they died alone without even getting to see a family member. It brings me to tears even writing this. I could never imagine this happening, just a regular day as a child heading to school, kissing your mom and dad goodbye, knowing it was your last. Tragic. Its sad to think that their are places that still have those nuclear bombs. Why do we even need them? What do they accomplish really?

On a lighter note, after we checked out the museum we decided to go and check out the floating Shrine. We had to take a 40 minutes train ride, and a ferry over to the island, but it was worth it when it was all said and done. The ferry reminded me of heading over to Vancouver Island with our high school basketball team. Great memories. It was nice a warm day, feeling the wind hitting you. Their was the cutest little boy ever on the ferry that I kept waving at and he got the courage to come over and ask for a picture. I posted it, he is the one sitting right next to me in the photo of all the kids! So cute. Once we got over their I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but seeing over a hundred deer walking around was not in my vision. It was the weirdest thing ever. They were like  dogs running around for attention and food. Also they enjoyed biting your things. Not cool. You can pretty much tell from my faces in the photos that I was not overly fond of them, not to mention they were dirty. It was different to see though. Only thing  I would have changed was the tide, the shrine wasn’t really floating it was just sitting in sand. Megan bought some cute post cards so I could see what it was all about. It was a neat adventure over there.

After walking around for a bit longer we decided to head back towards our hotel and grab our bags to head back to Kariya. We were taking the bullet train and decided to grab some red wine from the international store in the train station since it was going to be a two hour and twenty minute train ride, and what a GREAT idea that was! Megan and I sat and drank and ate chips and salsa and talked about our life long goals! I’m sure some of you are like “BORING” but its a pretty neat thing to verbalize your future to a friend. It was a blast! We also planned our Vegas party for super bowl, exclusive invite only –sorrrry!! Once we headed back to Kariya we met up with one of our good girlfriends Simi for our wine/cheese and nut party. It was a fun little evening that entailed Megan putting feathers in our hair! That made the night! I haven’t had that much fun just sitting and drinking with girlfriends in a while. It felt nice!

The next couple days were pretty relaxing. We didn’t do much. Just shopped around a little bit and went to the beach for a couple days. It felt nice to just sit and feel the ocean breeze and put our feet in the water. The past couple days I have been in a bit of a funk. Its been kind of hard. I think its a combination of things. Missing home, missing my significant other, just missing the little things. Don’t get me wrong its been amazing here so far, but I think everyone goes through their emotional days, especially us females! So I apologize to Megan and to our translator Kuroki cause they are around me the most! Two things I’m really excited for, our inter-squad game tomorrow and then our trip to Tokyo this weekend! Its going to be me, Megan and Lauren and her girlfriend Shannon. Its going to be a great adventure on our own! After we get back we will have a couple days of practice and then time for league games again. I’m anxiously awaiting my next start and I can’t wait to take the mound again.

One of my fav quotes to leave you guys with…

How do you act when the pressures on, when the chance for victory is almost gone, when fortunes star has refused to shine, when the ball is on the five yard line?

How do you act when the goings rough, does your spirt lag when breaks are tough? Or, is there in you a flame that glows brighter as fiercer the battle grows?

How hard, how long will you fight the foe? Thats what the world would like to know!

Cowards can fight when they’re out ahead. The uphill grind shows a thoroughbred! You wish for success? Then tell me, how do you act when the pressure’s on?

Thanks again to you all who take the time to read this! I really appreciate it! I miss you guys and I’m so thankful for all of your support :)

Love,

D.E.L

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Some of my ALL-TIME favorite things

So I was sitting at a Seattle’s Best Coffee Shop here in Japan and it had me thinking about letting you guys in on some of my all time fav things! I thought I’d post pics of them all! 

1. First and foremost my family, they are my rock and I love them all so much.

2. My boyfriend, he is such a great influence on me and couldn’t be more supportive of me pursuing my dreams with softball.

3. James Taylor … got introduced to him by my dad, music that is I have yet to meet him but I would LOVE that!

4. Smarties, favorite canadian candy

5. Tattoos, I love them, they are so beautiful and really express people in different ways.

6. Mac Makeup is stunning

7. Babies, I love them, they are able to bring such life out of people and I can’t wait till I’m able to have one and give it the best life possible.

8. Marilyn Monroe- True stunner in all ways.

9. Camping, some of my best memories growing up are by the Shuswap lake with my family

10. Christmas time while watching “A christmas story” such a classic

11. Softball, it has allowed me to do so many things in life and I’m forever grateful for every opportunity

12. An amazing glass of merlot always does the heart good.

13. Nothing beats an amazing night out with red lipstick

14. My trip to hawaii with my girlfriends

15. The movie UP, makes me cry, laugh, and be so happy all at once

16. The disney princesses, they are beautiful!

17. Insanity workouts, you find how mentally tough you are by doing this challenge for 60 days straight

18. My ex boyfriend in the strip shirt, he passed away two years ago, July 4 2010 a VERY VERY VERY hard loss. He was one of the best human beings I’ve ever known. His smile lives on inside me. 

19. My Shokki team here in japan! They are all amazing. 

20. A house decorated with walls of family

21. Washington softball winning the national championship 

22. My old dog Thomas, so hard giving him up for adoption but I couldn’t give him the attention he needs

23. Winnie the pooh, my snuggle partner 

24. Pictures with friends from home, Carlee is one of my all time favorites! We’ve been friends since I was 15!

25. My brother, watching him pursue his dream is amazing and I’m so proud of him

26. Nordstom, favorite store on the planet

27. Dressing babies up in the cutest clothes possible! 

28. My grandparents! They are amazing individuals!

29. Ashley Aven, she passed away of cancer in 2010 but getting to know her made me a better person. She was a fighter and I miss her. 

30. The movie the Sandlot.. my brother pulled a Benny the Jet move trying to steal home a couple games ago! I think he got it from that movie ha! 

 

This about sums it up! All of these things bring the biggest smile to my face! Thanks again to you all that take the time to read this. 

 

Miss you guys

Love

D.E.L

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If you make every game a life-and-death thing, you’re going to have problems. You’ll be dead a lot. ~Dean Smith

What an AMAZING opening weekend! One of the best experiences ever! We opened up in Kyoto, where the championships usually are for the JSA league! All the teams were there competing and it was a really great first trip! We got in on wednesday night, and had a team dinner! We got to bed pretty early because we were the first team to practice on the game field of 12 teams! We had a 6:00 AM wake up call, and had to be at the field ready to practice for 7:30. I’m starting to get used to the hotel breakfast’s here. There is a lot of dinner type food here that I’m not used to that they eat at breakfast, but they do make a mean scrambled eggs with ketchup snuggling right beside it! Meal of champions! We practiced for a couple hours, which for me consists of throwing a mini bullpen prior to a game day and then I spend most of practicing running by myself or taking PFP’S ( pitchers fielding practice). After practice we headed back to the hotel and grabbed some lunch!

Megan is a HUGE fan of Kyoto so she dragged me out to check out some amazing things that convinced me that this place truly is wonderful! We went to a japanese shrine. It was stunning. It was about a 6 mile walk I’d say all and all which is a lot to just walk around but it was beautiful. I took some pictures so you guys can see how truly beautiful it was! Once we walked around a little bit more we headed back to the hotel to meet up with the team for dinner and prepare for game day.

GAME DAY!

I had so many different emotions running through me. I was nervous, I was excited, I was at times kind of sick to my stomach. I think more so just because I had not competed in anything this big in A LONG LONG time. Over here we only play 22 games total in the whole 6 months. You get a chance to play each team the first half and each team the second half, and only the top 4 teams advance to play offs, so EVERY game matters. I put added pressure on to myself as well which was not right. Once we headed to the field, I went through my every day game routine. Crank up the James Taylor tunes and get the mind right. Go through warm up the exact same way I do ALWAYS. We were playing Hitachi Software, they were ranked 4th overall last year so a pretty good team to get right off the bat! That first inning was nerve racking for me. Not to mention the first 2 hitters got on base, and the drummers were going and the fans were cheering like CRAZY. They had runners on first and second none out. I took a step off the mound and turned around to check out my focal point in the outfield. I took giant breaths and tried to calm myself down a bit. I said ” remember its still 43 feet, take your breaths and think one pitch at  time”. We ended up getting out of the inning 1-2-3 after that. So much adrenaline was running through me. The game felt like it was going by slow to me! All of a sudden it was the bottom of the 7 and we were down 1-0. We had the bulk of our line up up 3-4-5 so I was feeling pretty good about it. We ended up coming through in the clutch and scoring 2 to win the game! When that happened it felt like a million pounds was lifted off my shoulders! I couldn’t help but get teary eyed by how excited everyone was and how many hugs I was getting by teammates and our coaching staff! It was a very very great moment in my life and I haven’t been that excited while playing in a long time!

It felt great to get that game out of the way. It was our head coaches first WIN ever as a head coach so that was pretty special. That night honestly allowed me to realize WHY I love this game so much. The relationships you build with people even when you cant properly speak to them on a daily basis is amazing. You still gain that trust and respect and to me that is what is most important. I’m loving this experience so much so far. It is obviously hard being away from my family and my boyfriend but I feel like this experience is making my connection at home with them so much stronger! I’m so excited that every night I get to watch my brothers games, and my boyfriends about to start up real quick here as well!

I’m again so thankful for this opportunity and the people that are helping me throughout the way.

Thanks for taking the time to read this peeps! I appreciate it so much!!

Love,

D.E.L

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Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them — a desire, a dream, a vision. — Muhammad Ali

All I can say is…. I’m so excited that we have an off day today! It has been a LONG couple of days! We finally finished off the Toyota Cup! That consisted of 4 straight days of double headers! It brings me back to my travel ball days! I haven’t done that in a long long time! The weather has been so extremely COLD! Wind blowing in your face! I give the girls on our team ALOT of credit for being able to rally and stay motivated! I was bundled up in pretty much everything and anything when I was not pitching! It was nice to see a consistent lineup out there! Everyone is getting their opportunities prior to the Season home opener on April 14. We ended up going 6-2 throughout the weekend! Not exactly what we wanted, but there IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT. It gives us something to work on for the week! I threw one full game and a couple innings of another game. I have been throwing ok, change up is looking pretty good! Need to get better with location! Thats my goal for the week. Pin point spots in practice! We head to Kyoto on thursday afternoon! All of the league teams are going their to kick off the first game of the tournament! From what I heard it is a gorgeous little city! So I’m looking forward to that experience. Its funny, I’m kind of nervous prior to season opening up here. Not a bad nervous! The kind of nervous I would get while being at UW prior to the pac 10 opening up! I have a week here to really get set, mentally and physically! I always go back to the one and only Ken Ravizza! He has helped me SO much throughout the years! I started to work with him with the Olympic team in 2006 and I owe a lot of my success to him teaching me to stay present pitch to pitch. I highly suggest his book …. you can find it here http://www.amazon.com/Heads-Up-Baseball-Playing-Game-Pitch/dp/1570280215. The man has so much knowledge and I have really become a better athlete after believing and trusting in him.  After we finished up with our Toyota Cup, we went out for dinner as a team. We went with no translator either so it was neat to sit and really have to communicate with the girls. I really love our team. The vets are all so sweet and the rookies are adorable! I posted a pic below of my fav rookie! I call her Peanut! She has a  mask on here because she was starting to get sick, so they make you wear them so you can’t pass anything on to the team! Smart Idea. It felt good to go out and have a nice dinner, followed by some great company! And it has been even better on this off day today! Both Megan and I tried to sleep in! I was up at 8 AM, so I turned on the Blue Jays game from their final cleveland series! I thought they were going to go for the perfect Season! Guess not… KIDDING! Got a good workout in today as well! So now its time to just sit and lounge and rest!

I really have been enjoying my trip here in Japan! It has been above and BEYOND better then I ever expected! Our coaching staff is great! Our living accommodations are awesome as well. I’m really taking a liking to the food! It has not been as difficult to adjust as I thought it was! Being here reminds me of being back in college, the long practice days and game days! Its fun being back in a routine again.

Thanks again to everyone who takes the time to read this, I appreciate you :)

Love

D.E.L

PS: The Blue Jays home opener is tonight, and I’m so excited for my brother! My dad and grandpa made the trip to Toronto! I’m so excited for my grandpa to see my brother play in T.O. What a special day it will be for him. Also, Jamie Campbell did a special on our family that will air prior to the game, it will start at 6! You guys should check it out and let me know what you think!

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I’m so excited for my baby brother!!

Tonight is opening night for the Blue Jays and I couldn’t be more excited for my brother! What an amazing spring training he had. It was so great getting down to Florida for a week and getting to watch him. He looked like he belonged and it was pretty cool! I’m so proud of him, and I’m really looking forward to watching him this season! My dad and grandpa and friends head down to Toronto to watch the Blue jays kick off their home opener against the Red Sox on sunday! I’m so jealous! Anyways… good luck to the Blue Jays this year and to my brosif! I’m so glad I got the MLB Premium package! I will be watching all your games! Thanks again to all the people that take the time to read this! I appreciate it :)

Miss you guys

-D.E.L

PS: Follow the blue jays this year either on twitter @bluejays or go to their web page for updates http://toronto.bluejays.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=tor

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A True Beauty

 
Marilyn Monroe
 
 
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Date of Birth: June 01, 1926 —- Date of Death: August 05, 1962
 
I will dedicate a room to her in my house one day! Stunning in all ways! 
 

It’s all make believe, isn’t it? Marilyn Monroe

Team Dinner Party

What an amazing night of team time here in Japan! It was our beginning of the year dinner. It was nice to just sit and have a couple drinks and enjoy a Japanese style dinner! Like I keep going back to and saying! The rookies do SO MUCH! They did everything for everyone at dinner. They poured our drinks, got our drinks, they served us our food they did EVERYTHING. The rookies and myself all had to give little speeches during dinner! Just saying our name position and kind of our goal for the year. After we had our team dinner, we all went to team karaoke! It was interesting thats for sure! Megan and I got a couple english songs in there but for the most part, it was all japanese! It was a great night bonding with everyone off the field! I can’t wait until season starts! Still a couple weeks away from that! Season opens up April 14! 3 days after my birthday! I can’t believe I’m turning 25, its gone by so fast! 

 

Anyways thanks again for taking the time to read this!!

Miss you guys

Go SHOKKI

<3

D.E.LImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage