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.
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!!