Beth Miller is a sophomore outfielder from East Dubuque, Illinois. She logged a quick journal entry each of the days the Duhawks were in central Florida for their annual Spring trip. Here's a quick look at the week from her perspective...
Day 1, Travel to Florida
After a long day of traveling, we finally arrived at our condos in Clermont, Florida. We started the trip off at 10:15am, with a 3 hour bus ride to Milwaukee, then we had a 3 hour flight to Orlando, and then we had about an hour wait for our three 12 passenger vans, and finally finished our day with an hour ride to our condos and arrived around 11:00 pm.
Days 2-3, JV games and dinner
The Duhawks seemed a little jetlagged on Wednesday and came out flat. Our first two games ended up being losses. We had strong pitching performances by Kellie Klein and Michelle Sabintini, but the Duhawks couldn't find any offensive support. After the games we went to our favorite place to eat in Florida, Firehouse subs. On Thursday, Coach Rachael showed up just in time for the second JV game. Lara Mangialardi fired a 3 hitter in her first start on the mound, but the Duhawks had a few costly errors and ended up with another loss. We put up a good fight, but couldn't seem to find that "first win." After the games we had a team dinner with parents and players around the pool and ate pizza and went for a late night swim!
Days 4-5, Finally a big win
On Friday things still were not looking good for us. We had early morning games, and just didn't bring an offense with us. Once again, we went 0-2. But after coming off the loss, we had almost 24 hours before we would play our next games, so we went to the beach again. This time we fed the fish, saw a turtle, and jumped on the water trampoline and a water slide.
Finally, Saturday night came and we knew we had to fix something. We played at 5:30 and 7:30, but with the games far behind, we didn't start playing our first game until 7:15. With all the waiting, we still did put up a fight, but went down 1-0. Enough was enough. Coaches, players, and parents all wanted a win so bad. And here is where the Duhawks came to play. With strong offense and defense, the Duhawks pulled out a 14-0, 5 inning win over Knox.
Day 5, Coming home with a win
With not much sleep the past few nights, Sunday morning came too soon. After not getting back until 11:30, we had to have everything packed, cleaned, and put away in the condos to load the vans at 7:00 am. We played a nationally ranked Cortland team bright and early at 9:30 and just couldn't keep up. We went down 5-2 in that first game. Then our team's bats started to wake up; winning the second game 5-1. A great way to end the Florida trip with a win to think about on the way home. We flew home to Chicago on Sunday night and arrived back in Dubuque at around 2:30 am Monday. It was a long trip but it was a good week of team bonding and competitive softball.
Even though our record might not shown it, I feel like this team has a lot of potential. After playing ranked teams and playing doubleheaders for five days in a row, the Duhawks have set the bar high and will be ready for the Iowa Conference.