Hi! My name is Rachel Brummer and I am a junior outfielder on the Butler Softball team. Here you will find an inside look at the team's daily adventures as we strive to make this year a season to remember. Thanks for checking us out. Enjoy!
It's a brand new beginning for all of us. We have new coaches, new athletic trainers and a beautiful new field under construction. It will be game-ready in the spring.
Our coaching staff now consists of head coach Scott Hall and assistants Meaghan Slack and Casey Clutch. Coach Hall has come to Butler from Pendleton Heights High School, where he taught biology and coached its softball team. Each have exceptional all-around expertise. Coach Slack takes care of the outfield while Coach Clutch works with the pitchers.
Our field is going to look amazing...no other word for it. We're all so excited about it. Coach Hall and others have been working hard on it all summer so we'll be able to play on it for opening day. The field's interior was bulldozed: new dirt was laid in the infield and the outfield was smoothed. The dugouts were remodeled and the bullpen/batting cage was redone.
Fixing up the batting cage was an experience in itself. Coach decided to lay down turf to replace the weed-laden dirt cage. Instead of conditioning one afternoon, we embarked in moving rolls of turf from behind the baseball field to ours. The rolls were huge, heavy, damp, disgusting and infested with bugs, due to the fact that the turf had become a part of the forest it was laid on. Mini trees were growing out of the moldy rolls and insects I never knew existed were crawling everywhere. I don't even want to think about the smell.
It took a full team effort. We managed to lift the rolls onto a trailer attached to the back of Coach Hall's truck and transport them across the canal and through the neighborhoods of Rocky Ripple to our field. We then rolled them back out again. One power wash later and the turf's color turned back to green. Sweaty, scratched and covered in dirt, we admired our work. The addition of the turf made an immediate aesthetic impact, if I must say. Then we went and benched. I can't remember the last time I was that sore.
On the other hand, having a field-in-progress has rather complicated our fall practices. It has been difficult to find space to work on defense. A few times, we have been forced to set up a makeshift field on the intramural soccer field. It's not so bad for outfielders, seeing as we play on grass anyway. However, it's a different story for infielders. Luckily we have the hitting facility.
We've been holding 6:30 a.m. practices in the indoor hitting facility on Tuesdays and Thursdays, where we do a lot of station work, front toss and live pitching. I don't mind getting up that early to practice. It's one of the few times during the week where we can have everyone there for most of the practice. Also, it's nice to see the sunrise for a reason other than studying all night. In addition, we lift regularly on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons.
Balancing school and softball is going to be a challenge for a lot of us this semester. As we move deeper into our majors, we run across required classes that come into conflict with practice time. Many of these classes have one section and are held at a specific time. This is the case with my journalism classes. On Thursdays, my mass communication ethics class ends during weights, so I have to make up the workout on my own with Coach Peal, our strength and conditioning coach, right after morning hitting. On Mondays and Wednesdays, my sports journalism class keeps me from the entire practice if we go off-campus. It's so frustrating. Also, with all this class comes an inexhaustible load of homework. Coffee, please?
We started practice on September 1. Eleven days and one practice on a legitimate field later, we found ourselves playing our first games. It was a wonderful feeling to put the uniform back on; we sure were looking good in our whites.
During the Sept. 10-11 weekend, we were playing at IUPUI in their fall tournament. On Saturday, we played Marian in the morning and the University of Indianapolis in the afternoon. We came away with two wins. Congratulations to Erin Falkenberry, who hit her first home run of the fall: a rocket that just cleared the center field fence. It happened to be a grand slam.
In all, it wasn't a bad start. There were many things we did well, and there are some things we need to work on. That's what the fall season is all about, though. This is the time where we can improve on what elements we need to get better at and perfect the things that are going well. The next couple of months will involve a lot of lifting, conditioning and individual skill work.