Softball

European Championships 2019: Israel Softball

By on July 24, 2019

Now that I am back from Europe, I was finally able to recollect all my thoughts from the European Softball Championships! We got 9th place and went 7-2 at the tournament. That does, however, end our Olympic quest.

This tournament format is much different than I am typically used to. It starts out with pool play where it is a round robin with 5 teams. Based on how you do in the pool, then you get sorted into a separate pool for a more tournament style. There was three of these pools. The top pool was where eight teams would fight to be top six in order to qualify for the European/Africa Olympic qualifier. We were in the middle pool and fought for country pride and to earn the highest ranking possible.

It was such a great experience to be able to play teams from all over Europe and Russia. Everyone speaks different languages and they all come from different experiences and levels of softball. It’s fascinating to see all the different customs that these teams have and how they interact with the game.

Israel Softball definitely surprised a lot of people and I can’t wait to continue what will be the future legacy of this team.

What is something that you’ve been trying to achieve lately? Let me know in the comments below.

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Softball | Travel

Israel Softball: Touring Israel Experience

By on June 26, 2019

This summer, I have been given the unique opportunity play for the Israeli National Softball team. As I write this, we are preparing for the European Championships. Last week, we were able to travel all across Israel. These were some highlights:

Masada: 

An ancient fortress, hike, and educational spot. Masada has an interesting history to where some people may feel an unknown juju while they are at the top of the plateau.  

Yad Vashem: 

This is the World Holocaust Remembrance Center. It was an informative experience. We only had about 1.5 hours in there because they close at 5pm, but one could spend days in there. This was my second time at Yad Vashem and fourth holocaust museum experience; this museum has so many stories to tell and if you are ever in Israel, I recommend that you go. 

Western Wall (Kotel):

This is a holy site where people come from all over the world to pray. I was able to do this with my teammates and it was incredibly special. 

We also took tours of the underground tunnels at the Kotel. It is remarkable how they were able to excavate this site and how they are continuing to do so. 

Tel Aviv: HaCarmel Market Shook

HaCarmel market is one of my favorite markets. Here, you can purchase tchotchkes for your family at home. These stores will likely rip you off if you do not haggle, so do not take the first price they give you.

At the Shook there is also extremely cheap street food for 10 sheckles or less (less than $3).

Just beware, personal space does not really exist here. 

Rosh Hanikra

This is not only the border between Israel and Lebanon, but it is also home to beautiful caves with spectacular views.

Bahá’í Gardens 

This terrace garden is a magnificent site in the middle of the city of Haifa. This holy site belongs to those of the Bahá’í faith. It is a whole lot of green surrounded by city and desert. 

We arrived too late to walk up the terrace, but I still managed to get a picture of this beautiful garden from the gate. 

Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee is a freshwater lake in the northern part of Israel just near the Golan Heights. This lake has a lot of historical and religious significance and many people come to see and go in the Sea.  

Dead Sea

This is the lowest point in the world and you actually float in the water! The saltwater does burn, so do not shave right before you go. If you have any unknown papercuts or wounds, you will find out where they are when you go in. 

Unless you go to a spa, you will have to purchase Dead Sea mud from the stores nearby. 

That was my touring adventures in Israel! We head out soon to the Czech Republic for the European Championships! I can’t wait!

Have you ever been to Israel? If so, where is your favorite tourist spot?

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Softball

Women’s College World Series Experience: As A Player

By on June 5, 2019

This year was the first time in 9 years that Arizona Softball has been able to go to the Women’s College World Series (WCWS). The WCWS is where the top 8 teams in the country go head to head for a national championship. This is after a grueling regional of 4 teams where we played Harvard and then Auburn twice. I had a pinch-hit opportunity in the regional against Auburn where I hit a single up the middle that scored our only two runs. Pinch hitting is definitely a mindset, and I am glad that I was able to come through in that situation. The super-regional, that next weekend, was against Ole Miss, where we won two games to clinch a ticket to the WCWS in Oklahoma City. 

            The Monday after super-regionals we had practice and we left on Tuesday morning. No journey is without some road blocks; we got to school at 5:30 am to find out that a bird flew into the engine of our plane. We had to wait until 1pm to get a new plane. The flight was bumpy with lots of clouds and tornado warnings, but we got there and were ready to roll!! Unfortunately, we missed our practice slot, so our first stop was the NCAA Banquet that involved food and mingling with former teammates from other teams. I even got a picture with the Championship trophy! At this banquet, the NCAA welcomed us to the WCWS and gave out a few awards for national players of the year. Soon after, we went to the hotel to go to bed. 

            Wednesday morning, it clear that it had rained the night before and would continue to be gloomy for the rest of the day. Practice at the USA Softball Hall of Fame complex was cancelled, so we went to an indoor facility to practice instead. After practice, we rested, and then were treated to gifts from our equipment lady, Emily, aka Santa! It was a Nike swag bag filled with a bunch of goodies. We also received this cute wristlet from Rawlings.

         

   Thursday morning was game day! We warmed up on one of the fields behind the stadium field. Our bat bags were carried by volunteers around the ball park. That’s how you know you made it big time. It was a little strange though not carrying our own stuff. The locker room at the stadium field had name plates with our names on it and a gift from Degree. It was deodorant. Are they trying to tell us something? I am not mad though. 

            The field is a different experience. It feels like you are playing at a high-level minor league ball park. The stands are packed, it smells like ballpark food, and camera people are everywhere; by everywhere I mean mostly in the way. This stadium doesn’t feel too much different from our own beautiful Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium that was renovated/built this past year. Arizona softball has been lucky enough to have sold out games for weeks on end. We are used to playing for lots of people in a cozy atmosphere. HOF stadium is different because there are more spectators than actual fans there, so it does not necessarily feel like everyone is there just for your team or any team in general. The atmosphere is different and electric, but at the end of the day it is the same game that we can play anywhere in the country. 

            We won the first game against Washington. We lost to UCLA on Friday. Saturday there was a three-hour game delay during the first game of the day, we were the fourth game. Our game versus Alabama started at around 10:30/11pm. We were done around 1am, with unfortunately a loss playing on the biggest stage in the world.

After a five-hour plane delay, because a bird once again broke our plane, we finally flew back to Tucson. 

Our season and my college softball career are now over. The end. 

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Makeup | Softball

5 Different Game Day Eyeshadow Looks

By on May 15, 2019

Having a key game day eyeshadow is clutch when you want some consistency in your life. The game gets tough, but doing your eyeshadow shouldn’t be. Here are 5 different eyeshadow looks that my teammates and I have worn to games.

35F Fall Into Frost Artistry Palette $24 fromMorphie

Urban Decay NAKED1 Palette This palette was purchased while it was discounted before it was off the market. However, this look can be recreated with the NAKED2 or NAKED3 Eyeshadow Palette $54

This palette was purchased while it was discounted before it was off the market. However, this look can be recreated with the NAKED2 or NAKED3 Eyeshadow Palette $54

It’s All In the Eyes Volume 1: Cactus, Desert, Fog and Sand $86 ($68 for preferred clients) from Arbonne

Tarte Rainforest of The Sea Highlighting Eyeshadow Palette Vol III $36 from Tarte Cosmetics

Eye Lustre Creme Eyeshadow: $22 $22 from Ciate London

What is your favorite eyeshadow palette or colors to use for game day? Let me know in the comments below!

*Disclaimer: These thoughts are solely my own and we purchased our own makeup.

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Softball

Black Eye Playing College Softball and the Facemask Debate

By on May 8, 2019

A few weeks ago, I was hit in the face with a ball while we were at Utah. I had a gnarly black eye for a week or so.

This comes to the debate of facemask vs. no facemask while batting at the college level. The game has certainly changed over the years with the color of the ball and the distance being altered. Softball shifted from an extremely dominant pitcher’s game to more of a hitter’s game. 

Facemasks are a precaution applied paternalistically to all young girls playing softball. It provides (for the most part) protection of the face; I still have seen freak accident exceptions. In college, the rules change, and these young women are able to remove the mask knowing the risks. Reasons some choose to take off their facemasks range from them being bulky, heavy, and blocking eyesight.

My next question is targeted towards whether young girls are taught to turn their back when pitches are coming at them. It becomes second nature as you get older, it is also partially human instinct. In my specific case, I’m glad I was able to turn fast enough, or my black eye could have turned into something else more severe. Some people are not as lucky, but I knew the risk when I took off the mask three years ago.  

I do believe that the rise of elbow guards, especially bulky ones, have caused girls to go into pitches rather than trying to get out of the way. I was guilty of this when I was younger, but it hurts to get hit by pitches and umpires are starting to call back girls who are over the plate/out of the box.  

Wearing a facemask in college is your personal choice as long as you understand the risks. Do whatever feels most comfortable for you, but practice moving out of the way of pitches and turning your back, it could save your face in the long run. 

Have you ever had any sports injuries? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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