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2014 Season

Looking Back on the 2014 NPF Season

By: Cat Osterman

Cat’s Corner is back!!

Cat's-corner (1)I’ll be coming to you guys on the first Monday of every month to keep you up to date on the new happenings in my life, my teammates’ lives (since we all stay in touch), and anything else I find blogable.

Well season has been over for a week, and it’s been the longest week ever! I can speak for our entire team when I say we genuinely miss each other. I love seeing notifications from Group Me (the app we group text in) because it usually means some great conversation or pictures are being shared. As you can see, we love each other, so when we go back home and rejoin our off-season lives, we have withdraws.

This season was a special one. I don’t think any of us could have predicted everything that would unfold. We returned a good core group of veterans that have played together for a long time, but we also added a good crop of rookies and athletes acquired through trades. In all, the talent we had also added up to some good team chemistry, which allowed us to never skip a beat.

So for a season recap… well for the first time in a while the Pride came out of the gates pretty fast. We usually take a while to gel and really hit stride, but this year was different. Our rookies came in and bought in right away. Some of them learned that us “old folks” still work hard regardless of age or accomplishments, right Cassie? Us veterans heard quite a few old jokes or old comments at the beginning of season, but I think that made us all loosen up and gel together too. A fun environment was created, and as each rookie rolled in, they jumped on board.

Veteran outfielders Watley, Lowe, & Kretschman posing with the 2014 Cowles Cup

Veteran outfielders Watley, Lowe, & Kretschman posing with the 2014 Cowles Cup

Our veterans never cease to amaze me. I am lucky to have such an amazing set of outfielders. Caitlin Lowe doesn’t let anything drop. Kelly Kretschman will make great catches and perfect throws. And this year, Natasha Watley joined them, playing like she had been a left fielder her whole life. I could talk all day about those three because they make it look easy on both sides of the field. Cait and Tash continue to put on slapping clinics and allow our younger players a chance to pick their brains.

Personally, I had a tremendous season. After our last regular season game, I sat on the end of my bed in amazement because I would never have predicted a season like this one. I can’t pin point what was different, but I don’t take this season for granted. It almost was the season that never happened. I am glad I changed my mind and put the uniform back on.

Let’s get to the real good stuff, playoffs!! The Pride won the regular season, which matched us up against the Rebellion. As a team, we constantly talked the last few weeks of season about coming together and playing for all 23 of us. That first game of playoffs, our team showed our oneness. We played as a complete package, and it was absolutely enjoyable.

The Akron Racers joined us in the final series this year. We know they are always coming out of the gates with energy and guns blazing. Inning by inning we kept calm and played our game. I think that is the one consistent key to the Pride. We play our game at all time. If you watch, emotions aren’t too high or too low. We are emotionally pretty even. (Note I am talking about the team as a whole, I can admit my emotions don’t always stay even!)

The Racers gave us a good match up. Game one went 8 innings, but I knew our team would come through. Each and every player had been clutch at some point during the season, so it was no surprise when we finally broke through with GiOnna’s RBI single. I did take a ball off the shin, and a little over a week later it’s calming down. It felt ok the day after, but when I returned home, the swelling increased to where I had a cankle. That’s not a good look!

The final game of championships was a storybook ending! When Danielle Lawrie entered the game for us, I just had a gut feeling we were going to win. D is one of the fiercest competitors I have ever met, so there was no doubt she would take care of business. Brigette Del Ponte opened the door for scoring with a monster home run, and we never looked back. I watched this game in complete awe. I had to warm up for a brief stint, but I knew I wasn’t going in. DL was going to end her pro career with the best exit you can expect!

I have to congratulate Andrea Duran on her Player of the Year award! While she was surprised by it, I actually called it, just ask Sandberg! Also, Madison Shipman as Rookie of the Year was no surprise. Maddie came in swinging like a vet, and soaked up as much info as she could in the infield. I think one of the best sights of the summer was watching Natasha give Maddie an infielding lesson the first practice at playoffs! Seeing Tash teach is awesome, but seeing Madison geek out because she’s getting to learn from Tash was even better! (Sorry Maddie, I blew your secret)

Osterman (17)This summer was different. The team, despite wide age gaps, got along differently than in the past. It was fun to be a part of this group and see the way it all played out. There are too many stories to share and memories made to put them all in one blog, so I’ll have to save those for later!

The first week of off season has been so long! Each morning I wake up missing my teammates. When our group texts go off, I know I’ll be smiling and enjoying their company from a far. It’s really incredible what a few short months can do to a group of girls!

I’m back at work already! I completed my first week as a Bobcat of Texas State University!

Before I go, it’s September, which means it’s childhood cancer awareness month. Two different children with cancer have affected my life! Take time to raise awareness or donate! Jordan Taylor has a fund set up for this cause, so check her website out, and help these children beat cancer!

For Jordan’s website CLICK HERE

Until next time….




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