Recapping Softball's Spring Break in Florida

    Go Hoosiers! The Hoosiers go to Disney World
    Go Hoosiers!
    The Hoosiers go to Disney World
    Go Hoosiers!

    March 19, 2009

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    What could be better to start Spring Break `09 than a large white van, the warm summer sun, and some wins for the IU softball team. Of course, we had to name the large white van "Shamoo" in honor of the killer whale, which is actually a dolphin.

    On the first Friday of break, we did not get the wins which we had hoped for, but we were able to change the losing streak on Saturday when we played Hofstra. The lead changing grand slam hit by Sara Olson, propelled the Hoosiers to their first victory of the weekend. Celebrating the Hoosier victory, "Shamoo", the team, friends, and family had a nice dinner at Joe's Crab Shack. Well, I guess "nice" is debatable. Before dinner, some of the players and coaches participated in a limbo contest. Although they were some tough competitors, none of them could defeat the little kids that could just walk right under the bar. Some thought the fun was over after the limbo contest, but Coach Rivy (Assistant coach Amanda Rivera) would soon find out that it was just beginning. The previous day was Sarah Padove's birthday so we had asked if they could do something special for her. The team pranked Rivy and told the waiter that it was her birthday too. The waiters played music and made the two of them hula hoop in front of the whole crowd at Joe's Crab Shack. Although Rivy was embarrassed at first, she proved that "her hips don't lie" while hula hooping in the Shack. To finish the evening, some team members shook the shack as they danced to the "Casper Slide." Of course, it would not be a trip in "Shamoo" without making a couple of wrong turns. We got lost on the way home from Joe's Crab Shack, but it was nothing a simple U-turn couldn't fix.



    This nice dinner led the Hoosiers to another victory on Sunday against Loyola Marymount. Despite the Hoosiers' lead in seventh inning, the team wanted to make the game a little more interesting. Loyola scored one run and had bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh. The Hoosiers' tough defense was able to get three outs and gain another victory. After the game, the team decided to go to a local sports restaurant. Little did the Hoosiers know that Sunday nights were karaoke night at this restaurant. Soon after the team sat down to eat, head coach Michelle Gardner was caught off guard when the DJ called her name to sing a song. Once the DJ announced Coach Gardner's name, her face turned bright red, and she refused to sing. She did not think it was as funny as what we thought it would be. Because we had put her name on the list, she made us sing the song for her. A group of us had to go on stage to sing a Journey song. This appearance relieved our stage fright, and we started to enjoy going up to sing karaoke. Before the night was over, Coach Gardner signed up and sang, Rivy and Hebe did a duet, and even Nate, Nick, and Tory sang a tune. The team members decided to sing a song which they always sing in their van. Because (assistant coach Christy Hebert) "Hebe" is the driver of "Shamoo," the name of the group we created was "Hebe and the Shamoos." We sang our van's theme song, which is "I Want to Dance with Somebody," by Whitney Houston. We were having so much fun singing and dancing that three hours had past before we realized it. Once we got everyone to turn in the mic, we headed back to the hotel to rest up for our fun-filled day at Disney World.

    Because Monday was our day off for the week, some of the players and coaches decided to spend the day at Disney World. We began the fun at Magic Kingdom, where we saw some of the characters and the castle. We rode some rides, and then decided to head over to Hollywood Studios for more fun. After rejuvenating ourselves with some food, air conditioning, and seating, we decided to watch the Indiana Jones show. The host of the set asked the crowd for volunteers. Brittany Stein jumped up with open arms, and the host asked her to come on down to the stage. She was used as an extra in the stunts for scenes of Indiana Jones. Stein claims this appearance as her first acting job, and she believes it will be the beginning of her acting career.

    After the show, some of the players ran into the coaches, and we all decided to ride the Tower of Terror together. The wait for the ride was about 45 minutes, which built the anticipation for the ride. Rivy claimed to not be scared, but she was frightened before entering the Tower of Terror. There were 21 seats on the elevator, and we had a group of 18 so we filled the ride. On the way up, Rivy said "Oh, this isn't even scary." By the time the ride was over her tune had changed. She was then yelling, "Make it stop, make it stop!" All of us were amused with her reaction to the ride (see the photo in the photo gallery). We rode some more rides, ate, and then headed back to the hotel to call it a day.

    The next day we got up early for practice, and after practice we were able to go see a spring training game between the Detroit Tigers and the Houston Astros. There was perfect weather, a close game, and of course hot dogs to eat. What more could someone ask for at a major league baseball game? After the game we headed back to the hotel to relax and enjoy the rest of the day.

    On Wednesday, we practiced again and then headed to the Tampa Beach to get a little more sun before heading back to rainy Indiana. Splashing in the water, burying people in the sand, and riding wave runners completed our trip to the beach. Spring Break '09 would not be complete without one more U-turn by the coaches. They crossed the bridge over the bay before realizing it was the wrong direction. A last U-turn would get the vans returned to the airport and on a safe flight back to Indiana to start getting ready for the Big Ten Season opener on Saturday at the IU Softball Field.

    --Kristin King and Kelli Ritchison


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