Gauchos.360

A blog by the softball team


NOVEMBER 29, 2012

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimension.” 
- Oliver Wendell Holmes 

After attending this year’s NCAA Student-Athlete Forum in Dallas, Texas, I can definitely say that it was an experience that has been one of the most memorable of my college years so far.  Hundreds of student-athlete leaders from Division I through Division III gathered in the Lone Star State to learn about our individual styles of behavior and leadership, our core values as leaders, personal awareness, and more importantly earned the opportunity to represent our universities as “agents of change.”  

Over four days, we spent morning to night interacting with other student-athletes, coaches, and athletic professionals discovering new skills and applying them within various activities throughout the weekend.  One of the most impacting aspects of the conference for me was the ability to create enduring relationships with people from such diverse walks of life.  Broken into nineteen “color teams” of about thirty people each, I was honored to be a part of the most amazing team of the forum: LAVENDARRRRRR!  Initially, I didn’t have much idea or expectation of what these groups would entail; I truthfully just wanted my favorite colored lanyard.  However, as the weekend progressed, our Lavender team transformed from merely a bunch of individuals to what we can honestly call a family.   

Meeting in our groups daily, we were able to discover more about ourselves through learning more about each other.  In the presence of top tier athletes, Olympians, campus leaders, and overall extremely intellectual individuals, I could only leave the forum inspired and forever changed to fulfill the true meaning of leadership: “The ability to engage, influence, and inspire others towards accomplishing shared goals.”  

One of the most powerful experiences of the weekend was our service activity for the Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas, where the entire forum collaborated to create over 3,000 care packages.  In this moment is where our team turned from good to great.  Eager at the ability to give back, in what we learned as servant leadership, every member effortlessly flowed into a task and executed it with perfection…no surprise why we eventually became this year’s “60 Second Showdown” champions. 

While much of our time was actually spent with all of the members of the conference, I quickly grew more excited to meet with my lavender family than anything else.  Living in a relatively homogenous culture of California, it was refreshing to experience those who lived entirely different lifestyles than my own.  In fact, a couple group members were from small towns in the Midwest where leisurely activities included tractor riding, while another even lived in Israel!

Conference rivals, game day opponents, and those who play entirely different sports than our own so easily meshed and were able to forefront our similarities rather than highlight our differences.   I was astonished at how quickly entire strangers could allow ourselves to be open and honest, and even sometimes vulnerable.  I found it truly dynamic to witness the growth of each individual throughout each meeting - whether it was coming out of their shells, embracing their high energy personalities, or learning how to take a step back to share their leadership roles.   As a typically reserved person on and off of the field, I personally was motivated to become more open to spontaneity and uncover my inner energetic athlete. 

As student-athletes, we assume the roles of leaders amongst our peers, within our communities, and on our campuses.  However, what stuck with me was that merely holding the label does not make us leaders, rather it is our actions.  It spurred me to think, what have I contributed to become a future leader and how can I improve myself to become inspiration for others?

“Leaders lead by example, whether they intend to or not.” - Neale Walsh

At the conclusion of the NCAA Student-Athlete Forum, I left Dallas with friendship, purpose, and family.   With my junior season just weeks away, this experience has engrained within me a small piece of every one of my lavender teammates.   I’m more enthralled than ever to be able to play the game that I love and take on yet another school year and season - passionately, rejuvenated, and aware of the leader that I can be. 

Andriana Collins


SEPTEMBER 24, 2012

Sophomore year is already here! It felt weird moving the freshmen into their dorms this year because it seems like just yesterday that DeJanee, Jenessa, and I were the ones who were getting the help to move into the dorms. I cannot explain how fast and exciting my first year in college was. Experiencing the big lectures with hundreds of students in one class, studying late at night, playing on a Division I softball team, and living on my own for the first time. It was a lot of fun but at the same time challenging and rewarding to see hard work pay off.

I cannot explain how much I have learned as a student and athlete at UCSB. I definitely learned studying is big, we have all heard we need to study but it never hits you until finals week is right around the corner. Let's just say I will consider studying even more this year than I did last year. I am looking forward to learning just as much this year, if not more than last year.

Having a year under my belt I am overly excited to play some games, and getting ready for the season and pushing hard. Last year we did great but this year we will be better than great. We lost five great seniors and they will be missed, but I am really excited for the eight incoming players. This past weekend our team had many laughs during our team bonding barbecue and played Catch Phrase. If you ever have shy players, Catch Phrase is the way to go, that game gets the shyest people to talk and yell out whatever they want. Just by playing Catch Phrase I can tell we have a competitive team, nobody likes to lose. Let's just say Catch Phrase got intense, and I can tell that the incoming players will fit in perfectly -- especially with the competitiveness.

Our team may be young this year, but age will not matter. We will all practice hard and meet our goal, BIG WEST CHAMPS, and our next goal… SERIES. This year is the year, as well as all the years to come. 

Shelby Wisdom 


MAY 19, 2012

And then there were 10....

Probably one of the smallest (but greatest!) teams in UCSB softball history just became five girls smaller.

It still has not sunk in yet that I will no longer be playing softball for UCSB. To say these past four years flew by would be an understatement but this year has undoubtedly been the most memorable of them all.

As I said before, we may have had the smallest roster in number but I think we made the biggest impact on each other. I mean who else could say that when they had the bases loaded, a girl up to bat, a girl on deck, and a pitcher and catcher in the bullpen there was literally about three players left in the dugout to handle all our obnoxious cheers…but really!

On a more serious note, the odds were not usually in our favor but we fought through and ended with the best conference record this school’s program has had. The saying is true “it doesn’t matter how you start, it matters how you finish” and that is exactly what we told ourselves! It would have been easy to just give up after a challenging preseason but as we started to see the results we wanted in conference, when it mattered most, we only got stronger!

Going into our last game there was still a chance of winning a Big West title and that alone is something I will never forget about this team. The fact that we were small in number made each person’s job that much more important we knew that it would take everyone on this team to get through the fight.

Now that it is all over I am not sure what to do with this new thing they call “free time” but I do know that I will miss being a part of team and all of the memories we have made together. This has been the best four years of my life and I cannot believe it is already over. Guess it is time for me to grow up…

Once a Gaucho, Always a Gaucho. :)

Krista Cobb
 


APRIL 11, 2012

"Seriously though Alli, enjoy these next four years of college. They are going to be the best years of your life. Never take them for granted because they go by faster than you realize."

Probably one of the most cliché pieces of advice anyone could give a freshman just starting their college career. I remember thinking to myself "Yeah, yeah. That's what everyone says. I'll believe it when I see it." Then.... BLINK. Hello Spring Quarter 2012!!

Not quite sure how that happened. One day I'm lost on the bike path trying to find my Intro to Philosophy lecture at some building with a name I don't know how to pronounce, then the next day I'm getting emails that I need to order my announcements and cap and gown for graduation coming up in two months. Now I'm "THAT GIRL", going around telling my freshmen teammates the same advice I received when I was their age.  I never expected my senior season to arrive so quickly.

Spring Break went smoothly, not to mention the team trip to the movies to see "The Hunger Games" (in IMAX) was a big plus! We have now already played through two conference series with only five remaining, and I wish there was a pause button somewhere to slow it down. I'm looking forward to continuing to put on a Gauch-Show with the team for the rest of the season. We are all excited to show off our amazing  "soft-baller" skills to the rest of the opponents in the Big West.

I can't help but think of how much I'm going to miss the little things about our team and the traditions and inside jokes we have made throughout the years. For example, the seniors in the back of the bus (aka Jenny, Lainey, and Krista) trapping the underclassmen in the bathroom while on the road (or that one time we accidentally jammed the door shut on AC and couldn't get her OUT of the bathroom... oops). Or how about the game day eye black we wear to appear fierce and make the other team shake in their cleats out of fear.

I always think about my teammates and how much they're probably going to miss me after season ends (insert sarcastic tone and winky face). All jokes aside, it has definitely been a super fantastic (almost) four years as a Gaucho and I'm excited to have been lucky enough to be part of a team with such enjoyable girls. So before I get all sappy and depressing that my life as a student-athlete is almost over, let me just leave you all with some lyrics from our favorite song, "We Are Young" by the band Fun.  "Tonight, We Are Young. So let's set the world on Fire! We can burn Brighter, than the sun!" 

 Allison Taylor


MARCH 12, 2012
Aloha, Gaucho Fans!

Our latest voyage landed us in the beautiful islands of Hawaii. While in Hawaii we not only tuned up our softball skills but we also became expert hula dancers and spear throwers, and even fluent in the Hawaiian phrases Mahalo and Shaka!  

The most memorable experience in Hawaii was our team dinner at the luau in Paradise Cove where we were able to soak up some of the authentic Hawaiian culture and history. This night was full of fun entertainment and beautiful scenery, perfect for showing off on our Facebook and Instagram. One of the highlights of the luau was watching one of the Hawaiian dancers twirl and throw a torch of fire up in the air without dropping it. His moves were definitely impressive, yet I must admit they didn’t even compare to the hula dancing moves of Coach Brie as she busted out some Shakira hip shaking on stage. It was so fun to see our own coach up on stage dancing next to the-oh-so-attractive shirtless Hawaiian men. 

But our fun adventures didn’t end there, the following day we toured the streets of Waikiki. We were able to get some cool Hawaiian souvenirs along the way and I even snuck in a picture with a parrot on my shoulder!

Overall, the trip to Hawaii was a great experience. I feel so blessed to have had the opportunity to play the game I love in such a beautiful place and I can’t wait to go back next year to face U of H in the Big West Conference! 

McKenzie Kane 


JANUARY 20, 2012

Wow these past two weeks have been crazy! I can now say that I have successfully survived myfirst challenge week. Do I get a plaque of something? From running down to Goleta Beach and digging in the sand for flags to run down the pier, running the stairs at Harder Stadium, and sprinting on the track and pushing prowlers, all of us were pushed to our limits. Can you say six pack? We gotta get in shape for the Hawaii tournament this year. ;)

On Monday, we had a scavenger hunt downtown. We had to follow the clues that Coach Brie texted to us which told us to create crazy handshakes, take attitude pictures next
tostatues, and get strangers to sing about

UCSB with us. It was a blast. Once each team made it back we had a few more team challenges next to the water. In the end we had thrown both Coach Brie and Coach Ramos into the water and poor Brooke was pushed in too! The best part? We got it all on tape!

After we had made a pit stop at CVS to get some dry clothes and princess slippers we sat around the campfire with s’mores and pizza and really got to know each other better. We shared different things about ourselves and played campfire games. After playing Mafia with the team, I’ve decided that if we were ever in a small town with random killings happening, the town would be doomed. 

I can’t believe I am finally living my dream as a D1 athlete. In these short four months that I have been here I can honestly say that I feel like part of a family and I can’t wait to help take the team on our voyage to paint the world blue and gold :)   

Jenessa Jeppesen 


JANUARY 9, 2012

Wow, I can’t believe that my first quarter of college is already over. When I was told that this year would go fast, I didn’t believe them. But I definitely do now! It feels like yesterday that Jenessa, Shelby, and I were moving into our dorms and saying our last goodbyes to our parents.

I speak for all incoming freshmen when I say that college is an adjustment. It took me a while to get used to my busy schedule and getting to know my way around. After just a quarter, I already feel like a veteran in giving directions; however, I’m sure a couple of my teammates would disagree. 

Now that I’m a college student, I can speak for all college students across the nation that the worst part of being a college student is finals week. I’ve never seen our campus and dorms so quiet. It was unusual to not see thousands of people on the bike paths like I do every day since I’ve been at UCSB. Finals were tough for me, but I made sure that I was studying whenever I had free time. After passing my statistics class with an A- (YAY!), I can surely say that the more hours of studying you do will increase the probability of getting a higher grade; however, association does not mean causation. :)

Before I returned to my lovely hometown in Nor Cal, I got the privilege of working our Winter Advanced Showcase Camp. I was so happy that so many young, and talented athletes were interested in coming to Santa Barbara and playing for this awesome program. Being out there, helping out the recruitees made me feel a little old, but at the same time I enjoyed being able to share my experiences as a collegiate athlete when they asked me questions. It reminded me of when I went to the same winter camp three years ago, it seems so long ago now. However, back then I only dreamed about playing collegiate ball, and now I can actually say I’m living my dreams and what better place to live it than in beautiful Santa Barbara? 

In these very short three months I have experienced so much. I am so excited to play with such a hard working and talented team. Fall came and went so quickly, and now I’m excited to finally start my first season with the Gauchos after we come back from winter break. Coach Brie put together a strong, challenging schedule that I’m sure our team is ready to paint blue and gold on our voyage to the Big West Championship. I’m looking forward to the competitive softball that I’ve always loved since I started playing this game.

Winter break has been fun, but I’m ready to get back to Campus Diamond with my team and get ready for my first season as a Gaucho.

DeJanee Moore 


DECEMBER 14, 2011

Finally, we finished the one week of the quarter that we dread the most…finals week. This year it seemed to be even crazier for some than usual. Miraculously though, this was the first time that, personally, I wasn’t as stressed for my finals, which was a nice change for once. Maybe it’s a little bit of senioritis kicking in or just getting used to the system. All of my finals were either take-home finals or papers, so yes, they did require time but no last-minute cramming…which I would never do anyway, but still :) I’ve just heard it's something people do. 

Anyway, the library was a mad house and when the doors opened at 7am you would've thought that people were Black Friday shopping just to get a good seat close to an outlet. That’s why finally senior year I’ve beat the system and figured out a couple secret spots to avoid the mess -- like Denny’s because they give you free refills on coffee and are open 24 hours. I’ll probably end up thanking them and the employees at Starbucks for helping me graduate.

Now I’m back at home in Oak Park and we finally have all of my family together again since summer because my brother is home from school as well. It’s a good change to be home and not having to stress about any schoolwork during this time especially over the holidays. In a couple weeks I’ll be returning to beautiful Santa Barbara to start off my final season as a Gaucho! I’m really going to take in these final tournaments like Hawaii, which I’m really excited about because I’ve never been there before! It’s crazy to think that this past quarter was my last fall quarter at UCSB. These years have flown by way too fast but I’m already looking forward to winter quarter and being back on the field with everyone to start our voyage!

Actual photo outside the library during finals week:

Jenny Liepman


NOVEMBER 20, 2011

Wow, fall quarter has been flying by! It feels like it was yesterday that I played in my first college fall ball game. The fall games went by way too quickly. We came out really excited to finally get back on the field and ready to show our amazing fans all the hard work we have been putting in.

Finally being back to action on the field really got me excited for our softball voyage this season! I think we can all agree that we had a successful fall season and we definitely put on a 5-star GAUCH-SHOW!

These last couple weeks we have been working so hard and it has definitely shown. Last week, we went through another series of tests in the weight room to see how hard we have been working and how much stronger we have gotten since last time we tested. To say the least, there was a lot of hulking out and getting swoll. We all pushed ourselves to beat our previous personal records, showing that all our hard work has turned into some results!

We only have a few days until Thanksgiving and the thought of being home and off from school for a little bit is a much-needed break. I can hardly wait to finally get some real home-cooked meals and see my family! As soon as we get back from break we’ll be turning our beast-mode back on to continue working hard for our voyage! 

Kat Pilpil



NOVEMBER 3, 2011

It was Halloween weekend; a time where anybody can be anyone they want to be. As is Gaucho Softball custom, on Monday we dressed up in our costumes for weights, conditioning then practice. We had a whole ship of pirates aboard the S.S. Gaucho, three crayons, a couple superheroes and even a prisoner!

But I think I speak for the team when I say that Best Dressed should go to Kat’s impression of Coach Brie. Decked out in sweats, a jacket, hat and CBG’s signature paper tucked into her hat, we all got a kick out of her outfit. After a few good laughs, it was time to go to work.

Though we all looked pretty funny, practice was no joke! Unfortunately, I had to leave early for class, but I was informed that our running didn’t end when we left the turf. The girls told me that they ran through IV doing a series of exercises, such as wall sits, along the way. I wonder what people thought when they saw a bunch of costumed people sprinting down the streets.

But through all the fun and costumes, we have been putting in a lot of work. From prowler suicides to live defense to hours and hours of study hall, we are all putting in hard work on and off the field. And it’s definitely paying off; everyone is getting stronger and faster! We are looking forward to a few more wins this weekend and a great year! 

K.gill



OCTOBER 18, 2011

Fall quarter is already flying by and I can’t believe we already have midterms approaching! After having our first meetings of the year together as a team, we are officially ready to begin our voyage!

To clear up the confusion, our team ‘s metaphor for this year is that our season will be like a voyage at sea on our blue and gold ship - fearlessly taking on any storm or obstacles standing in our way! We took a look at our 2012 schedule together to see all of the teams and places that will soon be painted over with blue and gold, because the Gauchos are spending this fall preparing to take over.

When the top-secret schedule is exposed to everyone, you’ll understand how easy it was to be perfectly okay with only taking 12 units!  Not only will we be aboard a softball voyage, but an academic one as well!! We have been working so hard, especially with our best friends (the prowlers), to get swoll and kick in to beast-mode during our fall schedule and carry it over to 2012!

As a member of SAAB, the Student Athlete Advisory Board, I have the privilege of being able to work with other representatives from each team and hear about their voyages as well as sharing ours. As a group, we get to decide certain things that go on within the UCSB student-athlete family. A big part of this year will be putting greater emphasis on the Gaucho Cup (which is a competition between all of the different teams). There was even talk about an Athlete Idol, which I’m very confident that with McKenzie’s singing abilities to our advantage, softball has a guaranteed victory! Being on SAAB has given me such an amazing opportunity to be able to work with fellow athletes and members of the athletics department, and come up with different ideas to improve the already impressive experience of being an athlete here at UCSB. I cannot wait for what this year has to bring on SAAB and especially on Campus Diamond, including the many other stops we have throughout our voyage!! ALL ABOARD!!!! 

Kelly McDonald



OCTOBER 4, 2011

The new school year has finally begun. Brand new classes, rush hour-like traffic on the bike paths, and the smell of the ocean as you leave the house. Now that I’m a sophomore (I LOVE saying that), the butterflies that filled my stomach this time last year are no longer there. Those butterflies have been replaced with a smile and the confidence that this year is going to be an even better than the last. Don’t get me wrong, last year was a great one, but I have big expectations for this year, and so far, we’re off to a great start.

We wasted no time jumping back into our "train like a champion" routine. The first week of school consisted of team weights, conditioning, and both individual and team practices. Just as last year, the team went through a series of tests in the weight room to see how hard we worked during the summer and set a baseline so we can track our improvements and gains as the year goes on. We all pushed ourselves and each other to beat our previous marks. There were old personal records being broken all over the room, proving how hard we’ve all worked and also how well Dr. Jeremy Bettle trains us.

The morning workouts jump start our beast mode, which then carries over to the turf, where we do what we do best, the prowlers. Even after a year of prowlers under our belts, the initial thought of the exercise sends a small quiver down our spines. However, without hesitation, we step up the plate and push like there’s no tomorrow. Through the pounding chests, and aching muscles, we finish the prowlers with a sense of victory and glimpse of how strong we all are, both mentally and physically. The feeling of "prowler legs" late in the day is a good reminder of how pain today means progress tomorrow.

At the moment, Campus Diamond is in the process of getting a bit of a makeover; the infield and warning track are being resurfaced, and the outfield is getting some work. So in the meantime, our practices are taking place in the cages and on the turf. Being on the turf poses its challenges (like sharing the wide open space with rugby and soccer players), but we’re still working hard and getting a lot out of practice. While we do look good with our cool new turf shoes, we’re all itching to get back on the dirt where we belong.

With our first fall games fast approaching, the excitement of being back on the field with my ‘Chos is setting in. It’s been way too long since we’ve put on those UCSB uniforms, but once we do on October 16th, we’re hitting the ground running. The Gauch-show is about to return for another 5-star season.

Lauren Boser


SEPTEMBER 23, 2011

Move-in Weekend

I can't believe it's here... SENIOR YEAR! It seems as if it were just yesterday when I was getting moved into the dorms by my fellow 'Chos. Reality soon hit home when we moved two of our freshmen softballers into the EXACT SAME DORM ROOM that my classmates and I used to call the hangout spot. We spent every night in this room watching movies, telling stories and building the amazing chemistry we now share.

Move-in day for rest of UCSB's general incoming freshmen was a short one for us this year. Working a three-hour shift in the middle of the day was filled with plenty of entertainment, don't get me wrong. From parents freaking out about leaving their "babies," to the students asking a bunch of questions about how I like this school.

After the eventful move-in, we rested up for a fun-filled barbecue at the Dollhouse. Who would have known Chef Boser could make such amazing burgers? Not to mention, Lainey and her famous Mac and Cheese! Food coma is putting it lightly.

As the much-anticipated first practice had come, it seems that none of the Gauchos wasted any time over summer. When Coach said we were jumping right into things, she wasn't kidding! First practice starting with a scrimmage really showed us how well we are going to do this year. We can't wait to get this year started!

Last but not least, we would like to thank Leah Frommer for being such an amazing athletic trainer for our team for the past three years. And we are excited for her and the opportunity she has been given with her new job close to her hometown. We will miss her!

Brooke Putich
 


SEPTEMBER 16, 2011

Santa Barbara and the Livin’s Easy…

I finally arrived back in Santa Barbara last weekend and it’s crazy to think how quickly the summer flew by!  As everyone else headed back to school nearly a month before me, the pleasure of relaxation at home began to dwindle and the excitement of returning to the beautiful Santa Barbara sunshine and ocean breeze intensified.  As much as I enjoyed the comfort of my own bed, sleeping in and staying up late, and most importantly being able to see my parents every day…shockingly enough with nearly one week left before the start of the school year, I’m actually eager to be back on a schedule.  

Entering sophomore year, there already seems to be a world of change.  This year, a couple of teammates and I are living in the Dollhouse.  For those who are curious of the Dollhouse name origin, take a look at this humble abode and it is instantly explained.  Picturesque, white picket fenced, with a balcony and palm tree in the yard, the Dollhouse is fortunately something like a softball family heirloom. Passed down year to year, I am personally excited to say that I am a part of the "softball house legacy."


Transitioning from dorm to house life is definitely one of the more dramatic differences compared to last year. Instead of simply shopping for dorm décor, this summer was spent searching for entire home essentials and furniture. Rather than making one final trip, this year my parents and I had to dedicate an entire trip SOLELY to building my bedroom furniture and another trip to bring down the rest. I can’t say that I mind the gorgeous views as we drive down the 101, but after a six-hour day of building, let’s just say my fresh manicure and I are no laborers. Now that I am completely moved in and organized, there is something that I love about the coziness of living in a house – being able to say "I’m going home," and actually mean it. 

I’m extremely excited for all of the laughs and memories that will be created this year.  In fact, we've already had our first "Pretty Little Liars" moment in our first week! A few nights ago, Kat and I were talking in my room when we heard a huge crash downstairs. Being that only a few of us were home and it was later in the night, we were pretty spooked. Needless to say, whoever or whatever was downstairs was going down! I instantly grabbed a bat, Kat got a knife, and another roommate brought her flashlight…we meant business. I knew my bat would come in handy again someday. :)  After we slowly crept throughout the house looking for what may have fell, we came up empty – except for an unlocked back door. It was instantly one of those moments where you scream and run, then realize you don't know why. Running back to our kitchen with our "weapons" in hand, we could do nothing but laugh at how extreme we made the situation.

Being back only for a few days, waking up to the sun shining through my window and the sound of waves crashing a few blocks away, I truly realized how lucky all of us Gauchos are to live in such a beautiful place.  As a "seasoned sophomore" I feel more prepared for the trials and tribulations along with the amazing experiences that the school year and softball season bring…and I am beyond excited to tackle it all!

THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS….

Andriana Collins


AUGUST 31, 2011

Well this has been a very eventful summer break for me and I have certainly enjoyed it, but I am more than ready to get back to school and the lovely Isla Vista weather...

My summer took a pause the week after school let out because I began Session A of summer school classes...but I guess getting to stay in Santa Barbara in a beach house for six weeks (rather than in the valley with 95 degree weather) is the perfect kind of summer for me, even if classes are involved.

Between summer classes and off-season workouts, two of my teammates and I helped work our advanced summer softball camps one weekend in July. Considering it was my fourth year of running these camps, it's safe to say they went pretty smoothly and there was a lot of softball fun happening at Campus Diamond. It was funny taking the campers on a tour of UCSB and seeing their faces as they looked at the ocean from the center of campus...reminded me of how lucky we really are!

Along with working camps, some of my other teammates and I have been playing ASA Women's Softball on the weekends to see live-pitch and stay in good softball shape. I ended my summer ball season with quite a weekend, to say the least. I hit a HR, made the all-tournament team, and basically almost broke my face.

Let me explain...
I was in the middle of my last at bat of our last game in the tournament and I got a pitch that was high and inside...I swung thinking I just might hit another one out and instead I fouled the ball off of my nose. There was a lot of blood and lots of worry that my nose would be broken.

Luckily, I was somewhat relieved when I looked down and saw that none of my teeth were in the dirt. :) I ended up a very lucky girl because nothing was broken and the swelling of my nose was gone in just a few days. After taking a foul ball to the face - and ruining my white batting gloves - I will definitely be wearing a face mask on my helmet this coming season!

After finishing summer school and summer ball, I headed back to the valley to intern with the ABC7 News station. I am currently interning in the sports department where I help log games and choose key plays that the news would want to highlight in its nightly shows. Just recently, I have been on location with the anchors at Angel Stadium and I even went out to UCLA football practice to interview the head coach and some of the star players. It has been an amazing experience so far and I am having fun and learning A LOT. I mean who knows, maybe when my collegiate softball chapter is over I will be reporting the news or on ESPN. Gotta dream big right? ;)

Last week I went to a meet and greet for UCSB alumni, administrators, and current students. I was there to rep for the student-athletes along with two other athletes from the men's volleyball team. It was held at a gorgeous house in Orange County and the event was very classy. I was glad I had the opportunity to meet some of UCSB's biggest fans. It is amazing to meet the people behind the scenes who are still a part of the Gaucho family long after leaving our beautiful campus.

The next stop for all of Gaucho Softball happens in a few weeks. It includes moving in our freshman newbies, team workouts, and student-athlete BBQ's. Oh, and my last set of fall classes ever. YIKES. But I am looking forward to owning our competition at Campus Diamond as a big bad senior.

Bring it on, senior year.

Lainey DePompa

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