Danielle Lawrie's Olympic Adventure
March 20, 2008
Where do I begin? My first tour with the national team has been quite the experience. It started off in Las Vegas, Nevada, where we centralized as a team for about three-and-a-half weeks. When I first got there my new roommates welcomed me with open arms and were so excited to have my teammate and I living there with them. Our time in Vegas consisted of training and competing. If we weren't on the practice field for four-and-a-half hours, we were competing against some NCAA competition.
From Vegas we headed down to Arizona where we faced the Wildcats and the Sun Devils both in a doubleheader. For me personally it was great playing those two teams to keep reminding me of all the things I am grateful for when playing for Washington. We ended up splitting with Arizona and taking the double header from ASU.
From Arizona we headed to Los Angeles. There we faced Cal State Northridge just for a single game before we headed 'down under' to Australia.
Australia is where I am now, and it has been quite something. It was a 13-and-a-half hour flight from LA to get here, and I am not going to lie I was dreading it. However, the flight went by a a lot quicker then expected. Normally, I am not able to sleep on planes very well, but thankfully I fell asleep for a good eight of the 12 hours.
We arrived here on March 4 and we are leaving this Sunday, March the 23. There was very little time to settle down and relax, as our international competition started three days after we arrived in Australia. We did two-a-days for a couple days, and then it was already time to compete.
We played in our first tournament and did pretty well. We took silver, losing 2-1 to Japan in the gold medal game. None the less, being in the championship game was pretty exciting for the team.
After the tournament was over, it was time for a little change of seen as we moved hotels and also began another tournament. This tournament was the international tournament, which consisted of Australia, Japan, China and Canada. There were seven round robin games and then the championship round. We all had to face each other three times. Our record throughout round robin play was 5-2, which automatically pushed us into the championship game this past Sunday.
We again were up against Japan. After a little feeling of payback, we ended up taking home the gold, beating Japan 2-1 in extra innings. Coach called me into relief for the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. In the top of the eighth we scored two runs in extra innings and I was going into the bottom of the eighth focusing and knowing I needed to shut them down. They ended up scoring their runner on second and bunted one of the girls over. So they scored one run, making the score 2-1 with a runner now on second and one out.
The next girl grounded out so that made it two outs. Their No. 3 hitter came up and her and I battled against each other for at least 15 pitches, and she ended up walking on the 16th pitch. So now they have runners on first and third with two outs. Their No. 4 hitter came up where I ended up getting ahead 0-2 and got her to chase on a rise ball which ended in a strikeout and a victory for Team Canada. I can't even explain how awesome it felt watching our team swing the bats that night. GREAT WIN J!
We are now about five hours from Sydney, at a camp site that pretty much just consists of our team here. We have been here since Monday staying in beach houses. It's gorgeous and the beach is about a two minute walk from where our house is. It's pretty relaxing being here with the team and being out in the sun. The days are just consisting of some team activities and then hanging out on the beach. Only three more days and it will be time to head back home.
This has been an outstanding tour having my ups and downs and learning so much about the game, but not just that so much about life. As I keep saying, I am sooo thankful for this opportunity to play with my country and get to experience the things I am at such a young age. I apologize for not writing sooner. At least now everyone will be updated on everything I have been doing.
On another note congrats to the Huskies! They're doing great and I will be at the Washington vs. Oregon game next Friday the 28th so I hope to see a big crowd for our home opener. Miss YOU all!
- Danielle Lawrie # 15
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