On the Road With the Bears
May 29, 2010
ATHENS, Ga. - The No. 11-seeded California softball team has been on the road since Wednesday, making stops Arizona, Ohio and now Georgia. Here is a look into what the past week or so has been like for the Golden Bears. All times Eastern.
Monday, May 24
2:45 p.m.: Load the bus and depart the lovely hotel in Columbus, Ohio for the Columbus airport.
4:30 p.m.: Make it through check-in with all our bags, past security and wait to get on the airplane for Atlanta, Ga.
5:30 p.m.: Land in Atlanta, Ga. Chase down all the bags.
6:30 p.m: Go to Cracker Barrel somewhere in between Atlanta, Ga., and the hotel in Buckhead, Ga. Cracker Barrel is a favorite of head coach Diane Ninemire. Some of the players, who do not share Ninemire's love for biscuits, opt to eat at nearby eateries. Meanwhile, the rest of the team and its entourage devour the biscuits, sweet tea and other the fine dining that the South has to offer.
8 p.m.: Bus to Buckhead, Ga., and check into the hotel.
Tuesday, May 25
8:30 a.m.: Everyone is up, finished breakfast at the hotel and on the bus for practice at a local little league field.
Noon: Back to the hotel to shower and change then it's off to Six Flags for a day at the park!
All day: Day of amusement.
8 p.m.: Back to the hotel. The Bears gets dinner on their own own with multiple eateries within walking distance.
Wednesday, May 26
8:30 a.m.: Everyone is up, finished breakfast at the hotel and on the bus for another practice session.
1 p.m.: Everyone must be checked out of their rooms.
2:30 p.m.: Bears load up the bus and take off to the airport to pick up another member of the travel party.
3:30 p.m.: Depart Atlanta airport for Athens, Ga. Bears watch 'Dumb and Dumber' on the bus, read, listen to music or sleep.
5 p.m.: Arrive hotel in Athens, Ga. The Bears are pleasantly surprised with the hotel - lots of green and teal and spacious rooms.
6 p.m.: Back on the bus for dinner at Chili's.
8 p.m.: Back on the bus, time to take a walk on the Georgia field. The Bears familiarize themselves with the field. Jamia Reid opts to run into the wall in left field while the infielders get a feel for the dirt. The setting of the Georgia field is gorgeous - completely surrounded by greenery.
8:15 p.m.: Team finishes up dinner and head to Wal-Mart to pick up supplies. With refrigerators and microwaves in each of the rooms, all of the Bears have the option to pick up extra food for in between meals. Then it's back to the hotel for a good night's sleep.
Thursday, May 27
9 a.m.: Breakfast in the hotel. Waffle maker, cereal bar, juice, coffee, biscuits and gravy also available because we are in the South.
11:45 a.m.: Everyone loads up the bus for lunch before practice. The team heads to Jason's Deli. Contrary to popular belief, the restaurant is not named after or owned by the team's trainer, whose name is Jason. There is a frozen yogurt dispenser and some of the Bears opt for a post-lunch snack.
1:30 p.m.: Head to the Georgia field for practice.
1:35 p.m.: Junior utility Valerie Arioto, freshman utility Jolene Henderson, sophomore right fielder Elia Reid, sophomore left fielder Jamia Reid, head coach Diane Ninemire and the team's media relations director meet with the ESPN broadcasters and producers for an informal interview. The ESPN crew asks about the Columbus Regional, spending time on the road, what the Bears have to do to be successful against the Bulldogs and more. Per usual, the Bears make the ESPN crew laugh for they are always an entertaining bunch.
2:30 p.m.: Practice beings.
4:15 p.m.: Bears finish up practice and head back to the hotel. The team administrators and coaches head to a meeting to go over all the policies and procedures of the Super Regional.
6:15 p.m.: Everyone back on the bus for a team dinner at a local Italian eatery. There are a lot of pictures hanging on the wall of random Italians and the Bears discover that one of them, an aged woman, looks like Taylor Kelly, in 60 years.
8:30 p.m.: Back to the hotel. Bears and staff place their sandwich orders from Jason's Deli for the next day. Everyone needs a good night's sleep for the big day ahead.
Friday, May 28
9 a.m.: Everyone up and for breakfast in the hotel.
10:30 a.m.: A pair of team administrators graciously picks up the sandwich orders from Jason's Deli and the Bears get their lunches at the hotel.
11:30 a.m.: Team departs for the field.
Noon: Bears arrive at the field. Begin warming up for the first game of the Athens Super Regional. It is sunny and warm! Everyone can definitely feel the humidity as well.
2:05 p.m.: First pitch. To get the specifics of the game, check out the game recap here.
4:35 p.m.: The 10-minute cooling off period is over so junior pitcher Valerie Arioto, freshman catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt, Diane Ninemire and the media relations director head to the media room. The Bears field questions from roughly 10 writers and two television crews in attendance. To read what they had to say, click here.
4:50 p.m.: All the equipment and Bears are back on the bus to return to the hotel.6:45 p.m.: Back on the bus. This time we're headed to Outback for dinner.
8:30 p.m.: Bears go over game film with the coaches before turning in for the night. Some of the team chooses to watch some of the other softball games going on across the country. Everyone places sandwich orders for Saturday.
Saturday, May 29
8 a.m.: Everyone up earlier than normal for it is a noon start time today. Since the team has been on Eastern Time since last Wednesday, the mornings have gotten easier for most since it is 5 a.m. in California.
9:30 a.m.: Time to load up the bus.
9:45 a.m.: Bears arrive at the field. Begin warming up for the second and third games of the Athens Super Regional. Cal has to win game two and three to advance to the Women's College World Series.
10 a.m.: Gates open. Fans start to file in, even though the game does not start for another two hours.
12:05 p.m.: First pitch.
Tune in to the Cal Softball Twitter page at http://www.twitter.com/CalSoftball clicking here or watch ESPN to find out how the games go today in Athens. Check back with CalBears.com on Saturday afternoon for full recaps.