Jan. 29, 2014
Hello LA Tech fans! This is Lindsey Neyland again with Take Two of my blog, "Earned, Not Given." This past week has been very exciting for everyone who is a part of the Louisiana Tech Softball program. As of Wednesday afternoon, the Louisiana Tech Softball Facebook page received a high of 2,196 likes. The goal at the beginning of fall quarter was 1,000. We more than doubled our number of Facebook fans in less than a two-week period.
It is incredible to see the support our team has gotten. With our first promotional video in program history, as well as the beginning of the new blog, we have had a "mini-media explosion" as Coach Mark Montgomery called it. We would all like to thank the boosters, fans, alumni, and players' families and friends who have made contributions in various ways to continue the growth of our program.
Social media has not been the only expansion of LA Tech Softball. A brand new concrete pad has recently been added next to the batting cages at the Lady Techster Softball Complex, and new turf has been ordered to place over it. This has always been an area that receives a lot of traffic from us during practice and pregame, and it can get very muddy and beaten down. The new concrete pad allows us to get the same work done without tearing up the ground and without getting ourselves filthy. We are very excited about our new hitting area. It has already proven very beneficial for practices and circuits.
Also, the dugouts are in the process of being repainted and will also see the addition of new Conference USA signs which will be installed inside of them. The softball stadium will look exceptional for opening weekend when we host a three-day, six-team, 15-game tournament (Feb. 7-9). So be sure to come out and fill up the new stadium seats!
Congratulations to our two players who won special preseason awards. Senior Erin Kipp from Bullard, Texas was named to the Conference USA Preseason All-League team. She was voted to the DP position by the league coaches. Sophomore Anna Cross from Cross Roads, Texas was also selected for the team. She was voted to the All-Conference USA team as Utility. What an honor. We are very proud of Erin and Anna. It is going to be a season with great leadership and success.
Being able to get live at bats off of them has helped to improve our game-like mindsets, increase our offensive skills, and learn better approaches when stepping into the batter's box. Overall, Coach Montgomery has been very pleased with how practice has gone since everyone returned from break. With butterflies in our stomachs we are counting down the days until our first game on February 7 at 9 a.m. against UT Martin.
As I mentioned in my first blog, this year's team has a lot of personality. We are not your typical girls. We do not shy away from food. As a student-athlete, we constantly build muscle and burn fat. I think the softball team could give some football players a run for their money in an eating contest. The hunger struggle has increased to a point where we requested a "snack time" during practice where we all take a few minutes to sit and eat a protein bar, banana, or something to fill our stomachs. Yes, we really did ask for snack time. A girl has to eat! Surprisingly, out of his sweet nurturing heart Coach Montgomery granted our wishes. We also requested a nap time, but I can't say we got the same response. It was worth a try.
Now it's time for coaching tip with "Breaking it Down with Coach Montgomery." One of the most commonly used sayings at practice is "mashed potatoes and gravy." Ironically it involves food again. What Coach means by this is when you are trying to make a double play you must first get the for-sure out. This is your "mashed potatoes." After doing so, you can add a little gravy (by attempting to get out No. 2). Whenever attending the games if you hear coach yelling something about some mashed potatoes and gravy while sitting on his bucket, it isn't because we are getting a food reward; trust me. It just means stay calm, make out No. 1, and then you can go for two.
Now I am going to introduce two more players to the fans. First, sophomore Courtney Lowe who is a utility Infielder and who wears jersey No. 10. Courtney is known for her strong arm. Also she has learned a new swing this year that has made her very successful at the plate.
Here is our Q&A with Courtney Lowe:
Would you ever consider changing your red hair color? "I put a hint of blonde highlights in it. Coach yells at me a little less when it is lighter!"
What is your favorite day of the week and why? "Friday, because I don't have classes on Saturday!"
What is something you are passionate about other than softball: "I am passionate about my family because I can always count on them."
Who is your "Man Crush Monday" every day of the week? "Shemar Moore! He is absolutely gorgeous. His smile is perfect, and in criminal minds he is so sweet and personable. He is perfect. We would be perfect together. I love him." (Editor's note -- Five minutes later she is done talking about Shemar Moore)
If you were a boy what sport would you play? "Football. You can go ahead and add in there that I love football players."
What is something no one knows about you? "I have a three legged dog named Phoenix. She is amazing."
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently as a freshman? "I would have stayed in shape and kept working out. I would have put more work in overall as well. Also, I would have had more confidence. I did learn a lot from last year though."
If you could have one superpower what would it be? "Invisibility."
Next is sophomore Katelynn Cook, No. 14. Cook is an outfielder known for her exceptional arm strength. She is known to track down fly balls and throw home with either one or no hops. This makes it hard for runners to tag on sacrifice flies.
Here is our Q&A with Katelynn Cook:
What is a life skill that playing softball has taught you? "I learned how to be competitive. It translates into the classroom. I am trying to get into physical therapy, and I hope to have a successful career one day. Softball has taught me how to compete to the best of my ability and work hard."
What is your favorite guilty pleasure food? "Mmm...brownie delights with ice cream on top."
If you could live another life what would you do with it? "If I could come back I would be a Cowgirl and compete in rodeos because that's what I did when I was younger. My town had an annual stampede where we drove a herd of cattle down our main road, and I rode my horse Nikki through town."
What is your favorite jewelry accessory when you get to dress in something other than athletic wear? "I don't really wear a lot of jewelry, but when I do I wear earrings."
Who is your biggest celebrity crush? "I have had a huge crush on Taylor Lautner forever. At home I have a life size cut out of him in my room, but my mom wouldn't let me bring him to college with me."
Do you sleep with your TV on or off? "Off"
What is your dream destination? "I guess Paris. There are so many pretty places it is hard to pick one."
What is your least favorite conditioning exercise? "It might be a tie between burpees and bear crawls. Or wait, maybe those zombie crawls on our hands when we drag our legs."
Thanks to Katelynn and Courtney for sharing with us this week.
Just a reminder that we open the season in just over a week when we host a three-day, six-team tournament Feb. 7-9. We will play five games in those three days. Tickets for the tournament are $10 for a single day pass and $20 for a tournament pass (youth age 3-17 are $5 for single day or $10 for tournament pass).
Also, give us a follow on Twitter at @LATechSB and go to Facebook now and LIKE us at Facebook.com/LouisianaTechSoftball.
That's a wrap for this week. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next time.
We do what we do for the love of the game,
Lindsey Neyland, No. 6