Earned, Not Given -- Take 5

March 14, 2014

Happy Friday LA Tech fans. This is Lindsey Neyland again.

As many of you know, the softball team spent the entire spring break on the road. We started our travels in Arkansas where we faced the Razorbacks, SFA, and Drake. We made our way to Oklahoma to play the defending national champions Oklahoma Sooners at their home field where Pauline Tufi hit her first collegiate home run.

We experienced a harsh ice storm and were snowed in for two days during the time. After that we made a pit stop in Dallas where Coach Montgomery made plans for a private tour of the Texas Rangers baseball stadium. After a nice day off of sightseeing we hit the road again to Waco, Texas where we faced the Baylor Bears. Like Pauline did against OU, Janine Godwin hit her first collegiate home run against the Bears. The final destination was in San Antonio, Texas where we would face our first conference opponent, UTSA. We also got to have a little fun in San Antonio by going to the river walk and the Alamo.

As much fun as we had along the way, there were some bumps in the road. As a team we won two out of the seven games we played. It was a tough pill to swallow because we were each expecting so much more than that. There were great moments, a clutch homerun by Alayna Kipp in Arkansas, Pauline and Janine's home runs, and a 10 inning game pitched by Bianca Duran who had a stellar performance on the mound in game one of the conference series. We just seemed to fall short each game. Things were not clicking the way they should.

As a team we had to reflect and think hard about what we each wanted from the season. We were all on the same page. We wanted to win conference, and we wanted to make Louisiana Tech softball known around the country. The selfishness was gone, and each player seemed to be focused on what was best for the team. For some reason it just wasn't enough. Sometimes things begin to happen in life and we just don't understand why. Some give up and crumble like a cookie under pressure.



However, there are others that choose to work harder to overcome the adversity. A great NBA star you should all be familiar with, Michael Jordan, once said, "Obstacles don't have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don't turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it." As successful as Jordan was in his career, some may not know but he was cut from his freshman basketball team and told he wasn't good enough. After dealing with that, Jordan could have accepted the identity of "not quite good enough" and done something else with his life.

As an athlete his story inspires me. He chose to work hard anyways and won a number of accolades that would take a whole page to write. The most impressive in my opinion was a gold medal for team USA. A kid who was cut because "he wasn't good enough" worked hard enough to represent his country in basketball at the Olympics and won a gold medal.

As a team, Louisiana Tech is taking the Michael Jordan approach. We refuse to accept this identity. Right now, as the beginning of the season has not been successful, we are going to take a different approach and live out our saying for the year, "Earned, Not Given." Because ultimately nothing good in life is given, you have to go out and earn it.

Coach Montgomery has spent countless hours revising a new practice plan that has pushed our physical and mental side to the limit. It is because he cares, and he knows what is inside of us. We are all on board and still have the goal to win a Conference USA championship.

As fans I now personally ask you to jump on board with our team. We need all the support we can get. This weekend we host UTEP in the second conference series of the year. Game times are Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and Sunday at 1:00 p.m. Each person showing up to support helps our team stay enthused and wanting to win for our school even more. As much as I would have liked to write something funny, I really felt like we need to show the fans the respect and passion we each share for softball, and our willingness to go out and earn something great this year. After a storm comes the rainbow.

We do what we do for the love of the game, No. 6 Lindsey Neyland


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