miss softball

10 Things About Softball That Are Hardest For Girls To Leave Behind

A mowed outfield; perfect dirt; crisp, white lines; and a fresh, neon yellow softball... yes, please.

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I haven't played softball since I was in high school. While I don't necessarily miss the hours upon hours of pitching practice or the bad umpires, the things that I do miss highly outweigh those.

1. The pristine field on game day

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A mowed outfield, perfect dirt, and crisp, white lines... yes, please. Not to mention a clean softball that practically glows.

2. The smell

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Okay, this sounds weird, but softball has a smell. To this day, sometimes I will walk outside and it will smell like softball. Whether it be the smells from a fresh spring that comes at the beginning of the season or the smells that come with sweltering July and travel ball, all players know what I am talking about.

3. The bus rides

These bus rides may have been a little cramped and hot and uncomfortable, but they were amazing for team bonding. Whether it be finding the perfect pump up songs or taking unflattering pictures of those that are sleeping, to this day, those bus rides are still vivid memories in my mind.

4. The circle

Casey Lofton

At the beginning of the inning, the infield would get together and pump each other up with good luck or simply make a joke to lighten the mood. As a pitcher, I especially liked it, knowing that my team had my back.

5. Throwing a perfect pitch/making a perfect play

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This is what we work towards every day in practice. This is the reward we seek from running through plays over and over and over. So when it finally happens, there is no better feeling. A perfect change up that had the batter swinging two weeks ahead, amazing. The execution and team work of a double play, incredible.

6. Getting thrown a meat pitch

Being able to swing at a pitch that you like is perfect and often results in a show of your strength. Take advantage of those gifts from the opposing pitcher and knock it out of the park.

7. Having "your number"

Casey Lofton

I think this is an overall athlete thing. It seems silly, but once that number is one the back of your jersey, it becomes a part of you. You want to do it justice and feel a camaraderie with everyone else that has that number. (My number was 11 and my favorite athlete is Cole Beasley from the Dallas Cowboys... guess what number he wears?)

8. Being physically fit

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Softball, or any sport really, helps you stay in shape while doing something you love. Often, or at least for me, I didn't really see the benefits until after I stopped. Now if I want to stay fit, I have to go to a gym... gross.

9. Winning a well earned game

Winning a game in general is spectacular, but winning a game that was close or a game that your team worked its butt off for is something even more special. This also applies to beating a rival team, too.

10. The celebration

The joy after winning a game is infectious. The bus ride back is filled with an energy about it that allows your happiness to be magnified and your inevitable soreness to be temporarily forgotten. If I remember nothing else about high school or softball, the joy of winning a game and celebrating with my team will always be my favorite part.

Cover Image Credit:

Casey Lofton

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.
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Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.


2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.


4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.

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Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.


I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.


I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.


As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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