Captain's Corner: A Special Week
By Shaina Ervin
RALEIGH, N.C. - This past week for Wolfpack softball was an important one because we were playing two in-state teams. We had just swept Virginia at home and taking the conference series added momentum to our team. We are playing really well right now, and I think it is because we are all going towards the same goals. We step on the field everyday with focus and drive to get better at the little things, so this past week we wanted to build on that.
On Wednesday, with a 10-game winning streak, we headed down the road to Campbell for a doubleheader. Abbie [Sims] made a statement in game one when she threw a perfect game. That is a tremendous achievement. Being a pitcher myself, I know how hard it is to accomplish that, and I am really proud of her. The defense played great behind her and we took that win into game two. We won the second game 2-0 thanks JP’s [Jennifer Patterson] two-run homer. Once again, the defense remained sharp and we headed into a huge weekend with two great wins.
There are rivalries in college athletics that heighten the game, get the adrenaline rushing and bring out the crazy fan in everyone. Ohio State vs. Michigan, USC vs. UCLA and Florida versus Florida State are just a few examples. For the Wolfpack softball team, NC State vs. UNC is our “rivalry”. It is hard to describe in words, but it is a feeling we get in our stomach and a focus that can be seen on every players face. It's a time when you see those players who are scared to be good do great things.
This weekend we played UNC, and appropriately during our senior weekend. This series for the nine seniors went beyond playing the team in powder blue. It was our time to leave a lasting mark at Walnut Creek ... the field we called home for four years. Not only did we want to win, we wanted to send a message. For four years, we have been a team that believed in ourselves and knew that we could compete at the highest level possible. It was easy to believe because we were the ones at practice working hard on every aspect of the game; however gaining respect didn’t come so easy. So this weekend for the seniors was our time to prove that we belonged, and that we had belonged since the beginning of the program.
We won game one 3-0 which gave our team momentum into the second game of a doubleheader on Saturday. I tossed a one-hitter in the second game, which I contribute to the outstanding defense played behind me from every player. The bats came alive, and we took game two 5-0.
The Wolfpack went into Sunday with a sweep in mind. On our last day at Walnut Creek, after wiping away tears from an emotional goodbye, we were ready to play. Abbie pitched really well and the defense had a great game to keep the Tar Heels shut out for the third straight game of the weekend. We won 2-0, thanks to Shanna’s homer over center field and Boo’s [Miranda Ervin] RBI base hit.
This weekend it was all about our team. We worked together and everyone contributed to each win. With a sweep of our biggest rival, I think our team sent the message loud and clear. We belong here. And for the 9 seniors, “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish."
And we aren’t done yet.
Throughout the 2007 season, Wolfpack captains Jen Chamberlin, Shaina Ervin and Abbie Sims will keep fans up to speed on the latest happenings of NC State softball via the Captain’s Corner blog on GoPack.com. Stay tuned to GoPack.com for the latest news and information on Wolfpack softball.