Reflections on the 2011 Softball Alumni Game
Oct. 31, 2011
On Oct. 16, we were able to enjoy a wonderful Sunday afternoon at Dail Softball Stadium, where the 2012 Wolfpack squad took on the NC State softball alumni. This year marks the fifth consecutive game, and the alumni remain undefeated. This event capped off a great softball weekend, after our program hosted the NPF all-stars the day before.
The alumni game means so much to our program. It allows the current players to meet the players that built the NC State program from scratch.
For me, the day we hold our alumni game is one of the best of the year, since I can never lose! I get the opportunity to see my former players all grown up, which is a great pleasure. I also get to reconnect with all the alumni parents who come back to celebrate this day with us every year. Most years, (and this one was no exception), we have more parents of alumni return than players--what a great group of people.
I love hearing the former players tell the current team stories from when they were here, (boy, can they embellish!). For example, this year, Jennifer Patterson repeated back to me the entire speech from after the first day of conditioning in the fall of 2003. Times like these truly remind me why I coach.
I did have two moments of déjà vu during the game. The first was from a 2007 victory at Florida State, a 14 inning thriller. In that game, Shanna Smith `08 walked and Jen Chamberlin '07 followed with a home run. During our alumni game, the same thing happened! The other déjà vu instance was when MacKenzie Mangum '09 hit a towering home run, almost to the exact spot where she smashed a game-winning grand slam against Boston College in 2009.
As our program enters its ninth year, it is exciting to see the growth of our Wolfpack family. This year, we were able to meet Hayley, the daughter of former player Jess Willems Creech '07. Also, former assistant Leigh Ann Genetti and baby Ayla also made an appearance.
Claudia Cooper `10 and newlywed Kristine Bechtholdt Erwin '10 were in attendance, along with recent grads Alyssa Ishibashi, Alyssa Allbritten, Bridget Desbois and Alicia Abbott. The lone alumni pitcher was Mendy Mckenzie `09 who shut the youngsters down. The outfield was covered (and I mean covered) by Allison Presnell `10, Blair Harkey Stephenson `08, Beth Poore `07, Lisa Nentwig `08, Jennifer Patterson `07 and anyone else they could find. With that many outfielders, I think they call this their prevent defense.
I really want to take this opportunity to thank everyone that made the trip back to Raleigh for alumni weekend. It really means the world to me and teaches the current players that we are all one Wolfpack family. For those who could not make it this year, we hope to will see you next fall for the 10 year anniversary of the Wolfpack softball program. Yes, that means you are that old.