Nicholson NPF Blog #3: We're Not in Bloomington-Normal Anymore!

June 16, 2008

Nicholson's NPF blog Web site

AKRON, Ohio - Hey, and welcome back Redbird or Racer fans! We have just finished up our second series of the season and are currently 2-6 on the young season. Before the season, we were picked to finish first this year in the league. Currently, we are holding the last spot in the league standings, but I am very optimistic that everything will soon turn around. I have never been a fan of preseason polls because anything can happen throughout a season, but this time, I'm hoping the poll is right!

The good news is, we know the season is going to get a lot better. We finally will have a full roster now, as everyone's college season is over. Angela Tincher, our first-round draft pick and the national college player of the year, just joined the team. She fired a no-hitter for us June 14, as we picked up our second win of the season over the Washington Glory.

As for the professional life, it is a totally different world that I`m finally starting to get used to. The talent level is really amazing. All of the girls on our team come from great programs, and I really enjoy being able to hear about all of the different styles of coaches and teams throughout the country. Everyone has the stories about workouts, practices, and traditions. Our team is a melting pot of college traditions. For example, our center fielder is from the University of Georgia, which is known for being big into player workouts. So on game days, our Georgia girl leads us on a pregame run and stretching series while we're hanging around the hotel.

My first pitching start of the year was last week in Chicago. It wasn't my greatest performance, but I feel that each time I go out there, I get more and more comfortable pitching at this level. I found out the hard way that you really have to keep the ball down. I just keep trying to hit the corners and change speeds to keep hitters off balance, and I feel like I'm starting to adjust better.

The schedule we have been on is also a change of pace for me. Last week, we left Chicago at 11 p.m. after our game and headed back to Akron, Ohio. At about 8 a.m., we arrived back at our apartments and spent the majority of the day sleeping. The next day, we had practice at noon, and then our next series started that same day at 7 p.m. At Illinois State, we had some road trips where we got back late, but it was only around 2 a.m. However, I don't have any classes to get up and go to now, so I can't complain.



Opening day in Akron was pretty cool, too. We had a full crowd, and the game was broadcast on Fox Sports Net Ohio. It was a pretty nice way to have a home opener. The game didn't go our way, and we recorded another loss. After the game, there were fireworks, and all the kids hung around afterwards for autographs. The kids are a ton of fun because even if we lose, they stick around to run around the field and take pictures with us.

With all of our games being at 7 p.m., we leave for the field around 4 p.m. and get done around 11 p.m. I have decided it's like having a night job, at least that's my excuse for sleeping late every morning. This week, we play the Netherlands Olympic team. We also get our first pay checks this week, so we're all pumped about that. I haven't decided what I'm going to buy with that first check. We've been playing a lot of guitar hero in our apartment, and I want to get a real guitar. However, I feel like I might just settle for Rock Band. I'll keep you updated.

Go You Redbirds and Racers!

- Shannon Nicholson #19