Phillies Ballgirls Opening Day…for softball, that is!

As the boys of summer finish up with Spring Training in Clearwater’s beautiful 85 degree weather; last Saturday, March 21st (the second official day of Spring) we found ourselves in Medford, NJ playing our first charity softball game of the season.  It wasn’t exactly the Spring like weather we were hoping for, but we came prepared, with Under Armor and tissues, and were all ready to play!!  I’m not going to lie….the competition was a little intimidating, but we have a talented roster of 19 beautiful girls who can run, throw, hit and catch – it’s not everyday you see that, so I’m sure our competition was feeling a little intimidated as well.  So let’s here what the girls had to say about our first game and make sure to contact Michele DeVicaris @ MDEVICARIS@phillies.com if you’re interested in playing us…but hurry our schedule is filling up fast!!!  

medford2.jpg 

Perrin
It was a great feeling to finally be able to pick up a ball and bat again. The last time I had even swung a bat was at ballgirl tryouts in the fall. I was hoping to shake off the rust early and not embarrass myself for the first game of the season and all things considered, things turned out pretty well. Despite the colder weather, the game was a great time and the opposing team couldn’t be friendlier. It was exciting to see the rookies and vets play together as a team for the first time this season. Even the Phanatic came out to cheer us on! Afterwards we got to meet the kids, sign autographs, and handout giveways. It is always entertaining to see what miscellaneous things people will ask you sign. I think there were some shoes and even cell phones floating around with authentic ballgirl signatures. Overall, game one marked a great start to the spring and I can’t wait for more to come!

Katie H.
We had our softball game against the coaches and parents of the Shawnee High School boys baseball team. It was a little chilly that day but we had tons of fans there to cheer us on which made it a lot of fun. I was a little nervous because their roster consisted of only men! We played really well together and made some nice plays and had nice hits. We did lose the game, but had so much fun it didn’t matter!

The baseball players were our base coaches and umpires which worked in our favor :) My brother plays for Shawnee and was excited to have the ballgirls play his coaches.

We had a surprise guest for the fans – the Phanatic was there! During our game he walked around and hung out with the fans. It was a really fun softball game and was glad I was a part of it!

 


medford1.jpgFehran

Our first softball game against parents from the Shawnee H.S. baseball team was a blast!  The air was a little chilly but quickly warmed up once the bats started swinging.  We started the day with a quick jog around the field to get our muscles moving, followed by a few stretches and some warm up throws.  It was awesome to finally hear the pop of a ball hitting leather, which lets you know Spring has arrived and Opening Day is just around the corner!  Our team had great pitching backed by a solid defense which helped to keep the score close.  All of us did a great job at the plate, with the exception of one, who shall remain nameless, and managed to deliver a performance that was barely questionable, at best :-)  Needless to say, I’m looking forward to the next game and can’t wait to lace up my cleats again!

Katie T.
Last Saturday we had the privilege of playing our first softball game as the 2009 Phillies Ballgirl squad.  Even though it was a little chilly (I have to admit I don’t like cold weather), we really enjoyed playing our first challengers, parents and coaches of the Shawnee High School baseball team in New Jersey.  Some of us ballgirls hadn’t played softball in a few months so it took us a little bit to get warmed up.  Both teams had some great plays and the Phanatic came out to cheer us all on and meet the fans and players!  We would like to thank the parents and coaches as well as the Shawnee baseball team for inviting us out to play!  Of course, we can’t forget our bat boy, Justin, for helping us in the dugout.  We all had a lot of fun and we’re excited for our next game.  We’d love to play your team too!

Alison
The charity softball games are such a great part of being a ballgirl and our first game of the year was awesome!  It was so exciting to get my glove and cleats out again.  The weather was perfect for playing softball, and it really felt like springtime.  There was still a chill in the air, but the sun warmed us up.  I think many of us were pretty rusty on our softball skills, but we still had some good at-bats and defensive plays.  We have a lot of talent on the team this year and I can’t wait to play more!

Sam
Opening Day and the start of defending a World Championship is quickly approaching, but what the fans don’t know is that our Opening Day was this past Saturday against Shawnee High Schools boy’s baseball coaches and parents. We are also playing to defend our Summer Softball Showdown Championship.  I don’t want to sound over confident, but I feel that our team is capable of defending the Summer Softball Showdown Championship this year. Overall, I think we played very well even though we didn’t come out on the winning side. The most important thing was that we all had fun playing together for the first time.  I am very excited to keep playing with the girls because I see a lot of potential and feel that we can only get better. So, our venture to defend our championship has already begun and now it is time for the Phillies to begin their journey to defend their title. Hopefully, there outcome on Opening Day turns out different than ours.

McKenzie
When we got to the field for our first game, it was COLD! The first thing we did was take a little jog to attempt to warm our bodies up. Definitely for the rookies, and probably for the vets as well, the adrenaline and excitement for our first game definitely helped us to forget about the temperature outside. After not playing competitive softball for almost 6 years, I was a little nervous to step up to the plate in front of all my ballgirl teammates and the somewhat large crowd that showed up to cheer both us and our competition on. This was one of the first times since we became ballgirls that we were all at the same event, so it was great to chat with all the girls we don’t see on a regular basis.  I was nervous to bat, but once you get up there it is a blast and great to hear everybody cheering you on. Unfortunately I started out our season going 0 for 1, but I plan on turning that around very quickly!

One of the funniest parts of the day was after the game, we all lined up to sign autographs for the kids. The rookies don’t have baseball cards yet, so the kids had to improvise on items for us to sign. I have to admit, one of the first autographs I have ever signed was on that day and for a little boy who convinced his mom to let us sign his brand new Nike sneakers!! I wasn’t sure at first, but I figure this kid will have a pretty good story when he tells all his friends that the Phillies Ballgirls signed his shoes!

Even though we ended up losing the game, everybody had a great time. I had the honor of rotating with the lovely Amanda at shortstop, who did an awesome job in the field! I can’t wait for the next game, but we are going to be a tough team and our competition better be ready for us!

Christy
Softball season?  I could hardly believe that it was time to step out onto the softball field!  The off-season went by so quickly!  Even though I was a little nervous at the start of the game, as soon as we made our first “out,” I quickly relaxed and I knew that the game would be tons of fun.  This first game was also a chance for the veteran ballgirls and the rookie ballgirls to spend some time together as an entire team.  Watching all of us play together definitely makes me excited for the rest of our softball season!
 
I also really enjoyed getting to talk with all of the kids who came to the game.  It’s always such a good feeling when kids are excited to meet you and to talk to you.  I still haven’t gotten used to the idea of kids asking me for my autograph, but I think that the interaction with the fans is one of the best parts of being a ballgirl!

 


medford3.jpgGina
I think that its funny to see the reactions I get when I say that being on the actual field at the stadium is really only 1/3 of my job as a ballgirl.  And although having the best seat in the house is  by far the coolest part of my job, playing softball is definitely my favorite.  I am such a competitive person when it comes to sports I am playing, so I do not like losing.  With that said, we lost this weekend in NJ at Shawnee HS.  Haha but instead of being a pessimist, I took into consideration that it was our first game of the season and we all were a little rusty.  You could definitely tell that by the second inning we all had our game faces on.  We played six innings, and I got to bat once, which was a line drive to shortstop mind you, and it was, I swear the only catch the guy had all game.  I was really impressed with the rookies and how well they played! We only lost 6-2, which is not too shabby considering the rooks took some time adjusting to the slow pitch.  I think we all take time adjusting to the slow pitch, I literally stand at the plate saying to myself “don’t swing don’t swing don’t swing, okay now” just so I can get my timing correct.  After the game Katie H’s mom invited us all over to the pavilion where we signed some Phillies gear/ballgirl baseball cards for our fans that came out to support! There were so many kids that came to watch, and the Phanatic was even there for some time.  The kids were great and they were so happy to have us there.  It always feels good to be able to raise money for charity and make a future ballgirl or boy smile!

Amanda
Being a Rookie, I had no idea what to expect for my first ballgirl softball game!  Besides tryouts, I hadn’t really picked up a glove or played softball since high school, since I played field hockey all through college for IU.  So you can imagine I was a little nervous! Our competition was a team of male adult baseball coaches and teachers and they sure were intimidating when they came up to bat! It also didn’t help I was playing SS, which is the position my boyfriend plays in college, so I could imagine him being there critiquing my every play and fielding in “his” position. haha The game was a blast though! I really had so much fun; from being announced, to cheering in the dugout for every girl, to signing autographs for kids (one boy even gave us his cell phone to sign; I’m sure his mom loveeeed that).  Even though we lost, our team really held our own and had some awesome plays and key hits; with the encouragement of the Phanatic on the foul line! Everyone got to play and got up to bat so it was great to have everyone involved and having fun. I def. can’t wait to play again and get some “W’s”! GO BALLGIRLS :)

Jordan
I loved the first game, and I can’t wait until the next one!  The next one though I will be more prepared to field the way I used to, my errors really killed my game.  However, I finally have a glove of my own that I found that I really liked and fits me well (I was using a borrowed glove, my old glove was thrown out a few years back, it was in pretty bad shape), and I cannot wait to use it!  Hopefully it will help get me more comfortable playing softball again.  Ha, one can only hope right!  I watched in amazement at the rest of the girls at bat and on the field, they were all great!  I love being a part of this team.  I was smiling the whole time, even if the temperatures were in the 40’s.

Lauren
Our first softball game was a blast!  Though it was a bit cold in the morning, the sun was out and it was a beautiful day!  Everyone played really well on both sides.  This was a great chance to see what the new ballgirls are going to bring to our team, and they definitely added a great deal of talent at every position.  The team we played seemed like they had fun, too, and they were great sports.  It is always fun to play a team that gets excited about the game, but whose main goal is to have a good time.  The community got excited about it as well, and tons of kids came out to watch.
 
I enjoy our softball games because I was always part of lots of athletic teams growing up, where my happiest childhood memories come from.  I always pitched slow pitch for little league as a kid because I loved being part of every play during the game.  I continue to pitch for our team now (switching innings with Debbie) and it can be very nerve-wracking, because you usually have to pitch to big, strong guys who could hit a line drive right back at your head.  And since we play slow pitch, some teams really pound the ball.  But just like when I’m sitting on the line during a Phillies game, I love the feeling of being so close to the play all the time.  It is definitely exciting and invigorating.  I can’t wait for our next game!

Laura
I was really impressed with the way we all played together on Saturday especially since it was our first time with our “new team.” I think we have a lot of great talent with the new girls and I think as we continue to play together and get to know each other better we will be a really solid team. I am really looking forward to our future games!

 

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