California Bound - Part II

UABSPORTS.COM Junior Cicely Lopez waits for a throw at first base while at practice at her high school Friday afternoon.
Junior Cicely Lopez waits for a throw at first base while at practice at her high school Friday afternoon.

March 2, 2012

by Cicely Lopez
Junior infielder/outfielder

Part two of four

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Spring break is finally here. We're finally in California. Ever since I knew we were going to play in the Cal State Fullerton tournament, it has been so exciting. I was so antsy on that plane ride yesterday. It took forever.

Luckily, I slept most of the way out here. I had an accounting test Thursday morning that I had to take and stayed up late Wednesday night studying for it. We had weights Thursday at 6 a.m., so I took full advantage of the time to sleep on the plane. But I got an A on the test, so the preparing paid off.

When we finally got here and off the plane, it was so cool. My family was there, along with the families of a lot of our other California players. I thought our families would meet us at the airport, but the surprise was that they brought the whole team In-N-Out Burger. Being from California, that was awesome. It's one of my favorites and I never get to have it on the East Coast.

It was so nice seeing my family last night and today. I don't get to see them very much except Christmas break and during the summer so I'm really enjoying another chance to see them and spend time with them, especially my little brother.

I've already seen one of my good friends since eighth grade. She came to the hotel with my mom last night and I really enjoyed talking and catching up with them.

It's also really cool to be here with my teammates. It's California. Everybody wants to come see what it's like, especially Anaheim with everything so close to here. There are so many things to do and share. It's neat to be able to drive around the streets where I grew up and point things out to teammates.

Today, after lunch at another of my favorite places, Red Robin, we had practice at my high school. It was neat being back on campus again, but I felt soooo old.

It was so welcoming, and that sign they made was great. Seeing Jason (Loara team manager) and his parents and my coach was also really neat. I know one of the players on the team because her brother and I went to high school together. All of her friends know who I am and it's nice to be a role model for them. We can all say, if you work hard this can be you, too.

After practice, I got to eat dinner with my family tonight at Olive Garden, which is another place I always go as soon as I get home.

We're playing tomorrow and it'll be a lot of fun. We're going to have a huge crowd, probably the biggest of the season. It'll be nice. A lot of my family, including some who have never seen me play before, will be there.

We start against California and not a lot of teams get the opportunity to play some of the other top clubs in the country. It's exciting playing them. We believe if we execute our game we can battle with them. It's also nice to play a team like that before the conference season. It's definitely good to get that challenge before league play.

We have five games while we're here and I'm looking forward to the two against California and Cal State Fullerton the most. Cal is No. 1 team in the country (in the Softball poll) and that's always exciting. And the Fullerton contest because I grew up around here and I really want to beat them. I know a few girls on the team, and I don't go there, so I want to come away with the win.

But we've got a big game tomorrow, so I need to get some rest.

Thanks for your support, Pirate Nation, and we hope you enjoy following our trip to California.