March 8, 2013
Photo Gallery - Day 2
Aloha Pirate Nation,
Welcome to Honolulu, Hawai'i, and the East Carolina softball team's spring break trip to the Aloha State.
We are now into our second day in paradise. Today was a very relaxing day with East Carolina Head Coach Beth Keylon-Randolph giving the team plenty of downtime to enjoy the area and the spring break trip that they are currently on. I apologize for the late entry, but the internet at the hotel has also been spotty as I have tried to post our second entry into Island Thoughts several times.
It is pretty amazing to be staying directly across from Waikiki Beach and our hotel takes full advantage of its prime location by offering a continental breakfast it calls "Breakfast At the Beach". Everything is available to take with you in the insulated coolers that are located in each room for this very purpose. Numerous members of the team took the hotel up on the opportunity to eat outside at the beach in this very manner. Normally team attendance at breakfasts that start at 6:30 a.m. can be hit or miss, but a solid majority of the team was at the hotel pool at or around 7 a.m., where the breakfast was being distributed, with their coolers in hand ready to start their day bright and early. I also think many wanted to get a few extra hours at the beach, but I have no concrete proof of this.
It was a beautiful sunny day and the team spend a few hours enjoying the picture-perfect weather at the beach before a quick late morning team meeting, then lunch and finishing with a tune-up softball practice (Oh yeah, the reason we traveled over 4,000 miles) in the early afternoon.
The team had two-hour window that it could use Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium before the University of Hawai'i would need their complex back to play a pair of exhibition games against Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education on Thursday evening.
The ECU team practice was crisp, well-planned out with plenty of encouragement both from coaching staff and the individual players. Coach Keylon-Randolph and her assistants run a tight ship to maximize every minute they have on the field. The team worked on all aspects of the game, but really seemed to enjoy hitting the most. The ball really seems to jump at the facility and several players were putting on quite the home-run show including Kai Clark, Jordan Lewis, Jasmine Robbins and Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin. Even some of the slap hitters got into the spirit as Kristi Oshiro and Jill Jelnick put a few balls beyond the outfield walls.
Following the workout, the team returned to the team hotel to get cleaned up and relax a bit. Coach Keylon-Randolph, perhaps sensing the team's desire to spend some extra time with their families, again gave the players the option of eating dinner with their parents or dining on their own in groups of four.
Tomorrow, the Pirates get down to business as the Malihini Kipa Aloha Tournament begins with a 9 p.m. (ET) exhibition contest against Tokyo Women's College of Physical Education. ECU also will take on Portland State (5-15) at 11 p.m. (ET) on Friday evening.