March 13, 2013
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 seventh and final day in paradise. The last seven days have really flown by. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and the how hospitable the entire island has been to us. The weather except for one day of rain has been perfect. We have seen and done so much during our time and I can't thank our players' parents and families enough for coming out to support us. The University of Hawaii officials at the game tonight said that we brought as many supporting fans as they have ever seen and were very surprised how well represented Pirate Nation was at Rainbow Wahine Softball Stadium.
Today was a day where the team got the chance to enjoy a little time on the beach before getting back inside and changing for our two games. It was another relaxing day with the added bonus of playing a few games against some strong competition. Following the games, the local parents and those that were visiting Hawaii hosted a send-off BBQ for the team. They provided plenty of great local food and drink.
Tomorrow, the Pirates are scheduled to board a plane back to the mainland and head directly to Birmingham, Ala. to start conference play against UAB over the weekend. I am not really looking forward to the long flight, but I know that with the reward of the island visit comes the pain of spending an extra-long period of time on a plane to get back to "normal life".
With that said, I will turn things over to assistant coach Leah Kelley to share some final thoughts from her experience of spending time on the islands this trip.
"Aloha Pirate Nation,
I want to begin by saying thank you for keeping up with our blogs throughout this trip.
Well today marked the final day here in paradise. Honolulu is such a beautiful place. This was my first trip to this wonderful state and I have truly enjoyed it. I have always told my family and friends that I wanted to visit and I finally had the chance with this trip. The views here are breathtaking and I would recommend making the long plane ride at least once in your life if you haven't been before. We were fortunate enough to visit some of the local spots and thanks to the suggestion from our Hawaiian kids eat at some outstanding restaurants. During the trip some of the local players on the team were able to play in front of their families and friends for the first time on the collegiate level and that is truly a blessing. We have such a wonderful group of young women and I am honored to be able to coach them. They work hard day in and day out. As a coaching staff, we always tell them to buy into the process and it is starting to show. They have the heart and desire to become great and are getting better each day. I am very proud of this group.
The weather here has great with highs in the 80s and lows in the 70s. We couldn't ask for anything better and it was definitely better than the weather that we were coming from in Greenville.
I am sure I am not alone when I say that I spent WAY TOO MUCH money at the Swap Meet!! Even some of the girls commented that they may need to start eating fast food for the rest of the trip because they were running low on meal money! Kristi Oshiro
suggested one of the local areas for a hike called Pillbox. It was an absolute struggle climbing those steep rocks and hills, but it was well worth it when we got to the top and were looking down on an amazing view of the town and beach below. Partially it was our fault though for the difficultly of the hike since we let one of the most fit players on the team suggest a place to go. That was a lesson learned the hard way!
Yesterday night we went to Paradise Cove for a luau. Some of the players were able to shop, enjoy themselves and even get some FAKE tattoos there. Coach Crews and I volunteered to show off some of our dance moves on stage. One of the parents asked me the next morning if I had thrown out my hip from my hula dancing.
I want to say thank you to all the families and friends that helped out this week. Your assistance and support made the trip so much better for the girls and everyone that came to Hawaii.
Tomorrow we get back on the plane and fly to Birmingham, Alabama for our first conference series of the year. We are ready and prepared! If you are not able to come this weekend, be sure to keep up with the games on our twitter account and remember Sunday's game will be televised on FOX Sports. So be sure to tune in and check out the Pirates anyway you can!"