Eileen McCann is a junior outfielder on the Iona College softball team. This season, McCann will be taking Iona fans inside the world of not only an Iona softball player, but that of a student-athlete. After two short seasons, McCann has had a very successful career at Iona. A two-time MAAC Champion, McCann is a Mass Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations.
SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY
Remember in my last entry when I asked you all to relax and just breathe? Well, after this past weekend’s games, it appears we finally have some room to do just that. We swept the weekend, taking two from Saint Peters on Saturday and then returning to The Oval on Sunday for “Groundhog’s Day”, as coach called it, to take a pair of W’s from Siena. For the time being, we have a place atop the MAAC standings which, although feels great, is not the biggest positive to take away from the weekend.
Knowing full well that this was a make or break weekend, every single girl on the roster showed up to play. During every inning of every game this weekend we were finally acting like the team we should be; the defending champs. No, our wins were not the prettiest and no, not every run was scored in the most fundamental fashion. Regardless, we persevered, we never got down, and we played with the indefinite feeling in the air of knowing that the game was ours to win, and no one else’s. We got it done, and pulled out the win not once, but four times.
The factor that allowed us to hang in all four of these games was, undeniably, the lights-out pitching performances by both Sarah Jackson and Alyssa Maiese. Our two pitchers have provided us with something quite remarkable to rally around late in the season as we head into the end of regular season MAAC play with Marist on Sunday.
Anyone with eyes can see the areas in which we need to improve, and the areas in which we should be so lucky to have remained exactly the same (see previous paragraph). The point in the season has arrived when the worst thing we can do is over think these issues. It is too late to try and make a dramatic change to a certain aspect of your game or to our team dynamic. That point has passed. Now, we can only do what we do best. We must reacquaint ourselves with our strengths, and the things that make us best, as a team. Sometimes all it takes is something as simple as a quick anecdote from a senior about the 2010 season, or a certain song to induce dance battles during our pregame warm-up, or for all of us to spend a great night out together in a non-softball related setting, for us to realize how lucky we are to have each other as teammates, and how privileged we should feel to be able to take the field with one another every day and work towards the same goal. I’m not familiar with the dynamic of other college softball teams, but I have to think that ours is currently one that does not come around too often.
Now I know it’s May, and you’re tired, and you have finals next week. You probably have a project due or are stressing about a summer job, and the last thing you want to do is take an extra second and think long and hard about the 15 girls on this team that you see every day, and how much you love them. But please, just do it. Think about years from now, when we probably won’t see each other anymore, and then think about this moment. These are the last few weeks that this exact roster of girls will play together, as one, as the 2012 Iona Gaels. If we all decided, together, to play as one and rally around each other, not only can we accomplish our goal and win, but we can actually have some fun, too.
So look at the girl whose locker is next to yours, look at the girl you play catch with, look at the girl who is your lifting partner, or the girl you unknowingly switched sneakers with for a week (Deanne Algeo). What do all of these girls have in common? They all share a lifelong bond to you, and these next two weeks are the last chance you have to make something of it. Don’t waste it. Let us seize this final opportunity to play one more time, side by side, as champions.