Friday, June 5, 2009

Partying with the 2009 Softball National Champion Washington Huskies

Posing with UW National Champions Danielle Lawrie and Ali McWherther hours after they won the title.

2009 National Champions!!! Monday the Huskies played the Florida Gators in Game #1 of the Best 2 out of 3 Naitonal Championship Series and it wasn't even close. The Huskies jumped ahead early and star pitcher Danielle Lawrie held the Gators to only 2 hits as the Dawgs won 8-0. The funny moment in the game was when the umpires prematurely called the game over after the 6th inning. College softball has a "mercy" rule that states that the game is over if one team is ahead of another team by 8 runs or more at the end of any inning once 5 innings are completed. Apparently that rule doesn't apply in the Championship Series but the umpires weren't sure. The players were celebrating and the grounds crew had already removed two of the bases from the field when the public address announcer let everyone know that the game wasn't over. The bases were put back in and the teams finished off the game. Attended the game with my Thunder buddies JB and Stephen as well as my newlywed friends Pam and Sam (the same ones that were on my last blog, got to respect the devotion of going to a softball tournament 48 hours after your wedding).

Tuesday evening was the 2nd game of the Championship series but before I could head over to the softball stadium I needed to make an important trip to a going away party. Two of my Thunder friends, Maddie and Jayquin are leaving the organization and heading back to Seattle so I wasn't going to miss saying goodbye. Both are great friends that will be missed so it was worth going to the softball game late (picture of the three of us above).

On my way to the game my friend Nick texted me to let me know that Florida scored two runs in the first inning so my immediate thought was that we were probably going to lose the game which would mean a 3rd and final game the next night. I met up with my other friends, Pam (this time without Sam as he decided to watch from home), Todd and Pete (both also arrived late to attend the going away party) in the stadium parking lot and we could hear applause coming from the field. Turns out the Huskies scored 2 runs and tied the game before the end of the first inning. Apparently most of the scoring was done by the time we walked into the stadium. The Huskies scored another run in the 4th inning and that was all that was needed. Final score UW 3 Florida 2 and the 2009 National Champions of softball are from Seattle!!!

We stuck around the stadium for what seemed like 30 minutes after the game watching the team celebrate their championship. There was a trophy ceremony at the pitcher's mound and then the girls took turns posing in various groups with school's newest prize.

On my way back to my car I got a text from my buddy JB telling me I should head downtown to have a drink since the going away party from earlier was still going on. Normally I probably would have declined but I was still pumped up from the Championship so I said yes and that ended up being a GREAT DECISION.

I got to the bar and was told that a couple of family members of the softball team had been around earlier but left. I was hanging out with 8-10 of my co-workers that eventually ended up trickling down to 3 of us. Two guys walked into the bar, one of them wearing UW gear so we started celebrating with them. Turns out the guy wearing purple and gold was a Shorecrest grad who now lives in Dallas and drove up to watch the UW win a Championship. A few minutes later 4 or 5 other people walked in wearing Huskies attire and we started yelling and cheering for them. One of the guys was part of the group that was in before my arrival and he came over to talk to us. His name was Brian and he ended up being the brother of one of the players and informed us that the girl at the bar was his sister along with one of her teammates so we started chanting their names and bought them a Washington Apple shot. We figured that was the drink that made the most sense for a Washington championship team.
A few minutes later a couple more players walked in and we gave them the same treatment. Brian was standing with us and I think he got a text, he informed us that most of the junior and senior players that weren't already at the bar were on their way and would be there any minute so we ordered more shots, suddenly a bus pulled up and in walked most of the team including Head Coach Heather Tarr (she is the one posing with me in the picture below) and UW star quarterback Jake Locker. Locker's girlfriend is starting right fielder Lauren Greer, she is the one below in the purple shirt.
The next hour or so we awesome!! There was plenty of drinking, cheering and general celebrating. The girls were really cool and we even made it a point to get some pictures. It was fun watching the players and their families get excited when ESPN SportsCenter started showing highlights of the game. Everyone stayed until closing time. The team had a 9am plane to catch the next morning and I have to think that they didn't get much sleep that night. There might have also been a few hangovers but why not, it isn't every night that you win the National Championship.


GW said...

You always seem to be in the right place at the right time! What is OKC - the sports center of the universe? Jeez, I'm jealous. But, I'm an old married f**t so I probably shouldn't be celebrating like you young guys anyway. What am I saying?? I'm not that old!! Glad to see your postgame celebration turned out to be a once in a lifetime happening ... Lucky guy.

stevew said...

It was an amazing time and you are never too old to celebrate with a championship winning hometown team.