Goodacre on taking the road with USA Softball
Leading up to the International Softball Federation IX Jr. Women's World Championship (19-and-under), December 6-17, 2011, in Cape Town, South Africa, USA Softball Junior Women's National Team members Cheyenne Cordes, an outfielder from Fairfield, Calif., and Chelsea Goodacre, a catcher from Temecula, Calif., will be blogging biweekly for USASoftball.com.
June 30, 2011
Goodacre: 'I have never played in front of so many fans before'
Somebody's gotta win and somebody's gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose. — Pete Rose
Since my last blog, I have once again taken the field and competed with my USA Softball Junior Women's National Team teammates. It was great to see them again and pick-up where we left off. It was also great to play against the USA Softball Women's National Team, who are such amazing softball players. I enjoyed my time with them and I learned a few things about the game by watching how they play the game.
One of the things that we all have in common and stands out to me about all players on both teams is; we all are driven by an obsession to be our best and we are willing to work as hard as it takes to get there. Each and every one of us has made many sacrifices along the way, but the desire to be our best is so strong that nothing gets in our way.
It’s funny to realize that when looking back at all the times I have been on “out of state” trips, most all were related to softball in some way. Nationals, qualifiers, showcases, etc. Playing travel softball just doesn’t leave a lot of time for vacationing!
Our USA Softball Junior Women’s National team is stacked with very talented softball players. While competing together at the Pan American Games in Bogota, Colombia, we never lost a game, but when the time came for us to compete against the Women’s National Team, things were a little different. We didn't win. This was very tough for us to deal with. I really don’t like to lose, especially in a softball game! This is the type of experience that people say “really humbles a player”. Maybe that’s true, but I can tell you this, the experience motivated me to continue to work hard, knowing that I will be competing against some of these players and pitchers really soon in College games.
The first games were played in Plant City, Fla., and although the weather wasn't the greatest and the game was delayed due to rain, the fans were still there, cheering for us. We played a doubleheader at the beautiful International Softball Federation (ISF) Stadium into the late hours of the evening. This was such a cool experience for us.
After the games in Plant City, it was a quick plane flight, followed by a bus trip to Salem, Va., where we had over 3,000 fans in attendance at those games. I have never played in front of so many fans before. It was really great to see the huge amount of fans that follow softball.
After that, another, not so quick (7 hours) bus trip to Bowie, Md., where we played at a beautiful stadium in front of another large crowd, over 3,000 in attendance. Those Amateur Softball Association (ASA)/USA Softball people sure did an amazing job making it possible for us to play our games at really nice Minor League Baseball parks. Playing on fields like these, with all the fans in attendance, really makes me feel like a professional athlete.
I know this must have been a huge amount of work for everyone involved to make these games happen for us, and many of those people never get recognized for everything they do. So I want to thank each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, you did an AMAZING job!
After the games at each of the stops, we signed autographs for the fans. This was such a great experience for me. To see all those young kids, waiting in-line, waiting to meet the players on our National Team and some even wanting my autograph! This was so great and more than I could have ever dreamed of. I remember not too long ago that I was waiting in a line like that, just hoping to get a chance to meet those great softball players and walk away with a signature from them.
I still have a Jessica Mendoza signed bat, a Cat Osterman signed ball, an autographed picture of Leah O'Brien and several others items from National Team players. These were softball's version of the MLB big league players and ambassadors of our sport, every softball kid wanted their signatures and now someone is asking for mine!
I am not suggesting that I am on the level with some of those big name softball stars, yet - but if I continue to work hard, stay focused and let my passion and desire for softball guide me, then there no telling where this incredible journey will take me. Heck! Look where it’s taken this softball girl from Temecula, Calif., so far!
Until next time,