This past week I was able to take a really fun trip to watch the Saint Martin’s University softball team play in the Tournament of Champions hosted by Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock, California. The reason I was able to go was because of the connection I have with one particular member of the team; Taviah Jenkins. Taviah, or Tav as most people call her is my sister, and my parents and I travelled down to go support her in the warm weather of California.
My trip started on Wednesday morning around 5:00 AM when my alarm went off in Castle Rock, Washington; my hometown. It is about an hour’s drive from my house to the Portland International Airport, however I don’t remember all of it because I slept for most of the ride. We flew out of Portland on Southwest Airlines with a direct flight to Sacramento. After receiving our not so cool Mazda 5 (it’s basically a small mini-van that is ugly), we were off to Marysville, California where Tav’s 74 year old grandma lived. We stayed at her house for one night to help her around the house and do some basic maintenance. It was really an enjoyable experience.
Once we left there, we drove straight to Modesto, California, which is about two hours south of Marysville. We stayed the night there and even got to go to In-N-Out for lunch which was quite good. But, Friday morning it was right to the field to watch the Saints take on Cal State Dominguez Hills, whom they defeated 8-3. SMU then took on Cal State University East Bay in a tight game that the Saints won by a score of 4-2. That night my dad and I had planned to make the hour and half trip north to Oakland to watch the Seattle Mariner take on the Oakland Athletics. Thankfully we didn’t go because traffic showed it would take almost 3 hours and the game was ultimately cancelled because of poor field conditions.
Saturday morning, SMU faced a familiar foe in Humboldt State at 11. The Saints weren’t able to muster any clutch hits and eventually fell the sixth ranked team in the nation 2-0. However the girls rebounded and defeated the tournament host, Cal State Stanislaus 9-3 before falling to Azusa Pacific University 10-3. The Stanislaus game was my favorite to watch because the Saints really put a whole game together, both hitting and defense wise. I also enjoyed watching Tav go 3-4 at the plate with a double off the wall.
Sunday was bracket play for SMU as they got the very early 9:00 AM game against San Francisco State University. The game went extra innings and was decided when Dani Wall hit a double over the center fielder’s head that scored Tav. Two batters later, Mary Dettling did the same thing that scored Wall. Sadly, I wasn’t able to watch the final game at 2:30 because my family and I had to head back to the airport to catch our return flight home. In the championship game of the Bronze Bracket, SMU faced Stanislaus again and narrowly escaped with a 2-0 victory. The Saints scored two runs in the third after Megan Miller scored because Dani Wall walked and Jackie Schmaeling’s sacrifice fly that scored Sam Munger.
All in all, it was a great trip. I really enjoyed spending time with my parents and getting to meet Tav’s grandma. The Saints getting a few wins was an added bonus, along with the sun and 70 degree weather, but I don’t want to rub it in. Ok so maybe I do. Either way, I had a really great time and I hope I get the opportunity to go back next year.