Castle in Ehime
Former Texas Longhorn softball standout Cat Osterman is blogging about her experiences playing pro softball in Japan.
Kon nichi wa!
It's been almost a month we've been back in Japan, and well, I'm still adjusting! Haha. Where to start?
Last time I wrote it was the day before my birthday. I turned 28 while being over here, and my team made it one of the best birthdays I've had since I was little. We had practice games on my birthday, so the day started off with a bus ride, watching our games, and busing back to our field. Our two American coaches had suggested we head to an Irish pub for dinner. I'm thinking it's just going to be dinner and a few drnks. We get situated at a table, and about 15 minutes later our entire team walks in, some in costumes, to surprise me! We all enjoyed hours of company, and they even pitched in to get me some pretty nice birthday gifts (itunes, starbucks, and some earrings of good luck). After only being here for 2 weeks, they have accepted Megan and I with open arms and hearts.
We sit 2-1 in league play right now. We split this past weekend, which was a bummer. I always have goals in mind, and losing our second game of season did not fit the bill. The atmosphere over here during a game is so much different. Each team has a band that travels and plays during the game, not to mention their "cheering" is quite different. It was the first time in a game I was unable to tune things out. It literally gets so loud it's hard to hear myself think even. This is one adjustment I am still really having to consciously work on. It got better the next day though, as we won 3-0, and I threw much better!
I haven't been too picky on what I eat. I am triyng to enjoy the experience, so I at least try most of the foods, but after this last week on the road where we encountered a bento box full of really unknown contents, I am taking a small break from adventurous meals. Monday was our off day, and as much as I have tried to not eat fast food in the last 6 months or so, I went running to McDonalds! French
fries and a cheeseburger never tasted so good.
We traveled to Ehime, which is a beautiful part of the country. It's on a different island, and is more tropical looking. Traveling down the coast was beautiful. The water was so blue, and all the smaller islands surrounding it made me feel like we were in Jurassic Park, sans the dinos! There was a Japanese castle within walking distance from our hotel, so we ventured there. Now when you say castle, my mind goes to the story book version. The only shared characteristic between that castle and this one, they are surrounded by a moat! This castle had 3 different temples in it, all for praying for a different aspect of life. Their architecture is very pretty over here.
We don't play again for 2 more weeks, but then we hit it hard with 4 straight weekends of game!
I'm going to leave you guys with a request! As most of you know, I play professionally back at home as well with the NPF. The NPF is a great place where we all enjoy playing. It's made some major strides, but still working to expand and be prosperous. Many people ask how they can help, well here's your chance. We launched a Twenty for 20 campaign. Long story short, we're asking for $20 to help the league have a future to 2020 and beyond
. I have been and will continue to be committed to giving girls a place to play beyond college, and I hope so of you will be have enough interest to donate and help this avenue grow! We are getting one of our opening games on ESPN2 this summer! Watch out world, NPF is coming! Please go to www.profastpitch.com to help us out!
Thanks for reading... thank you in advance for those of you that help the NPF! We have 2 days off next week and plan to go to Kyoto, so hopefully I have more to share!