UND sophomore Nikki Pica offers us a peek into travel life with the Fighting Hawks’ softball team. The squad played seven consecutive weeks on the road, to start the season, studying during layovers and on buses/flights. Look for her periodic blogs and videos for inside access to the team each week here on UNDsports.com and on twitter @UNDsoftball.
The entire season our team has struggled with having normal travel days. From having to stay overnight from flight delays, to driving 15 MPH on icy roads at 3 A.M., to a schedule change making our trip in Utah four days longer.
We were expected to return home late Sunday after our series against Southern Utah, but due to weather we will be returning home on Thursday at 10 P.M. After our games on Friday, Coach Stevens broke the news to us, informing us that we will not be able to play our series against Weber State at home, but in Ogden. He proceeded to explain that we would be traveling up to Ogden from Cedar City on Sunday. The Alerus-- which was such a great host to us for our first "home games" this season-- was not available for us to play in this weekend, so we had to come up with a way to get the series in as Weber State was one of the top teams in the conference last year, winning the Big Sky regular season championship.
Instantly, it was a tough pill for some of us to swallow considering a few families had planned on coming up to Grand Forks for the weekend. My parents and younger brother booked their tickets way in advanced and had planned on this since the beginning of fall. I know a few others had hoped to see their families this weekend. The cool thing about this is that we will still be getting a “home” series, but we just will not be playing in front of our fans. Weber State will be playing our warmup and walk-out songs, and we will get to be the home team.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to come home until Thursday night and none of us packed to plan for the extra days on the road! We did not pack a practice uniform as we practiced the day of our flight in the HPC, so there was no need to bring practice clothes. Instead for our single practice in Ogden, we will get to wear whatever apparel we can pull together.
It is quite exciting to know we will not be at home practicing, but instead we get to play games. Who doesn’t want to play games over practicing? Our series will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Check out some other Pica's Peek offerings:
Blog: Buzzing along in the Beehive State
Blog: Nashville Nights
Blog: Inside the UND softball team
Video: Behind the scenes during our Hawai'i trip
Video: Finally Home! UND opens home schedule at the Alerus