Hey readers! As you may have seen, I have a section on my website that allows you to email me questions or future blog ideas. In the first email I received, I was asked what the Pride players do on their time off. Whether they have full-time careers, are stay-at-home moms, etc. There is certainly a wide variety of “jobs” among the Pride players, including: being mommies, college coaches, playing abroad, finishing school, newlyweds, and working “regular” jobs.
After a long and hard-working summer of playing softball, all the players must return to their “other” jobs…whatever it may be. Almost immediately following the 2012 NPF Championship, Pride players Natasha Watley (shortstop), Lauren Lappin (catcher/middle infield), Danielle Lawrie (pitcher), and Megan Willis (catcher) flew to Japan to continue playing softball in the Japanese Professional Softball League. Unfortunately, since there are number of teams in Japan the Pride girls aren’t able to stay together on the same team.
I don’t know much about the league in Japan, but I have heard they have crazy long practices! If I remember correctly, Lauren Lappin said their practices could run up to nine hours long! I thought to myself, “I certainly hope the pitchers don’t have to stay there for all nine hours! Give us one to two hours and we’ve done our workout.” Now that I think about it, I might have to ask the girls what all they do during such a long practice! But in the meantime, I will continue to keep-up with their tweets and pictures on Instagram to see how things are going on the other side of the world. As for the rest of the team, we stay in the United States during the NPF off-season.
After summer ends, reality strikes…whether it’s paying the bills or finishing school to achieve a college degree. Rookie of the Year, Kristyn Sandberg, headed back to the University of Georgia to finish her degree in Health and Physical Education and will graduate in December of 2012 after she completes a semester of student teaching. A few other teammates headed back to school as well, but not as students! Pitchers, Sarah Pauly and Cat Osterman, and outfielders, Kelsey Bruder and Caitlin Lowe, also headed back to campus to coach their collegiate teams or use their skills in the office.
Both Sarah (Texas A&M Corpus Christi) and Kelsey (University of Florida) returned to their alma mater as softball coaches. Cat Osterman will also be coaching this season but not at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. However, she’s won’t be too far away as she just recently accepted a coaching position at St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas. Caitlin has also returned to her alma mater, the University of Arizona, as the new director of operations and so far she loves her job! These universities are very blessed to have these women on board. They all have so much talent and experience to bring to these universities and athletic programs.
Out of all my Pride teammates, there is one in particular who has an extremely busy schedule year-round with TWO full-time jobs. Outfielder, Jessica Mendoza, juggles between commentating for ESPN and taking care of her precious 3-year-old son, Caleb.
The one thing I will always remember about Jessica is that she is ALWAYS smiling! If you have ever watched her commentate on ESPN, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Jessica is such a bubbly person and absolutely loves her job.
This summer I asked her how she got into commentating in the first place and what her feelings are towards working for ESPN. Instantly she lit up and spoke so passionately about her career. She was definitely the perfect person for the job! When Jessica isn’t speaking in front of a camera on live television, she is busy chasing Caleb around! He’s definitely a handful, so Jessica has her work cut out with him! I remember after one of our games at Disney’s Champion, Caleb came running up to Jessica and his hair and clothes were completely dripping in sweat! I thought, “What on earth could this little boy be doing to sweat so much?!” I must say that it’s so adorable to watch a mother and her son play tag and follow the leader. Luckily, Jessica has a wonderful husband to share the parenting duties!
Speaking of wonderful husbands, two of my teammates are about to experience this happiness as they are getting married! Actually, third baseman Tonya Callahan is enjoying the married life as we speak. She and her husband, BJ, got married just a few weeks ago! Next in line to walk down the aisle is outfielder, Francesca Enea. Francesca and her fiancé, Christian, will become husband and wife in November. All I know is I can’t wait to walk down the aisle next! Josh and I have not set the date yet as we are still planning on where we would like to get married. But I definitely can’t wait to be Mrs. Brittany Oakes! So excited!
While I wait for my wedding day, I have plenty to do to keep me occupied. I am back in Baton Rouge with Josh and juggling a few jobs and activities. Along with playing a few of the games in the NPF Fall Tour, I am currently holding two jobs. In the mornings and afternoons I work at a physical therapy clinic, and in the evenings I give pitching lessons at a baseball/softball clinic called Marucci Elite. On top of this, I am working hard to increase the success and awareness of my program, Geaux Play.
As for the rest of the Pride players, many of them are playing in the NPF Back to School Tour. Coming up this week, the NPF team will be taking on Texas State University San Marcos on Thursday and I will be joining the team on Friday as they face my alma mater, Louisiana State University! I will also be with the team on Saturday when we play the University of Louisiana Lafayette. Check out WSN’s Back to School Tour page that lists all the information for future games, as well as the scores and re-caps for games already played.
So readers…if you have any questions for me please visit my contact page, send them in and I will answer them in a blog! And if there is a certain subject that you would want me to blog about, send your ideas in and see what happens! Looking forward to my future emails!
The USSSA Florida Pride is a professional franchise in the National Pro Fastpitch League that is owned and operated by USSSA. The amateur organization of USSSA has multi-sport coverage and encompasses teams and players from the United States and abroad.
National Pro Fastpitch is headquartered in Nashville, TN. The league, created to give elite female fastpitch players the opportunity to pursue a professional career in their chosen sport, has operated since 1997 under the names of Women’s Pro Fastpitch (WPF) and Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL). NPF is the Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball in the category of women’s fastpitch softball since 2002.
The United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA), headquartered in Osceola County, Florida, USSSA is the World’s Largest Multi-sport Athletic Organization. Founded in 1968, USSSA has grown to over 3.7 million participants, competing in 13 nationally sanctioned sports including Baseball, Fastpitch, Slow Pitch, Karate, Basketball, Soccer and more! For more information on USSSA and to register your team visit USSSA.com. Also be sure to visit USSSAToday.com for the latest USSSA News!