Point of View: Spring brings memories of diamond dad days

By Krista Pirtle
Sports Writer

It’s that time of year. The time when the cold temperatures begin to fade away, and we put our heavy coats in the back of our closets and bring out the shorts and flip-flops.

The time when March Madness is fast approaching and Sing is in its prime; the time when convenience stores are low on their sunflower seeds.

Yes, it’s that time of year when you can hear the sounds of aluminum bats sending a ball deep into left field, the pop of a glove after strike three and the melody of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh inning stretch.

It’s finally time for action on the diamond.

Suddenly, old quotes from legendary baseball movies find their way into our everyday conversations.

  • “If you build it, he will come.” from “Field of Dreams”
  • “There’s no crying in baseball!” from “A League of Their Own”
  • “God, I just love baseball.” from “The Natural”

Some of us have flashbacks to our first time on a diamond: dads coaching us to hit the ball not the tee, run right to first not left to third (even though that way is much more convenient for right-handed batters).

Soon dads will be telling their kids to stop picking at the grass in the outfield, get your glove off your head and get ready to stop the ball.

As the melody of “Sweet Caroline” rings through the air, it is evident that Baylor softball, and baseball are officially underway.

Softball took the field for their first time Feb. 11 as they hosted, and swept, the Getterman Classic with a 5-0 record, the best start since beginning 9-0 in 2007.

Dani Leal hit four out of the park for the weekend, but the big story was the return of the red-shirted sophomore Whitney Canion to the circle.

In two complete games pitched, Canion recorded an impressive .5 ERA with 22 K’s.

Preseason, the Lady Bears were picked to finish No. 6 in the Big 12. This will not be the case once the season is over.

With Canion in the circle, the speed in the outfield and the bases, and power in the box, the Lady Bears look to turn some heads as they face some of the top programs in the country, taking on defending National Champions UCLA and powerhouse Arizona next month.

Across the sidewalk, Baylor baseball looks to have an impressive season as well, projected to finish No. 4 in the Big 12, returning eight of nine starters and 11 of 15 letter-winning pitchers.

Their pitching staff is impressive as well, headlined by junior Logan Verrett, who finished his 2010 campaign with a 3.28 ERA and 97 strikeouts.

Closing for the Bears will be Brooks Pinckard, who ended the season with a 2.45 ERA.

Two of the big sluggers for the Bears are just sophomores this season, Logan Vick and Max Muncy, who are looking to mature and strengthen from their impressive freshmen seasons.

The weather is perfect and the teams are good. Head out to the ballpark and enjoy the game.

Krista Pirtle is a sophomore journalism major from Olney and a sports writer for the Lariat.