Any time a team plays back-to-back weekends on the road it can be rough.
For Oregon softball, playing back-to-back weekends and traveling across the country to find nice weather is just part of the routine.
“A lot of the traveling has to do with weather and it’s hard to schedule teams in with our weather,” head coach Mike White said. “It’s nice to play some different competition and go through some adversity.”
Once the Ducks touched down in Hawaii two days ago for the start of the Rainbow Wahine Classic yesterday, Oregon officially traveled to five different states in four different time zones over the past four and a half weeks. @@[email protected]@
The traveling doesn’t stop there though. The Ducks will travel to Utah (their sixth state since the season began) one week after the Hawaii tournament ends.
“It’s good to see some different competition and put yourself through adversity. Whether it be travel, different umpires or time zones, it’s going to be different than what we’re used to,” White said.
Traveling usually comes with many difficulties and can add tallies in the loss column. Fortunately for Oregon, the Ducks have played good softball, leading to a 18-2 record and No. 5 ranking in the country.
Another drawback to traveling so much is hardly being home and missing classes. Not to mention the stress involved with flight delays.
“It gets pretty rough sometimes because we’re only home for three days and then we leave for four,” junior outfielder Janie Takeda said. “I’ve only gotten one extension over the past couple years but usually I have to get everything done in a matter of three days while everyone else has seven.” @@[email protected]@
For instance, Oregon’s return trip from the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral City, Calif. was one that every Ducks player and coach would like to forget. @@[email protected]@
After having their flight delayed at a layover in San Francisco, the Ducks were told they couldn’t land in Eugene due to high wind gusts and were forced to continue flying to Portland. Once in Portland, Oregon tried to catch a flight to Eugene, but the earliest available flight was early Monday afternoon, so the coaches rented cars and drove the players two hours south and arrived in Eugene at 5 a.m.
Not only was the arrival time truly rough on the team, but a few players — including star third baseman Courtney Ceo — had class at 8 a.m. on Monday morning that could not be missed under any circumstance.
“I usually have an 8 a.m. but it got cancelled that morning so I was really thankful,” Takeda said. “There were people who had 8 a.m. so that was messed up.”
All together, when push comes to shove and the Ducks begin their rigorous Pac-12 schedule, the team has confidence that they can play as well on the road as they do at home.
Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka