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Final
Well, I guess that's all she wrote! Couldn't help but insert a little pun, but it's true, the 2010 season is over. Not exactly that way we wanted to end it, but we went down fighting, and for that I have no regrets. For Rosey Neill, Shannon Koplitz and myself, our loss to Texas Tech proved to be our last games in a Cardinal uniform. Needless to say it was quite emotional, but looking back on our time here on The Farm, I couldn't have asked for anything more.

I am going to keep this short before I start crying while typing this, but I just want to thank everyone who has made these past four years the best of my life. I want to thank the coaching staff for always pushing me to become the best player I can be. I want to thank my teammates for always being there, ready to work hard and fight, no matter what the odds, and for always being, first and foremost, my sisters. Finally, I want to thank all of you Cardinal fans out there. I grew up a Cardinal fan, so I know what it means to wear the name of Stanford on your chest. You guys are some of the best fans in the entire country, and I am so proud to be a part of the Cardinal family. My time as a Stanford athlete may be over, but I will never stop being a fan of the Cardinal.

That being said, I can't wait for next year's season. I may not be playing anymore, but that doesn't mean I won't be out there supporting next year's team as they make a run for a National Championship. I hope all of you Cardinal fans are as excited as I am for February 2011 to get here, because, take it from me, next year is going to be something special.

For the last time... GO CARD!!!
Habes

Week 15
It's finally here!

That's right, Cardinal fans, it's that time of the year. The postseason has arrived, and I couldn't be more excited! There are only 64 teams left playing this weekend in regional play. Everyone is trying to fight their way to the next round, and then, hopefully, punch their ticket to Oklahoma City. This is the time of the year we work hard all season for. All those late nights practicing on the field, all those preseason and conference games, everything has been preparation for these upcoming contests. This will be my fourth, and final, time in the postseason dance, but no matter how many times you experience it, I can't help but be a little nervous!

We found out our postseason fate last Sunday during the annual selection show. It's always a highlight of the season, as we are always excited to learn whom we'll be playing and how the brackets shape up. Last Sunday, we all met in our locker room to watch the show together and, thanks to our wonderful coaches, eat some pizza. There's always a little bit of nervousness and excitement watching the selection show and waiting for your name to be announced, which probably explains the pizza, seeing as though there's no better way to relieve a little stress than with a little bit of comfort eating. But we didn't have to wait for too long, because our regional was the second one announced. Our bracket contains some familiar foes. We could potentially be squaring off against UC Davis and Hawai'i this weekend, and we have played each of those teams twice this season. But the best news about our regional is the fact that we are hosting!

That's right everyone, we are going to be at Smith Family Stadium again this weekend. This means that all of you Cardinal fans have another three days to come out and show your support as we begin the long road to Oklahoma City. Being at home is such a great advantage, especially in the postseason. And I'm asking all of you Cardinal fans out there to come out this weekend, cheer loud, and really make this home field advantage count! Hope to see all of you out there.

Go Card!
Habes

Week 14
Hey there everyone!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but the end of conference season is upon us. This weekend's series against Oregon is the final of Pac-10 play. Although we still have the playoffs to look forward to, it's a little bittersweet knowing this weekend will be the last conference games of the season, and therefore the last that I, and my fellow seniors, will ever play.

This past weekend up in Seattle was a fun road trip. We didn't get the results we wanted on the field, but we still made some great memories. As I mentioned in last week's blog, freshman Alix Van Zandt is from Lake Sammamish, and her house was only a short drive from our hotel. After our game on Saturday, her parents hosted a great barbeque at her house. Not only do the Van Zandt's have a beautiful home, but it is also right on the lake! We all hung out by the water in front of a nice warm fire, ate some great food and made delicious s'mores. But marshmallows weren't only thing being cooked in the fire. Missy Penna, former Cardinal pitcher and current assistant coach, caught a fish from the lake earlier in the day (legend has it with her bare hands) and cooked it in the fire to eat. I personally opted to not try the fish, but I heard from the nature woman herself that "it tasted fishy." The highlight of the night for me, though, was the discovery of the fact that the Van Zandt's owned a kayak. Two of us at a time went out in the kayak and paddled around the lake, most of us with no real nautical experience. Needless to say, there were many bets going around as to who would flip the kayak first, but everyone stayed dry.

Now it's time to focus on this weekend, and the three games we have against Oregon. These games will be the last home games of the regular season, and could be last games ever played at Smith Family Stadium for the senior class. The weekend will culminate in the traditional senior day celebration, which is always an emotional day for everyone. This could be your last chance to come out and see this year's Cardinal play, so come out and show your Cardinal spirit!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 13
Hello, once again, Cardinal fans!

Another weekend has come and gone. I can't believe how quickly this season is flying by! There are only two more weeks left in Pac-10 play, but it feels just like yesterday I was writing my first blog entry about our first tournament in Hawai'i. Before we know it, it will be time for playoffs to begin! But this is no time to get nostalgic, because there is still a lot of softball to be played, and a lot more opportunities to get better.

But after two weeks of being at home, we are hitting the road for the last time in conference play as we travel to Seattle to play the Huskies of the University of Washington. However, softball isn't the only thing on the agenda. Freshman Alix Van Zandt, who we all affectionately refer to as "Crabby," is from Bellevue, Wash., a short drive from Seattle. Her family has been so generous to invite the entire team, and our families, to their home for dinner. There is bound to be lots of good food, great people and some fun memories. Hometown visits are always a highlight of any trip. We all come from such diverse backgrounds; it's always fun to see a teammate's old stomping grounds. Plus, visiting someone's home means lots of embarrassing baby pictures!

I'm so excited to get back on the field and put on the Cardinal uniform. It may be tough to play on the road, but I know that we are up to the challenge. And you can show your support by turning on your televisions, because Friday's game will be televised. So if Gametracker isn't enough, then look no further than your remote to quench your thirst for some great softball!

Until next time, go Card!
Habes

Week 12
Hello again everyone!

It may be the beginning of midterms, but that doesn't mean I'm slacking off for all of you faithful Cardinal fans out there! However, it's true, midterms have descended upon all of us here on The Farm, and no matter how many times you go through it, there's no knowing what's going to happen. Some of us have papers, others big tests, but it's all part of the job description of being a student-athlete; student always comes first!

One thing that I love about our team, along with our mutual love for the game of softball, is the wide range of academic disciplines we cover. There are some people on our team who want to go to medical school. There are others who are considering law school. We have engineering majors, earth science, communications, biology, psychology, and even a lone English major (that's me, in case you're wondering).  Between all of us we can speak six different languages. For those of you that are curious, the languages are Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese, and Tok Pisin (one of the national languages of Papa New Guinea). Quite the combination, if I do say so myself! We all have chosen majors that we find intellectually stimulating. And although we might all take different paths in academia, we can all agree on the fact that we all love softball!

And don't worry, just because it's midterms, it doesn't mean we're taking it easy out on the softball field. We are all so excited to get back on the field and go against another great Pac-10 opponent. I have a feeling that this weekend is going to be big for us, and I don't think any of you Cardinal fans should miss out! We don't have too many weekends at home left, so come on out and show some support!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 11
What's up Cardinal Fans?

Last weekend might have been a little disappointing, but we are still learning everyday as a team, and working hard to learn from our mistakes. Plus, in this conference, there is no time to feel sorry. With another series the next weekend, against an equally good opponent, you just have to pick yourself up and keep fighting.

Even though we didn't do as well as we had hoped this past weekend, being on the road is still fun. One of my favorite things about road trips, and I'm sure many of my teammates would agree with me, is the food! Our coaches are so great to us, especially since they always pick the best restaurants to eat at. One day it's Italian food, the next it's amazing sandwiches. I am a girl who lives off of white rice and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, so when we get our itineraries for road trips, the first thing I look at is where we are eating!

That being said, it feels great to be back on our own field for the next couple of weeks. Being on the road is fun, but sometimes it can get a little tiring. Plus, it is always hard to win on the road in conference. Playing at home has so many advantages. We get the comfort of sleeping in our own beds, playing on our own field, and in front of our own fans.

That last part is especially important. It's been a while since we have played at home, so I know all of you Cardinal fans have been itching to watch some softball. We're more than ready to take on the Bruins, and we need your support. So come out in your Cardinal red and be ready to cheer loud. Plus, you may not know this, but this is the first of our last three weekends at home, so come on out while you still can!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 10
Hello again!

What another great weekend for the Cardinal! It was cold and rainy up in Corvallis, but we stayed warm, or should I say "red hot," and took two games from Oregon State. It's always nice when you can get two wins on the road, especially in such a tough conference like the Pac-10. We're two weeks into league play now, and the Cardinal are off to a great start! That being said, we know that we have yet to play our best softball. We are still working hard to get better every day. And we know that things are only going to get harder as the season wears on.

This holds especially true as we enter this weekend. Call us road warriors, because we are back on the beaten trail. The next stop for the Cardinal is Tucson, where we will face the Wildcats of the University of Arizona. Arizona is not only a historically good team, but we also have a little bit of unfinished business to settle. For those of you who don't remember, after we took the regular season series from them for the first time in school history, the Wildcats ended our season last year in a heartbreaking Super Regional. It seems every time we take the field against them, it is a battle to the end. This year, we play them on their turf, and we're hungrier than ever for some wins. We're going to need to play our best, but we're up to the challenge, and I can't wait for some of that desert air!

It may be hard playing on the road, but we can feel the Cardinal love coming from all of our fans even when we are away. We'll be back at home next weekend, but not before we get some more wins under our belt!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 9
Hey there Cardinal fans!

Pac-10 season is officially underway, and there's no better way to kick things off than taking two from Cal. There were some hard fought battles, both with our opponent and the weather, but the Cardinal came out on top. Thanks so much to everyone who came out this weekend and supported us. It was great to see such a big crowd out at Smith Family Stadium, and I know the weekend was only the beginning of a great conference season at home.

But this week it's back on the road. After a great victory over familiar foe UC Davis on Tuesday, we are continuing our conference schedule with a trip to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers. Even though I'm excited to be back on the road, it is a little bittersweet having to leave this beautiful California weather behind for the cold of the Northwest.

Besides the victories on the field, this week is another cause for celebration. On Tuesday, my teammate, fellow senior, and friend Rosey Neill celebrated her 22nd birthday. Therefore, a big shout out to her is in order, and not only because it was her birthday, but also because I am no longer the sole 22 year-old on the team. Now I don't feel so old! Another reason Rosey's birthday was so awesome was because it meant homemade treats from Coach Ford. After practice on Wednesday she surprised us all with celebratory chocolate covered strawberries! Let me tell you, there is no better way to ease the soreness and fatigue that comes with the end of practice than with a few strawberries dipped in delicious milk chocolate. Thanks Coach Ford for the great surprise, and thanks Rosey for being born!

Well, it's off to Corvallis for the weekend, but don't forget to stay up-to-date on Gametracker. We always appreciate your support, even if it is from hundreds of miles away. And don't worry, we'll be keeping that Cardinal spirit alive up North!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 8
Hello everyone!

Well, after another solid outing this weekend, Spring Break is over, and now it's back to the grind of classes. That's right, it's time to trade in our bathing suits for books and get back to work. I'm pretty excited about it though, my final quarter as a Stanford undergraduate. It just reminds me how quickly my time here is flying by.

But there are other things to be excited about, because this week is the beginning of the Pac-10 season. Coach always tells us that the season is pretty much divided into two halves, the preseason tournaments and conference (plus the postseason, of course). For us, all of these preseason games have been preparation for these upcoming months. In my opinion, the Pac-10 is the most competitive, and most fun, conference in the country to play for. No matter what team we play, it is always a battle, physically and emotionally, and any team can beat another on any given day. There are ups, as well as downs, but there is no better way to prepare our team for the rigors of postseason play than by battling against all of the great teams we are facing every weekend. I have been fortunate enough to play softball in many different places around the world, and for me there is no consistent competition, none more physically and mentally demanding, like what we face throughout the conference season. There is no adrenaline rush quite like taking the field against another Pac-10 opponent, and I am excited to get this next half of the season underway.

That being said, what makes this week even more exciting is that we open up our conference schedule against Cal, Stanford's classic rival, on our own turf. This is the perfect chance to get out and support the Cardinal. There will be some great softball played this weekend, as one of the greatest college sports rivalries will not disappoint. And even though this is a conference game, admission is still free. And let's face it; you can't beat that price to watch some of the best softball in the country!

Go Card! (not to mention, Beat the Bears!)
Habes

Week 7
Hello again everyone!

This week is an interesting one for the Cardinal softball team. While we continue our normal routine of practice and games, what is different is the fact that we don't have any class to worry about. That's right, this is the wonderful week of spring break! We all made it through our finals exams, and are rewarded with a week of no school. It's a time to give ourselves a bit of a break from the normal rigors that come with being a student-athlete.

So what does one do with all this free time, you might ask? Well one thing that I particularly like to do is catch up on my sleep. It sounds a little boring, but after the long nights of writing papers and studying for finals these past two weeks, it feels nice to sleep in a little bit and not have to worry about an alarm waking me up in the morning. As a team, we always try to get together off the field, since we don't have a lot time to do that when school is in session, and have a great time doing some team bonding activities.

But that doesn't mean that we're not focused on softball, because even though we get a break from school, it does not mean that we stop thinking about our goal to win a national championship. We are still practicing, still working hard to get better every day, and getting some more games under our belt as we prepare for the upcoming Pac-10 season. I can't believe I'm saying this, but we are just about halfway done with our season. How fast the time flies by is something I'll never understand, but for now I am happy to say that this season has been one of the best in my years here, and I'm sure it will only get better.

We play our final tournament this weekend out at Smith family stadium. There are going to be some great teams out there, and admission to the games is free. So come out and support your Cardinal and take in some of this beautiful California sunshine.

Go Card!
Habes

Week 6
Happy Spring Break Cardinal Fans!!

I'm sure a lot of you might be wondering why there wasn't an update to the blog last week, or, more importantly, why we haven't played any games lately. Well, for the past two weeks, the Cardinal softball team took some time off for the end of the quarter, which meant it was finals season! Although not my favorite part of the year, it is necessary. Here at Stanford, we don't only take care of business out on the field, but also in the classroom!

However, just because we aren't playing games doesn't mean we get a break. Along with spending time out on the field practicing, we have also been spending many hours studying for all of our respective finals. Some have final tests, some have papers, and others have both. It all equates to the same thing: lots of late nights. But that doesn't mean we don't have any fun! There are lots of places to study on the Stanford campus, from the library, to our coffee house, affectionately dubbed "The CoHo." But one of my favorite places, and the favorite of many of my teammates, is Old Union, a large study space and café with great food. Every night for the past week or so, a lot of us would meet up after practice and get our studying on! It's fun working with your teammates, especially when you all like to take the occasional study break to sing along to Disney songs!

But now, finals exams are over, and I am itching to get back on the field and play some games. Even with all the stress of finals, we have been working hard to get better and prepare for the competition this week. Plus there's nothing better to help you shake off the stress of finals weeks than playing some ball in a Cardinal uniform. I'm sure all you wonderful fans have been missing some softball in your life, and this weekend is the perfect time to get out and watch the Cardinal dominate! Plus, how can you resist being out in this wonderful California sunshine?

Can't wait to see you all out there. Go Card!
Habes

Week 4
What's up Cardinal fans?

We're back on The Farm after a fun weekend in Palm Springs. But there's no time to kick back and relax, because we're heading back down to southern California to play some more great teams at Cal State Fullerton tomorrow. This quick turnaround makes life a little hectic, especially with finals week around the corner, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It makes it easier to log all of these travel miles when you're with such an awesome group of girls. And even though we're taking a bus down to southern California, I'm sure we will all find ways to make the trip fun.

I guess it's about time to introduce all you Cardinal fans to what has become a favorite tradition of Stanford softball. If there is one thing our team likes to do on a regular basis, besides play softball of course, it is singing! We love karaoke, sing-alongs to the songs that we play in our locker room, or just an old fashioned spontaneous a cappella tune. You name it, we sing it, from popular ditties, to oldies, show tunes, and even Disney songs! One of our favorite ways to get our sing on is by playing a game called "spotlight." The game is simple; you stand up on the bus, put in your headphones and play a song on you iPod. You then sing said song, and since you won't be able to hear yourself through the playing song on your headphones, everyone gets to hear your wonderful singing voice. A lot of laughs have been had listening to some great songs. Along with some great solo performances, there have been some awesome duets. Right now, the best performance of the year, in my opinion, goes to Autumn Albers and Jenna Becerra for their convincing rendition of "A Whole New World." Needless to say, with many hours of bus riding ahead of us, we have already begun compiling set lists for another round of spotlight!

That's it for me this week. Hope everyone has a great weekend, and that you get a chance to catch some of our games this weekend on Gametracker. This weekend is our last tournament before we go into our two week break for finals, so make sure you get your Stanford softball fix in now!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 3
Hello Everyone!

Well, it was another great weekend for the Cardinal. Four great wins, and a lot of fun had out at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium. It felt great to be back on our home field, playing in front of our own fans. Thanks to everyone who came out.

But now we're back on the road, leaving today for Palm Springs to play six games against some great teams. We're excited to get back out on the field, but I'm particularly excited to get away from this rainy weather in the Bay Area and soak in some nice desert sun!

The rain has been a bit of a downer as of late, as it cut our tournament one day short on Sunday. But Stanford softball never passes up the opportunity to make any situation a fun time. On Saturday night, after the last game finished up at Smith Family Stadium, we had to report to the field and put the tarp on the field to protect it from the impending storm. However, at the conclusion of the game, only a few of us had made it to the field. Trust me, it's tough getting around campus on a Saturday night! So with just seven of us present, we decided to try and pull the tarp on our own. If you haven't seen our tarp (which we affectionately call "the beast"), it is a chore to pull it over the field, even when all 20 of us are there. But with great fortitude, and a little delirium still present from playing a doubleheader earlier that day, the seven of us pulled that tarp perfectly! There were lots of laughs, and I'm sure those that were watching from the stands got a kick out of watching us yell and scream at the tarp to get it to move, but it was a great memory that I'm sure we'll look back on later in the season.

Well, time to get packing for lovely Palm Springs. All of our games will be on Gametracker, so be sure to keep up with us while we're away. There is going to be some great competition this week, and, trust me, you don't want to miss out!

Go Card!
Habes

Week 2
Greetings Cardinal Fans!

What a great first weekend! Maybe not the best outcome, but it was great to get back out on the field and play against some good competition. The best part was that we got to open up our season in paradise! Oahu is a beautiful island with a lot of interesting people. Our hotel was right on the beach in Waikiki, and every morning I loved walking out on the balcony to an amazing view of the Pacific. It was pretty difficult to just focus on softball with scenery like that.

There were also some great places to eat on the island, and if there is one thing that our team likes to do as much as playing ball, it's eating! One thing that I found interesting was that every restaurant was open-air. And while the beautiful weather could afford it, it meant that we were dining with some uninvited guests: Hawaiian pigeons. A lot of people don't know this, but I am pretty scared of birds, especially those that are known to be agents of disease. It was pretty hard at first for me to enjoy my meal with pigeons sitting at my feet, but after a while I got used to it. A lot of my teammates got a good laugh out of some of my reactions though.

But honestly, nothing could ruin my time in paradise. Along with playing ball, I also got to celebrate my 22nd birthday. Birthdays are always fun, but getting to celebrate it in Hawai'i, and with two wins, is even better! Special shout out to my roommate Caitlin Breen for surprising me with chocolate covered macadamia nuts and a huge Snickers bar. And our strength coach, Brandon Marcello, got me a box of malasadas, a delicious Portuguese donut that is really popular in Hawai'i. But the best part of the day was the two great wins, so thanks to my entire team for making my birthday in paradise an unforgettable time!

Although our time in Hawai'i went by too fast, it's nice to be back in California, and we are getting really excited for our home opener. Nothing beats playing on your own field in front of great fans. We play five games over the course of three days against some quality teams, so there are plenty of opportunities to come out and see some great softball and support the Cardinal. We hope to see you out there!

Until next time, go Card!
Habes

Week 1
Greetings Cardinal Fans!

Alissa Haber here; however, I'm more commonly known on the field as Habes. I can't believe I'm saying this (or rather typing it), but in a few short hours, the Stanford Softball season officially begins! As soon as we step out on the field at the University of Hawaii on Thursday, our quest for a national championship begins. I couldn't be more excited!

But this anticipation is a little bittersweet. For me, Rosey, and Shannon, this season is our last go-around here on The Farm. The day that we play our last game is always a thought in the back of my mind. But, nevertheless, we are all very excited and proud to wear Stanford across our chest for one more year.

That being said, I know that we want our last game wearing the Cardinal uniform to be in Oklahoma City at the end of the year playing for the national championship, and, in that respect, I can't wait for this first game to get here and for the adventure to begin! Our team is so talented, has worked extremely hard, and we are all very eager to begin competing. Our goal as the season opens: take it one game at a time. If we continue to work hard every day, and have a little fun while we're at it, the sky is the limit. Plus, opening up the season in Hawaii, the first time in Stanford Softball history, isn't too bad a way to kick off what I believe will prove to be a great year.

I could type on and on about all the great girls on this year's team, and the great talent that they all possess. But frankly, I'm just going to let them do the talking this weekend. And we may be out in the middle of the Pacific, but that doesn't mean you're out of the loop. Be sure to keep up with all the latest info on gostanford.com.

Hopefully next time I check in we'll have some good wins under our belt, and I'll have a nice tan! Until next time, Aloha!

Go Card! Habes


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