First practice in the books
Thursday was a nice day in Chicago.
Not too warm and certainly not too cold.
After breakfast, everyone has a small kitchen in the rooms to prepare breakfast, we traveled to Rosemont with three vans for the first practice at the site of the Chicago Bandits.
It was an indoor-practice, but one at a very special facility: the biggest indoor-hall in the USA with two complete softball-field, complete with stands and batting cages!
And that all airconditioned!
Take a look at the photos beneath.
It's a beautiful location!
Everything was available and ready for us to use and the technical staff had prepared a lively practice-session, including several times the famous 'eight minutes of hell'; yes, this was a great piece of physical efforts.
Aaron Moore, the General Manager of the Chicago Bandits, also came by to take a look and with him, Dutch softball gained another good relation.
As the complete field was artificial, there were some initial fears concerned the footwear, but lucky we could practice wearing regular spikes.
There is also an artificial carpet in the stadium besides the indoor-facility.
The entire group looked fresh and sharp.
And the atmosphere in the team is great.
This group is still growing toward each other.
After practice, there was enough energy left to do some shopping, but then it was time to rest.
Around 5 PM, it was back in the bus to attend a game in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) between the Chicago Bandits and Akron Rebels.
The Netherlands Softball Team was a guest in the Don Q Lounge, which is located besides the field and there, a buffet was ready for dinner.
Later, we watched several innings from the stands and just before the game ended (the Bandits were leading comfortably), we left to avoid the crowdiness.
Yes, there are a lot of spectators attending these games.
And so, it was back to the bus for the return to the hotel.
The team has the day off on Friday and then we will experience was the Fourth of July means for the USA...
For the record, the Bandits won the game at The Ballpark at Rosemont with an 8-5 score.
Tammy Williams and Brittany Cervantes both contributed with three runs batted in.
Williams hit a 2-run homerun, her sixth of the season.,p>
(photos made by Joanne Schuler)