Daily photo by Jonathan Palmer|
St. Gregory's Laurel Bartholomew s tries to avoid being hit by a pitch in NAIA national tournament action Friday in Decatur. Some of her teammates have unusual routines before and during games.
Playing on superstition
By Ashley Hargrove
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Many athletes might tell you that they have a superstition for almost everything.
For some, it's wearing the same helmet every time they bat. For others, it's wearing the same pair of socks every game, but whatever the case, there's plenty of it going on at Wilson Morgan Park during the NAIA softball championships.
"I have to be singing every pitch I throw," Thomas junior pitcher Stacie David said during a break in the first day of pool play Friday. " 'Paint me a Birmingham' is my song.
"The whole infield has their own superstition. They won't change their chant unless the other team scores."
Senior Kylie Berryman, David's teammate, was quick to add that her superstition involves, well, a tad bit of energy.
"I have to drink a Monster energy drink before every game," Berryman said while showing the can.
The Night Hawks of Thomasville, Ga., aren't alone with their special quirks. St. Gregory's (Okla.) head coach Heather Shanahan said she and her players are full of superstitions.
"I probably have the most of anyone," Shanahan said. "I take the plastic off the ball before each game and put it in my right pocket. Then I kiss it and give it to whoever is pitching that game."
Shanahan added that she won't eat sunflower seeds or chew gum while the other team is batting.
"I'll do it when we're batting, but that's the only time," she said.
Brittany Dojack, a junior outfielder for the Shawnee, Okla.,-based team said she and her teammates have a few superstitions that take place during the game as well.
"We don't like to touch the base lines," she said. "And if we're winning, don't be surprised if you see us standing in the same spot."
Although there are superstitious rituals most players have to do, there is one thing that Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design outfielder Whitney Hess can't do.
"I can't really say what it is that I can't do because that would give my secret away, but there is a certain way that I have to go to the batter's box," she said.
Teammate Kayla Tom said that even though she really doesn't have anything she does that's superstitious, she has a routine of playing hackey sack before games.
"A group of us just get together and play for fun," she said. "It just helps keep us relaxed in between games."
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