Saint plays Old World softball
Published 7:46 pm Monday, August 22, 2011
Playing softball all summer long is nothing new for Morgan Daughtry.
“I was home for two days for all of July,” Daughtry said.
Daughtry, who plays shortstop or pitcher for Nansemond-Suffolk, along with volleyball coming up in the fall, plays travel softball with RBI Inferno and that club takes up much of her summer vacation. The camps, college showcases and tournaments mean a full and road-weary season.
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Playing softball on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean? There was a lot new about that. It also makes for plenty of good answers for, “What did you do over summer break?”
Daughtry was invited for the tournament in Amsterdam, The Netherlands as one of the top high school players via the National Collegiate Scouting Association.
The tournament brought squads from the U.S., Holland and Italy together. The teams ranged from high school-age to collegiate.
The squad Daughtry was on became, on short notice, a combined team of Americans and four Dutch players.
On the field, along with being one more unique experience to learn from, the mix of cultures and softball talent proved an outstanding one for Team USA/Netherlands.
USA/Netherlands went 5-1, losing only in the championship game, with a 1-0 loss to a U.S. team of collegiate players.
“We were facing a team mostly of 22 or 23-year-olds. I got to hit against pitching like I’d never seen before,” Daughtry said.
Daughtry pitched one of team’s wins. Her catcher was one of the Dutch recruits and all went well.
Daughtry tried out a new position while playing in a new country. With a roster full of standouts, no one had experience playing in the outfield.
“We had six pitchers,” Daughtry said.
She volunteered to give the outfield a try, which likely led to more playing time for Daughtry through the six games.
“The big thing is, I think softball is thought of more like a hobby over there than compared to here, where it’s almost a lifestyle,” Daughtry said. “But all of the players were really good. They have a very good skill level.”
Instead of creating confusion, the combined U.S.-Dutch team found a major edge in its favor.
“One difference is the teams, they will just call plays out in the open,” Daughtry said.
There were no signals, say from a base coach to a runner or batter. Whether that custom is different across the board across the pond, or because the host Dutch teams were assuming their opponents wouldn’t understand what was being said anyway, USA/Netherlands used it to its advantage.
“The other teams didn’t know we had the Dutch players. So with all the verbal signs, they would just tell us what was going to go on,” Daughtry said.
Besides the softball tournament in Amsterdam, the Americans toured the Anne Frank House, the city’s canals and the countryside’s wind mills.
“Everyone seemed more open there. The food is a lot different. You have to pay for ketchup,” Daughtry said.
After the tournament, the group traveled to Paris for two days of sightseeing, seeing Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, before returning home.