Photo by Michelle Hutchins

Kristin Austin, Tori Collins and Tesha Paysen

May 30, 2012

Bar Belle: Louisville's sluggers

Some things just aren’t meant to be picked up after a 13-year break. Twinkies and Fritos — sure, preservatives. Tuna salad and me playing softball? Probably not a good idea. But I did it anyway (softball, not tuna). What could change in 13 years? I can swing a bat and field a grounder, right? And although my glove and cleats still fit just right, apparently my body has changed a bit since high school. Throwing a ball hurts my shoulder. I pulled a muscle in a simple squat. I overran second base because I couldn’t locate my brakes (which I tell all my dates).

But will this stop me? No way. As a proud member of the Mabel’s, I will dutifully sit the bench until someone fails to show up and they put me in. Luckily for the University of Louisville softball players, I’m not on their team. They just ended an incredible season with a 55-5 record. I caught up with seniors Kristin Austin (OF), Tesha Paysen (OF) and Tori Collins (P) for some advice.

Bar Belle: Congrats on your amazing season. Did you know you’d be this badass during the first game?
Tesha Paysen: I thought we had a good team with a lot of talent, but at first I wasn’t sure if we could come together collectively and put it all together. I thought we would be solid, but not as great as we really were.
Tori Collins: Every off-season, we’re working toward an amazing season and reaching new heights for this program. We knew we had a lot of fight in us, and that goes a long way in this sport.

BB: What do you do with your nerves before a game?
Kristin Austin: The nerves get a little easier the more you play, but I try to stick to the same routine each game so that it’s more comfortable before the big games.
TP: I listen to music pregame in the locker room, and then when out on the field, I quietly sit in the dugout and just think about the upcoming game and visualize our team and its success.
TC: I love when I get butterflies before a big game because it turns into adrenaline once we start, and that’s when I really get in the zone.

BB: You’re a senior … what’s next?
KA: I will hopefully get a graduate assistant position at St. Louis University where I will get my master’s in nutrition, but if that doesn’t work out, I will go to nursing school at the University of Missouri.
TP: I am coming back to U of L to finish my nursing degree.
TC: I have to keep softball in my life, or I’d go into a depression. So I’ll find a team to coach and give pitching lessons, as well as finish my elementary education degree.

BB: What are you going to miss most?
KA: I’m going to miss the girls so much. I don’t think people understand just how much of a family we have become over my four years here, and I’m going to miss that like crazy.
TP: The team chemistry and all of the bubbly personalities.
TC: How much fun we have together and all the laughter we shared.

BB: If I were to stalk you, which bar would I find you at?
TP: On Fourth Street, probably.
TC: Somewhere on Fourth Street.

BB: I’m thinking about putting those black paint lines under my eyes for my next pub crawl — like you girls do during your games.
TC: Haha … I was always the black-eye master for our team. Come see me and I’ll hook you up :) 


 

 Drunk Texts of the Week

• Want to go on a road trip to pound town?!
• My vagina is fickle
• No falling for anyone who is outside City Scoot radius!
• I need some lady fingers on this muscle … and Im not talkin bout cookies!

Send your drunk texts to shavens@leoweekly.com. My blog is at barbelle.leoweekly.com. Word.