PHHS Softball and Baseball Teams Take on Myrtle Beach Part Two

PHHS Softball and Baseball Teams Take on Myrtle Beach Part Two

For the second time in Pascack Hills’ history, the baseball and softball teams traveled to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to take part in the Ripken Experience Spring Training. This year’s trip differed from two years ago; the players and coaches replaced the eleven-hour bus ride with hopping on a quick plane and a connecting bus filled with sing-alongs led by Ryan Lapinski and broken air conditioner units. A total of thirty-one baseball players, fourteen softball players, and five coaches spent the four days together.

On day one of the trip, all players and coaches were expected to be at the school at 3:45am Saturday morning to catch a 6:45am flight to Charleston, South Carolina. Once in Charleston, the coaches rented four white Nissan vans that would be used to transport all of the players throughout the trip. Once in Myrtle Beach, teams quickly checked into the hotel, the Ocean Reef Resort, and departed for their first games. In total, the JV baseball team played two games, and the varsity baseball and softball teams played four games each.

After playing a doubleheader, the softball team had dinner at Broadway on the Beach in which the fourteen players walked the Boardwalk, ate dinner together, and enjoyed some refreshing Ben and Jerry’s ice cream—the highlight of day two for the girls. Upon returning to the hotel, the Cowboys challenged the Cowgirls to a friendly game of beach volleyball, which ultimately ended in an unorganized game ruined by the wind and flying Pop Tarts thrown from room 807.  4d042e19-a9e2-420d-b107-79a1cefc41ba

On day three, players had the opportunity to join Coach Curatola and Coach Kirkby on a college tour of Coastal Carolina University. Once this group returned, all teams and coaches met at the Broadway Grand Prix for lunch, go-karting, and mini golf. Although the girls’ game for the day was cancelled, the Cowgirls were able to support the Cowboys in their final game of the trip.

On the last day of the trip, all teams woke up early to enjoy breakfast at Mammy’s Kitchen, a personal favorite of Coach Delmour and several players who were fortunate enough to play in Myrtle Beach two years ago. After eating from the buffet, specifically the unlimited biscuits, the baseball and softball team had a combined practice in which a boy and a girl were partnered up by the coaches in hopes of winning “Thread the Needle,” a competitive game commonly played by the softball team. Against all odds, the dream team of freshman Julian Bulzomi and myself, Kristina Hughes, was defeated by underdogs Amanda Sailer and Brandon Kreindel.

Reflecting on the overall experience, senior Jake Chiavelli said, “There was a good balance between baseball and team bonding. It was a lot of fun and a great experience.” Senior Hannah Hoffman added, “While Myrtle Beach looked like a vacation, the softball and baseball teams worked extremely hard to get ourselves ready for the season. Altogether, the teams played ten games against teams from all over the country. It just happened to be a bonus that we were at a beach with a lot to do.”

Overall, the Myrtle Beach trip was a successful experience for players of all levels, and not only because of the available playing time. A contributing factor to the positivity of the trip was the unique group of boys and girls who participated and made the trip enjoyable for everyone. Hopefully, the PHHS baseball and softball teams can participate in the Ripken Experience for many years to come.