|First baseman Nicholas Wasilewski|
perching during the mid-practice break
Eight members of the Unicorns journeyed to Kempsville Rec Center yesterday to engage in some summer practice. Normally they would be staying fresh for fall, but most of the Unicorns were making sure that they stayed loose for the make-up game two Mondays from now.
For the most part, the Unicorns picked up right where they left off in terms of positioning, but not all played their normal spots. Lanah Stafford was able to get a rare chance at second base, though she will resume her place behind home plate during game time when Prucha takes the field. Plus, with the absence of Rianna Schweitzer, Matt Portner was able to practice pitching a little more. Fans should expect to see Portner pitch in a couple of games this fall, provided he does not have to take a leave of absence from the team due to work-related activities.
The practice also saw the return of Joanna Niles, who has been absent from the team since late May, when she took off for France. Luckily for her and for us, she was back in the United States of America by Independence Day. When reporting that she was unprepared for practice, she explained, "I ... was unprepared by the heat. The weather was always 75 degrees in France and the heat during practice made me lazy." However, despite writing something unintelligible ("Soyez prete pour moi!") and feeling a lingering laziness caused by weather patterns only reserved for the privileged descendants of the Francs, she seemed as if she had never left for the land of omelette du fromage, catching a couple of balls hit to her in RC and hitting a number herself over the infielders' heads. Sometimes, month-long trips to foreign countries can provide a great mental break for ballplayers, which in turn allows them to come back to the game in full swing*. The one problem with month-long ones, though, lies in that they can melt a player down physically, even if another advantage is remembering how much one really misses the important things. "I'm sore after one practice!" Niles informed us today via e-mail, "I really missed playing with those balls... and I missed my teammates and coach!"*Editor's note: Pun intended