Print and Go Back ESPN.com: espnW [Print without images]

Thursday, April 25, 2013
We have an absolute blast around each other

By Cassie Tysarczyk

Texas A&M
The calm before the snowball fight: Unaccustomed to seeing snow, A&M players and managers pose for a picture.

Howdy y'all! My name is Cassie Tysarczyk (tie-sar-check), and I'm a junior softball player for Texas A&M. First off, I want to express how incredibly blessed I am to have the opportunity to play for Texas A&M. Our 2013 group has by far the best team chemistry I have ever been a part of. I could not ask for a more humble, quirky or hardworking team.

Entering our first season in the SEC, our team embraced the new challenges ahead of us. Facing preseason opponents such as UCLA, Michigan and North Carolina prepared us for a tough conference schedule.

As I said, our team is very quirky. We get along so well on and off the field. We have an absolute blast around each other. During our first tournament at UCLA, we had a karaoke party on the bus following one of the games. Lauren Ainsley, one of our pitchers, did a fitting rendition of "Barbie Girl," Alex Masek and Breanna Dozier combined for a duet of Beyonce's "Love on Top" and Nicole Morgan performed her walkup song "Let's Get It On" by Marvin Gaye.

Texas A&M softball
During the UCLA tournament, Nicole Morgan, Cassie Tysarczyk and Mel Dumezich found some time to hang out at Huntington Beach.

We opened conference play in all-too-familiar Columbia, Mo., and split with the Tigers. As we stepped off the plane the evening before Game 1, several girls [including myself] rushed over to the piled up snow on the runway from the recent storm. As most of y'all know, we don't see that white stuff fall very often in south Texas. We had a snowball fight outside our hotel the next morning -- sorry to put the underclassmen on blast -- but the juniors and seniors dominated!

Following Missouri, we faced Arkansas at home. We then traveled to Tennessee and lost some tough games but learned a ton about our team and what we are capable of offensively. Our team was fortunate enough to host Alabama and LSU with a few sellout crowds.

Speaking of crowds, we have a huge advantage playing at home. Our "Sugar Daddies" sit behind home plate and taunt the opponents and sometimes even the umpires. If you haven't experienced a game at the Aggie Softball Complex, you're missing out on the best atmosphere in college softball because of Texas A&M's 12th Man. I cannot thank our fans enough for always coming out to support us. When kids line up outside of our complex for autographs, even after a loss, we realize how truly blessed we are and how we are a part of something so much bigger than ourselves. Our entire team knows we are role models for young athletes, and we are honored to encourage the pursuit of their dreams.

Coming back from Georgia, we realize we had a lot of missed opportunities in the series. We also realize we are going to lose some games playing against the best. But if you want to be the best, you have to play the best, and we feel we can come out on top against any team.

With finals just around the corner, everyone is absolutely relieved to set foot in the locker room and get ready for practice. With majors from animal science to allied health to marketing, most of us have our hands full at the end of the semester with term projects, final papers and tests. As I walked into Bright [Texas A&M's athletic academic building] this morning, Jenna Stark was leaving and said to me, "You know it's been a rough week when you've logged 20 hours in study hall and it's only Wednesday." Needless to say we are all looking forward to getting a short break from school at Ole Miss this weekend.

That's all for now. Until next time, thanks and gig 'em!