Wednesday, April 18, 2012

First Games Down!!

As you could probably guess, #7 and #17 were both taken.
I feel like a linebacker now. Lovely. 
So....after 6 weeks here in Japan, we FINALLY got to play our league games, aka the only games that count. The league here is very different from what we know in the U.S. We only have 22 League Games. Other than that there are just scrimmages. FAR fall from the 60+ games in a college season. These games are spread across a 3 month period - mid-April to beginning of June, then September to end of October. We break during the summer because 1. it is too damn hot here to even breath outside, let alone play a sport and 2. they break for National Team members. The girls who don't play on the National team stay with the team and train. Brutal. Summer here in Japan somewhat compares to Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, etc. Except way worse. Think 100+ with about 90% humidity. HELLLLLL NO. Not happening. So, huge thank you to whoever thought up the summer break in season, you're my new hero.

The stadiums here are amazing! They double up the baseball and softball stadiums. But we get just as many fans as baseball does. 
Our first game was in Kyoto, one of the bigger cities in Japan. Absolutely GORGEOUS cherry blossom. They were huge and so pretty. Literally took my breath away. The city is one of the most historic in Japan, so there were a bunch of temples scattered throughout the city. Was a little weird to see these ornate temples from centuries ago mixed in with extremely modern architecture. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to site-see at all. Our schedule was jam-packed with practice, meetings, and, of course, our game.

Our first game went pretty well. We played Taiyo Yuden, who placed 5th last year (we placed 6th). We won 1-0. Pretty nerve-wracking game. I NEVER get nervous. Like ever. Well, for softball anyways. I know, I'm weird. But the atmosphere at a Japanese game is unlike anything I've ever experienced. Such high energy. And sooooo LOUD. The noise never stops. Literally there was not a quite moment for 2 hours. I felt like I was in the middle of a bee hive. A bee hive equipped with amps. The nonstop noise and extremely high energy definitely gave me some butterflies. I've played the game for so long, but it felt so different here. 

Chiaki, our AWESOME drummer/translator!

We have a "cheerleader" who is freaking amazing. Every team has a designated cheerleader, equipped with a full uniform, drum, and incredibly loud voice. Our guy is super cool. His name is Chiaki and he works for Denso. He yells out all these crazy cheers, and the best part is everyone in the stands knows every cheer. Perfectly coordinated. I feel like our fans barely get the Hail to the Victors down in coordination. Step up your game America!!

The game seemed to take 30 minutes. In actuality it was about 2 hours. The constant action and nerves made it seem so much shorter. We had some touch-and-go moments. We scored our first run in the first inning and only threatened about 2 more times. They didn't get a hit until the 5th inning. It got a little chaotic in the 5th. Hit up the middle (right past my ear, I might add), an error by me (dammit), bunt which we got the runner at 3rd, a hit batter on a 1-2 count (again, dammit), followed by a pop-up, and a play being described by everyone as "the first cute softball play ever" by me - caught a liner on one toe, ballerina-esque, and we got out of the inning. They only threatened again in the 7th with a lead-off hit, followed by a strikeout and 2 pop-ups. All-in-all it was an okay game. Hopefully, we'll get much better through out the season. At this point, I'm about ready to make some sacrifices to Greek Gods for my change-up back. My change-up is my bread and butter. It's my go-to, my first love in my life. It's treated me so well thus far. It ran away and I want it back! Suggestions for it's retrieval are welcome. 

Wish us luck this week as we take on Toyota and Honda!
Til next time....
Here's my team. They're hilarious. 
These are some of the fans after our game.
They learned how to say "I want to be just like you."
in English and repeated it to me. FRIGGIN ADORABLE!

xoxo Jordan 


  1. Thats awesome! Well I have noticed in some other blogs that there is no one to talk to but if you want a pen pal i know a huge fan of yours that would love that (also it would give you something to look forward to...just sayin!)

    1. Laura, I'm so sorry that I'm just now seeing this comment! I would love a pen pal! If you still would like to send letters, I'd be completely willing to send one back!

      My address is:
      Jordan Taylor
      4-12 Maruta-cho
      Aichi-ken 448-0033

      (crazy address I know, but guarantee it will get to me)