Mack Plays for the Union Jack (July 22)

After her first season playing for Mizzou Softball, catcher Kirsten Mack is off on an even more exciting adventure! The soon-to-be sophomore Tiger will be playing with Great Britain's U-19 National Team at the European Junior Women's Championships from July 21-26 in Rosmalen, Holland. Mack will have blog entries for over the next week.

Mizzou fans can follow along with the ECJW 2014 online here.

Hello again, I'm back! But now... I am in Holland!

During the last blog, myself and the Great Britain U-19 team were still in England and getting ready to head out for our last morning of training on Saturday. So on Saturday, we just did a light batting practice and did a lot of stretching and recovery. Then we went back to the hotel and got ready for a fun afternoon in London. Our hotel was near a train station, and the nice thing about London is you can buy a day pass that covers all public transportation. At the subway station, we got split into teams and were told we were doing a scavenger hunt around London!

The subway ride was about a 10-minute ride into Paddington Station. This is a massive subway station that is almost like an airport terminal. Once we got to Paddington, the race was on and all the teams split up. We had about 28 challenges that included all the famous sites of London. We went to Buckingham Palace, St. Andrews Cathedral, The London Eye, Big Ben, Downey Street and so many others. It was such an amazing afternoon and I was able to see practically every tourist spot in central London.

When we got back to Paddington Station to meet up with the other teams, we looked at all of our pictures (you had to document everything with a photograph) and my group was the winner! We were able to complete 24 of the 28 challenges in just about four hours. Overall, it was such an amazing afternoon spent with my team.

On Sunday, we packed up everything and caught a quick 35-minute flight into Amsterdam. Once we got into Amsterdam, we had about an hour ride to Rosmalen, which is where the tournament and our team hotel are located. But where we are staying is not really like a hotel at all! It is this huge house with a bunch of dorm-style rooms, sitting on a farm. There is a lot of open space to lounge around outside, or play volleyball and football (or soccer as us Americans know it).

Yesterday, Monday, we had an early morning leaving our "farm dorm" at 8:30 a.m. to get to the fields early enough to figure out how everything was going to work. Our first game of the tournament was against Serbia. We came out swinging our bats and put up 13 runs in the first inning! We ended up winning by run-rule in three innings, but it was so awesome to be able to play Serbia because of their story.  It really brought into perspective how lucky we are in the United States. The Serbian team comes from a very war-torn country, and just being able to get the funding to come here was such blessing for them. Yes, they were down after the first inning, but that did not matter to them. They were just so stoked to even be there. It was very cool to be a part of that.

We were supposed to have a one-game break, but that ended up turning into a four-hour rain delay. The field guys did an amazing job getting the fields playable, and we were able to start our second game against Belgium around 5:45 p.m. By the third inning, the rain was pouring again and the umpires had to call it. We left the game up 4-0 and will resume play Wednesday morning. The weather is looking much nicer for the rest of the week, so that is positive!

Anyways, we continue playing hopefully the rest of this week, finishing off our game with Belgium and then we play Germany. After that it goes into a bracket, so it will depend on winners and losers of other games. We are looking very strong and hoping to have one of the best finishes in Great Britain history!

MIZ! ...GB!


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