Anyone who attends a softball game expects the usual sounds of the game. The bat hitting the ball, the ball popping the catcher’s mitt and the various sounds of an umpire calling balls and strikes are all commonplace during a softball game.
But the dugouts, the dugouts never seem to be quiet. The UConn softball team seemingly has a chant or cheer for any situation offensively. Some may think it’s a purposeful distraction for the pitcher but sophomore Kiwi McDaniel says otherwise
“Cheering on our teammates keep(s) everything hype,” McDaniel said. “No matter who we’re playing, we’re just trying to do our own thing and keep everyone excited and in the game.”
Whether it be clapping, dancing, beating a bucket of balls like a drum or just yelling, UConn and teams alike will find anyway to cheer on their teammates. The Bryant Bulldogs, for example, will line up, walk and chant, almost like a march, in the dugout after a teammate earns a walk at the plate. Some teams may have one designated player to lead their chants, but for UConn, even their cheering is a team game.
“Everyone. Everyone has their own parts,” McDaniel said. “Everyone does their own little chants and then certain people have their own little cheers so it’s just whoever wants to step up and be that person that day.”
Although the Huskies don’t have the intent to distract the opposing pitcher, other teams may have that aim. Whether or not the distraction actually works, however, is up to the pitcher. For UConn’s ace, JIll Stockley, the chants aren’t in her mind at all.
“Honestly, when I’m on the mound I don’t really hear anything so it never really faze me that much,” Stockley said.
So the next time you sit in the stands for a softball game you’ll hear the usual sounds, maybe even hear the PA announcer pronounce a name wrong, but make sure to pay special attention to what’s going on in the dugouts. Trust me, it’s hard to miss.
Kevin Arnold is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.