Monday, May 31, 2010

Behind The (TV) Scenes

I just thought I'd write a post about the "behind
the scenes" experience of doing TV. I commentated
for ESPN for the third year in a row for College
Softball Super Regionals. The first year I went
to Tempe and covered ASU vs. Northwestern. ASU
went on to win the National Championship ('08).

Then last year I went to Georgia Tech and they
played Washington. Washington ended up beating
#1 ranked Florida to bring home the Championship
for the 1st time ever.

This year I went to Florida and the Gators
defeated the ASU Sundevils and are headed to
the Women's College World Series starting Thursday.

When I was first asked I wanted nothing to do
with it. I had done a TV game back in 2000 and
did not have a good experience and felt like
I was the worst commentator ever, so I said I
would never do it again. But ESPN called and
Tommy said, "You need to try it again. If you
don't like it, you never have to do it again."
So I said yes and ended up having a great time.

After my first game in 2008 I realized that I said the
word "great" about 500 times, but that was something
I could work on. So I made a note with the
word Great on it and crossed out the word.
I also learned (with advice) how to talk through the
replay on the screen. I felt like I did much better
the second game.

Last year I was so nervous and sick to my stomach
the 2 days prior to doing the game but once the
game started, I felt much better. Kinda like I
felt before a big game- the wait is the hardest
part! After I did the two games, I really wanted
more opportunities.

I was thankful to be asked back this year.
I was more relaxed and was listening to a lot of
friends and former teammates who were
commentating for all the other games and getting
ideas of what I liked that they talked about.

Let me tell you, I think I'm a pretty good
commentator- FROM MY COUCH! And let me tell
you: doing the game live is COMPLETELY different
than watching it from the couch. It doesn't
seem like it would be. I felt prepared, but man,
it takes a lot of practice. Unfortunately 2 games
a year isn't a lot of practice, but nonetheless,
I was so excited for this opportunity!

So I talk to a couple players from the team to
see where they are coming from and to get some
thoughts and also sit down with the coaches.
Luckily softball is a small world, so I feel
comfortable talking to the different coaches.

The 3 days prior I do my homework and study
all the players and get the key stories from
both teams. Then it's game time. We usually
tape an intro, but the first game we had no
time, so we go live for the intro. That
means NO messing up- no pressure right!!!
My heart starts pounding and I'm just trying
to keep my head clear so I can make sure I
know what I want to say for the intro.

Next thing you know, the game is on and you
just go with the flow. Play by play leads
the way and I have been so fortunate to work
with great play by play announcers. This
week I was working with Pam Ward. The first
couple innings were tough for me to get into
it. And I went back to that word: GREAT.
Luckily I have my phone nearby and Tommy texts
me and reminds me not to overuse any words.

Finally around the 3rd inning I have a better
feel for what we are doing again and start
talking with Pam and not AT the audience. The
game ended after 5 innings because Florida won
by 8 runs, so I was really looking forward to
a better start on Sunday.

Overall, Sunday was very smooth and Florida
beat ASU again but I said something that I will
never forget. In the intro (and nobody caught
it!) I was talking about the ASU pitcher and said
"The Arizona State Wildcats". Well, I went to
the U of A and we were the Wildcats and are huge
rivals with ASU! I didn't even know I said it
until I watched the intro as the game started!
I almost died!!! But what can you do??? I had
a game to do and had to move on from my mistake!

I wanted to do a re-do and it made me think, it's
kinda like when I would have a bad at-bat and
wished I could do it over! But, that's not an
option. So I lived and learned and had to laugh
at myself! I am a perfectionist so I had to
apologize to the ASU coaching staff and was really
hard on myself. I just want to be my very best
in every opportunity I get and many times feel
like I could do better.

So I'm looking forward to my next opportunity for
ESPN on June 12th for the Pro game between the
Chicago Bandits and USSSA Pride. My goal is to
get better each time I have an opportunity!

A last little note: don't be so hard on TV
announcers- you don't realize how hard it is
until you try it. And remember, nobody is

My nephew, Tristan

In 3 weeks we are taking a family trip to Disney
World and meeting up with Tommy's family who
lives in Boston. We can't wait to spend time
with Nana and Papa and the boys are excited to
spend time with their cousins, Anna, William and

We are thankful that we are able to live near
some cousins and last month we celebrated my
nephew's birthday. Tristan turned 2!

My sister and Tristan:

A couple weeks before he turned 2, Tristan had a
little accident. . .

and broke his leg!

That didn't spoil his birthday fun, or stop him
from eating his yummy cupcake!

He WOULD have to wait a little longer for his birthday
present from his dad!

But Uncle Tommy did a good job making him laugh!

He's getting his cast off next week! Yay!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

NCAA College Softball

It's that time of year for college softball. . .
the time of year that rankings don't really matter,
but timely hitting does. The time of year that
what you've done in the past doesn't matter, it's
what you do in this moment. I relished this time
of year as a collegiate athlete when I played
and as I see the games on TV in the post season,
it brings back so many memories of my playing
days. I think of the success my teammates and
I had and the feelings of accomplishment as we
ended our season in that final game at the
Women's College World Series. That goal is
what all of these athletes on the teams competing
are all focused on. First, getting to the WCWS
and second, bringing home the title.

I'm so excited to be a small part of the post
season from the booth as I commentate with Pam

We are here in Gainesville, FL with the humidity
and all the gators!

The Gators are lead by senior, Francesca
Enea. She has had an amazing career and
wants to finish with a bang. Keep your
eyes open for her.

Another key player from So. Cal is 1st
baseman Megan Bush. She's small but
mighty and swings a big bat.

ASU is ready for the challenge and brings a
talented ball club to the table as well.

Hillary Bach is a sophomore pitcher who lead
her team to the WCWS last year. She knows
what it takes and plans to stop these powerful
Gator hitters.

She will depend on the bats of her teammates
and just as importantly, the defense. Sophomore
Katelyn Boyd is a key to their success both on
offense and defense.

This will be a pretty even match up. I'm excited
for the games to start. Game time is 7:30pm Eastern
on ESPN and tomorrow @ 3:30pm on ESPNU.

Teams that have already advanced to the WCWS:

It's going to be an entertaining series this
weekend and next.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pictures from Heart of a Princess

Having a Heart of a Princess includes:

True Beauty

Lasting Joy

Being Authentic

Healthy Relationships

Positive Self Image

Finding Identity in Christ Jesus


True Worship

Complete Surrender

Singing God's Praises

Recongizing you are not alone

Overcoming Obstacles

Being Obedient

Allowing God to use you and your story

Making Good Choices

Recognizing the enemy's tricks

Refusing to compromise, even in the little things

Being Blessed

Living in Victory, Now and Forever through Jesus Christ

Serving God together

Thank you to ALL who helped, attended and prayed for
this event! God was present and He gets all the GLORY!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Women's Softball Super Regionals

This next weekend I'll be working with

for the College Softball Super Regionals!

I'll be heading across the country to be
an analyst for the Women's College Softball
Super Regionals.

The game I will be commentating for is


The Florida Gators will be taking on the ASU
Sundevils in Gainesville and the games will
be on ESPN on Saturday and Sunday. The
first game is on ESPN at 7:30pm Eastern on
Saturday night.

Tune in and watch some softball at its best!

Heart of a Princess

This past Friday and Saturday a group of high school
and college girls as well as a group of my friends
(including my mom) put on this amazing event for
teenage girls. I am so in awe of how God orchestrated
this entire event.

About 2 months ago I invited a group of about 10 girls
over my house to throw out the idea of having an
event to share God's truth with girls and also discuss
the struggles and temptations they face and give them
hope in Jesus.

Well, this weekend all those ideas came to life through
this event. Ontario Christian HS graciously offered their
chapel and it was the perfect setting for this event.
We had about 250 Jr. High and High School girls attend
each night.

We had 4 main speakers, 4 interviews, 3 different
worship leaders (all of them rocked!), a panel
answering questions submitted by the girls in the
audience, discussion time (the girls answered questions
about the topics spoken on) and raffles with giveaways!
We had a couple sponsors that helped make this event
even better: c28 Clothing (they donated a lot of NOTW
shirts), Chick-Fil-A (donated sweet tea), and Stater
Bros. (donated water). We also had a table from the
Women's Care Center at this event.

I will get some pictures up once I get them from my
friend, Heather, who was our photographer for the
entire event! I loved looking in the stands and
seeing friends and daughters of friends who attended
the event and also my wonderful friends (Kristi,
Chanel, Tanya, and Miriam) working behind the scenes
along with my mom! It was so fun to have such a great
"Team" for this entire event.

The High School girls did a great job being leaders,
working at registration tables, coordinating, giving
interviews, working the slides for the screen, and much
more! Karissa was our MC and she is a college student.
She was a natural on stage. I loved every aspect of
this event! Our interviews (Cassie, Olivia, Jessica
(my sister-in-law) and Bridget) were all so transparent
as they shared from their hearts.

Two people that God used to help get girls to this
event by supporting it were Pastor Jack Hibbs (my
home church: Calvary Chapel Chino Hills) and O.C.H.S.
Principal, Mr. Hoekstra. I am so grateful for their
support and getting behind an event that will encourage
these young ladies!

God gets all the glory! He is so good. He showed up in
so many ways! I'm excited to see how God moves in the
future. I'll be getting together with the girls soon
to debrief and talk about the event and I can't wait.
I'll share pictures soon! I really believe this is one
of the most important things I have ever done and the
rewards will be eternal!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Frank Pastore's Book "Shattered"- I highly recommend it!

Maybe you remember me telling you about some of
the upcoming shows on "More Than Conquerors" a
couple months back that I co-host with Frank
Pastore and AC Green. One of our shows was
all about Frank Pastore's new book coming out
called "Shattered: Struck Down but not Destroyed."

Well the show just aired last week (this picture
was taken while shooting that show)

And now his book is out! My friend, Zsanae,
heard him speak at the National Day of Prayer
in Corona and bought me one of his books! She
asked him to sign it for Leah and he asked
her about the spelling, and she said, "You
know, L-E-A-H, the one who does the show with

He signed it for me and this past Friday while I was
flying (or waiting in the airport for a 5 hour
delay) to Oklahoma to do a softball clinic with
Jennie Finch, I read the entire book!

That's how good it is and what a quick read it
is. There are so many crazy stories that I want
to ask him if "that's how it really happened"!
I love the stories he tells, the outcome and
where God has him now and just the book in general.
His personality in the book is just the same as
when I'm doing the show with him. He is a people

I am going to give this book to friends! Even if
you don't like baseball you would like this book.
But if you do like baseball, you will LOVE this
book! Pick up his book, you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Athletic and Cute

Who says you can't be cute and also

I think it's the perfect combination!

I played with girls who loved to play
with the utmost intensity on the field,
but also enjoyed dressing up off the

We would joke: "If you look good, you'll
play good :)!"

Well, here's my cute niece, Taylor, and
she just finished her first year of
softball. Now she just wants to practice
and throws a glove on and grabs a ball
when she comes over and says, "Will you
play catch with me?"

I love it!!!

Who says you can't play ball in boots
and a skirt!!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Tee-Ball Lessons

Drew's 1st year of Baseball taught him a lot.

He made a bunch of new friends. . .

He learned about teamwork. . .

He learned offense and defense. . .

He learned to run the bases and (finally) how
to sprint (as opposed to the homerun trot to
each base). . .

He learned that we work hard in baseball and
most importantly: WE HAVE FUN!

He made his mom and dad very proud and wore my #20
which melts my heart!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband!


You are a great dad and your boys LOVE you so much!

I am so thankful for you!


I hope ALL your Birthday wishes come true!

I want to celebrate many more with you!

Happy Birthday Honey!

One Week from Tomorrow. . .

is a Jr. High and High School Girls Event

Heart of a Princess

For Girls

By Girls

This event is all about their ideas, their
topics they want to hear about and even
their schedule (two nights in a row)

They came up with the graphics

And I think they did an amazing job!

OK, so it was a boy who did the graphics,
but he's in college and we found him thanks
to Karissa who is helping run this event.

We will have amazing worship:
Natalya Radford-Roa
Mariah Langford
Priscilla Miller

Tina West
Alisa, Zsanae and Me

Interviews with different topics including:
teenage pregnancy, real beauty, choices, and more!

I will have to write more about this event later, but let
me just say that this entire event has fallen into
place in just 2 months! It is a GOD-thing completely!

There have been so many doors opened which reminds me
that we are right in the middle of His perfect will!

One huge blessing has been the support of my church,
Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and our pastor, Jack Hibbs.
They are doing everything they can to get the word out
and get girls to this event and I am so grateful.

Ontario Christian High School is allowing us to use
their awesome facilities and we are so thankful for
them as well.

Just the other day I stopped by Calvary Chapel Chino
Valley to talk to the HS Youth Pastor and found out
that we went to High School together and know a lot
of the same people. As I'm talking to him, out
walks Randy Walls, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Upland.
Randy is the father-in-law of a good friend of mine
and I know him, so I was able to hand him some flyers
to hand out.

Some people may say it's just a coincidence, but I
know that it's God's perfect timing to cross the
paths of people!

We have received donations from Stater Bros. (water)
and also have been so blessed to receive copies from
a friend who offered it! I am amazed at all these open
doors! God is so good- I CANNOT wait to see what He
is going to do next week at this event!

It's going to be BIG!!!!

And God gets ALL the GLORY!!!!

For more information, e-mail us at

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Daisy Love Merrick- Cancer Free- Thank You God!

I've written about Daisy Love before but this
video just came out and if you have 10 minutes,
you'll want to watch it. Make sure to have
a kleenex on hand. We don't understand everything
we have to go through, but God is GOOD through
it all. To Him be the glory forever! We praise
You God- You receive the GLORY for healing Daisy!

Make sure to pause the music first

Daisy from Reality on Vimeo.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Baseball Picture

Here is the picture they sent from the Angels'
Photographer with Terry Evans from my 1st
pitch last month.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you Mommies out there!
No matter if your kids are big or small, you
are making and have made a difference in the lives
of your children that nobody else can compare to.

I know at times I already have regrets about how
I yelled at my boys, or said things I shouldn't
have and as I was reminded at church, all of that
is laid at the foot of the cross and Jesus covers
all of my mistakes. I will press on in this job
of motherhood. The job that is the hardest yet
the most rewarding, the one that pays nothing
monetary yet earns eternal gains that far outweigh
anything else. I strive to raise my kids with
the truth of God's word and believe that "when
they are old, they will not depart from it."
I pray that they can see God's love through me.
I was able to see that through my mom and she
is my hero!

I am so very thankful for my mom.

She is beautiful on the inside and out! She loves
God and loves others. She was the one who cheered
me on through all my successes and was there for
me through my trials. I am blessed because of my
mom! Thank you mom- I love you with all my heart.

Through marriage I have another mom!

I am so thankful for her as well and wish we lived in
the same city! Even though she is across the
country in Boston, she is near in my heart.
I am thankful for the mom that she is. She
is the one who raised my husband and I am blessed
because of her! Mom, you raised 4 boys and
they love you so much. I hope to do the same
with my boys! Love you!!!