Sara Moulton, a senior on the Minnesota softball team in 2014, left the Gophers as one of the most decorated players in program history after helping lead to the team to its first Big Ten Tournament title in 15 years, as well as its first-ever NCAA super regional appearance. Upon completion of her collegiate career, the Eagan, Minn. native signed on to play professionally with the Chicago Bandits of the National Pro Fastpitch league. The Bandits selected Moulton with the fifth overall pick in the NPF Collegiate Draft in March. Throughout the summer, Moulton will document her first season in the professional ranks.
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A lot has happened since my last blog post, so I have
decided to recap the last month or so. One month ago from today on July 1, I
joined several of my teammates at the center of Soldier Field to watch the USA
Soccer game on the big screen surrounded by thousands of diehard soccer fans.
Even though I wouldn't consider myself to be a huge soccer fan, everyone
becomes a fan during the World Cup. We had a blast watching the game and
getting to stand on Soldier Field was an incredible experience.
Next came the Fourth of July! A bunch of my teammates and
I went to dinner at Jenna Grim's house. Jenna is from a small town and on the Fourth
of July every year, her town puts on a carnival and a fireworks show. After a
delicious dinner and some intense games of corn hole, we headed to the
carnival. The carnival had a live band and lots of food and rides. We ended up
watching the fireworks on a baseball field which just felt fitting for us.
In mid-July we traveled to St. Louis for another "Battle
of the Sexes" game. This time we took on the men's Frontier League All Stars. Even
though they put their best men on the field, the boys once again came up short
and only managed to get one hit against the Bandit pitching staff. The Bandits
scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh on a throwing error at the
plate. Victory never tasted so sweet!
After our trip to St. Louis, we traveled back to Chicago
and played against the Netherlands' softball team. This was the first time I
had ever pitched/played against an international team. The girls on Team
Netherlands were talented and a lot of fun to play against. The Bandits ended
up taking both games, and overall it was a great experience.
The day after defeating the Netherlands, we headed to
Orlando, Fla. to begin a 13-day, 10-game road trip. Florida at this time during
the year brought humidity, a lot of rain, and three losses to the USSSA Pride. We
even got to make our first TV game appearance on CBS Sports Network. There were
some familiar Minnesota teams in the crowd to watch. Even though our games
didn't go the way we wanted them to, we still managed to have fun while we were
there. The outlet stores, particularly Nike and Lulu Lemon, stole most of my
money, but it was worth it!
After spending five sweaty days in Florida, we headed to
Pennsylvania to take on the Rebellion in a six-game, six-day match up.
Pennsylvania was a lot different than Florida temperature wise, but we seemed
to have brought the rain from Florida with us for the first few days we were
there. After several games with rain and lightning delays, we somehow managed
to get all of our games in! We came out on top and clinched the series with the
Rebellion with a record of 4-2.
So what's next you ask? We are heading into the home
stretch! August is going to fly by. The first weekend in August we have a home
series against the USSSA Pride. We played our first game against the Pride last
night and got the W. The first game was important to us because it was Les
Turner's ALS Foundation night and we got to wear custom Bandit jerseys, which
were auctioned off during the game.
Also this weekend, Jennie Finch will be coming to a game
and throwing out the first pitch. I can't wait to meet her seeing as she has
been one of my biggest softball idols since I started playing. After this
weekend we only have eight games left before playoffs.
We head back to Pennsylvania next week for a four-game match up with the
Rebellion and the following week we take on Akron at home. After that, it's
playoff time! We will be traveling to Hoover, Ala. for a week of playoffs and
hopefully a championship! After our week in Alabama, I will be heading home! It's
crazy how fast the summer has gone but we still have a lot of softball left to
play and some unfinished business! Go Bandits!