Senior travels to Netherlands for softball

Senior travels to Netherlands for softball

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Senior travels to Netherlands for softball

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Recently, senior Kayla Seidl had the opportunity of a lifetime playing the sport she loves across the world. From January 11 to January 18, she spent a week in the Netherlands and surrounding countries with the North American Cup Softball Team.

After being part of a showcase for the Queen of Diamonds Organization, she was recognized for her talent by the organization, which also happened to be the organization that runs the Cup team. After receiving the invitation to travel and play with this team via email, her reaction was purely ecstatic, naturally.

“I was just speechless. I showed my parents and was just so shocked; I didn’t even know how to respond. It was definitely an opportunity I did not want to pass up,” Seidl said.

As for preparing for this tournament, she and her team only had one opportunity to practice together in September during the actual Queen of Diamonds Showcase in South Carolina. Even then, it wasn’t a very promising practice, considering some of her teammates were not even present.

Having teammates from Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana, it made complicated to congregate the group of girls. Because of this, Seidl spent a lot of time practicing on her own.

“I just had to do a lot of practicing on my own, which was usually hitting down in my basement. I knew we were going to be playing national teams and they were going to be good so I knew I needed to do the best I could to help my team,” she said.

As for the tournament experience, there were teams from the Netherlands, Great Britain, the Czech Republic, and four other teams from the United States. Because of this, Seidl had the opportunity to see the diversity of how the sport is played in countries other than the United States.

She made a lot of friends on her team, some of which she intends to stay in touch with, as well as relationships with some European teams’ girls. Her team practiced the tradition of exchanging gifts with the first played European team, giving them gift bags with items from each of the girls’ cities.

Playing 50-minute games as shortstop against tough competition, ranging from ages 16-35, Seidl and her team placed 9th overall out of 16 teams. Then, she and her parents went on to travel with their spare time.

“The coolest part of the trip was definitely going to Paris. We spent a few days in Rotterdam/Amsterdam during the tournament part of the week and then we traveled to Paris for two days just to tour. It was incredible. The Eiffel Tower was by far my favorite part,” she said.

Seidl also had the chance to see the Anne Frank house, the Arc de Triomph, the Louvre, and Notre Dame throughout the week. At each place visited, she took advantage of the opportunity to try new food, like stroopwaffles and crepes, as well as shop at the extravagant shops and boutiques.

“I actually got my prom dress in Paris from a boutique by our hotel, which is one of only five in the world. Needless to say, we were cramming stuff into our suitcases to make sure everything fit,” she said.

When Seidl first started playing fast pitch softball at age 11, she never would have expected her talent to take her across the world.

“This was an absolutely incredible experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It’s something I will never forget,” she said.

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