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Tournament Trash Talking

Belle's Unofficial Challenge with a Promise

By Shirley BelkPublished 9 days ago Updated 9 days ago 4 min read
My #10 Left Fielder at Bat

My favorite niece, who is also my only niece is in her Junior year at Dartmouth, one of eight universities in the Ivy League.

~She has started all games for the Big Green team since her freshman year. She is also a fantastic left fielder for her softball team (*"earning in her freshman year, first-team All-Ivy League honors following a stellar campaign in the outfield.")

~Since then, she and her glove have caught impossible balls to put out scores of opponents' hits that otherwise would have made runs, herself, hitting homers, triples, doubles, stealing countless bases, and even hit a grand slam for a team win!

Being a left fielder requires agility, speed, keeping your eye on the ball, and having a strong arm. And that is all wrapped up in her petite 5'4" body with the heart of a lioness!

I have been so fortunate to have seen her games on ESPN+ To say that I am proud of her accomplishments on and off the field, is a huge understatement. So, you can imagine how pumped I was when Dartmouth won their place in the Ivy League tournament this season:

During the days of the tournament (and all her other games, too), my brother, sister/Alaana's mother, and I have group chat messages/trash talk. This was part of our discussions during the first game of the double elimination of those teams that Dartmouth played:

~May 8th, Wednesday: Dartmouth #4 vs Princeton #1


Kitty So their first game is today at 5pm Eastern. I'm on the plane to Philadelphia now (heart emoji)

Leck Good I'll try to get home. So, that's 4pm my time?

Me So glad you'll be there

Kitty Lori is coming too! (that's Alaana's other aunt...father's side)

Kitty Yes (replying to Leck)


Kitty The last game (Yale & Harvard) just ended. It went into extra innings, says we will start in 30 minutes, but it could be soon.

Leck I just got home so that's great

Me On line Who won the first league game?

Kitty Harvard (12-4)

4:49 pm

Kitty Starting now

Leck They said it was an 8 run 8th. Where are you? Let's go Alaana

Kitty Over on 3rd base side, at the top in the shade. White tank top

Leck 4:54 That was close on the tag

Kitty Yeah

Leck 4:56 Ok got a 2 out rally

Me 5:01 How was she not out on 1st? (Princeton player) Good recovery (for us)

Kitty 5:19 Couldn't find the fatheads (she had them made of Alaana's face) at 4 o'clock this morning when I had to leave the house, thought they were in Alaana's room, but weren't there (my guess is that Alaana hid them from Kitty when she was last home in California...lol...just saying)

Leck 5:21 One more out and get out of the inning. Got to throw strikes.

Leck 5:25 Nothing hit hard and it's 0-1 with the bases loaded.

Kitty Wonder if she's (our pitcher) nervous or something

Me She's off for sure

Leck No these hitters are more selective. You can throw balls off the plate, but they have to be close

Me 5:28 Hell yes, Alaana! (Another fantastic catch by Alaana in left field)

Kitty "loved" Hell yes, Alaana

Leck Panu saves the inning!

Kitty "loved" Panu saves the inning

Leck 5:29 Let's get the bats going and get those runs back

Me Amen

Leck 5:36 Throw strikes Jensin and let your defense make plays. You don't have to strike everyone out. Throwing hard is great. But look at what the Princeton pitcher is doing. Changing speeds, changing locations. The Big Green hitters are off balance.

Me I just want the smirk wiped off their faces (Princeton's)

Kitty Me too

Me 5:44 (after listening to one of the announcers "diss" on our team) I hate that #!*# female announcer...sorry for the language

Kitty We don't hear her, only on TV

Me I'm gonna mute

Leck 5:50 OMG

Me Damn, that was a great catch! (Another almost impossible catch by Alaana)

Leck Panu is the player of the game. Says the #!*# announcer

Me Well, she got that right, at least!

Kitty laughed at Panu is the player of the game. Says the #!*# announcer


So, we didn't wipe the smirk off the Princeton Tigers this season:

May 8th: Princeton 4 Dartmouth 0, Harvard 12 Yale 4

May 9th: Princeton 3 Harvard 1, Dartmouth 4 Yale 3

May 10th: Harvard 6 Dartmouth 5

May 11th: Princeton 1 Harvard 6, Princeton 1 Harvard 0

But, their next stop is going to be in my home state, Louisiana!

"The Tigers will now head to the NCAA Regionals in Lafayette, La. The Tigers will face off first against the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (Ranked #13) on Friday, May 17, at 5:30 p.m. If they win, they will go up against the winner of Ole Miss and Baylor, hoping to continue their march through the Ivy League to the national stage." https://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2024/05/princeton-sports-recaps-softball-tigers-ivy-league-tournament-ncaa-may-2024

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!!! Welcome to the Big League, Tigers...#waitingtoseethatsmirkthen


~This story was for Belle's Unofficial challenge to "Write a story that is entirely made of a text message conversation(s)."


* Reference:


About the Creator

Shirley Belk

Mother, Nana, Sister, Cousin, & Aunt who recently retired. RN (Nursing Instructor) who loves to write stories to heal herself and reflect on all the silver linings she has been blessed with

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Comments (7)

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  • Hannah Moore8 days ago

    I couldn't follow any of that, not a sports follower at all, but I could definitely hear the pride!

  • Lamar Wiggins8 days ago

    Wow! you weren't kidding when you said your niece knew how to play. And she's on ESPN! Amazing! I hope you share this story with her!

  • Whoaaaa, Alaana is so freaking awesomeeee!! She the real MVP!!

  • Jay Kantor9 days ago

    Sb - Who you a proud Bleacher 'Auntie'..! Don't know nuthin' bout Ivy League. I barely got in west coast learnin' with affirmative action; remember that. Luck 2 U'z. Put fun back into sports. TransLess (just hadta Curveball ~ 'Toss' that in...! J-bud.in.l.a.

  • Rachel Deeming9 days ago

    That catch! And does she get her dance moves from your side of the family? Nicely done, Shirley.

  • Wow!!! How impressive. Your niece must be one very smart young lady. I loved the video, she looks very enthusiastic. Thanks for sharing this, a nice fun way to start the day!!!

  • Mark Gagnon9 days ago

    It's amazing how conversations like this stick in your brain when they're about someone you care about. Good luck in the competition.

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