Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – This summer a handful of Lutes tested their mettle against some of the world's best on the softball diamond as Pacific Lutheran University student-athletes past, present, and future, played a pair of exhibitions against the Chinese Taipei National Team at the Kent Service Ball Fields.
The Chinese Taipei National Team was in the area for the 2017 Canada Cup, a huge world tournament held in Surrey, British Columbia. Current Lutes Bailey Plumb and Becca Sorensen, recent graduates Emily McConnell and Nichole Schroeder, along with an incoming first-year were chosen to play for the Washington Acers, a team comprised of collegiate players representing Seattle University, Concordia University, and the University of Mississippi along with others from around the Pacific Northwest.
"It included multiple women that I had grown up playing against but never with, so it was a fun experience to get to know them in a different way than as an opponent," Plumb said.
The Chinese Taipei National Team, ranked ninth in the world heading into the Canada Cup, proved to be too much for Plumb and the rest of the Lutes. In game one, they fell 12-2. In the second game, the score was tied at zero through four innings. Plumb felt the games would have been a little different had the college teams been in season.
Regardless of the outcome, the chance to see how the Chinese Taipei National Team plays is an opportunity Plumb won't forget.
"I enjoyed seeing how a different culture played the game that I have been around my whole life," Plumb said. "Very much was similar but I think what it came down to was the respect they had for all aspects of the game. When a batter was hit by a pitch the first baseman would say sorry and the pitcher would often give a wave to apologize as well. They had a signal they did with their hand bringing it to their head toward the umpire before stepping into the box. At the end of the game they were very grateful and bowed to us and then to the field as well."
The Lutes returned to the Northwest Conference Tournament after a four-year hiatus in 2017, advancing to the NWC Championship game and ending the season with a 23-16 record in Head Coach Brandi Gordon Bennett's first season at the helm.