Kusek: Jacket softball team made it hard to keep quiet

2012-12-29T23:00:00Z 2012-12-29T23:10:04Z Kusek: Jacket softball team made it hard to keep quiet The Billings Gazette

Quiet has never been one of my attributes.

Ask my family, my co-workers or my volleyball players.

I’m loud.

Even my library voice can be heard in a stadium.

I can’t help it. Growing up, in my family arguments weren’t settled with facts, but by volume. 

So on April 28, I was very proud of myself.

The day was cold, wet and miserable. The emphasis on miserable.

With seven games remaining, the Montana State Billings softball team needed just one victory to clinch the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title and the league’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division II national tournament.

It appeared to be easy. After a win in the first game of a doubleheader against Western Oregon, the Yellowjackets were 31-10 overall and 24-5 in the GNAC.

However, that would be MSUB’s last win until the final day of the regular season.

The Yellowjackets lost six straight games in eight days. And head coach Lisa Allen was forced to sit four players against Saint Martin’s because of a team rules infraction.

On that chilly day in April, a couple of hours after a handful of players had walked through the graduation ceremony, MSUB had two games left against Simon Fraser.

The Yellowjackets lost the opener 19-11.

The press box at Cenex Stadium consists of sheets of wood nailed together and attached to the MSUB dugout. We could hear the players and they could hear us.

Between games, then Yellowjacket sports information director Milledge Austin found out that Saint Martin’s had lost. MSUB won the GNAC and was in the post-season no matter what the outcome of the second game.

Only Allen and four shivering people in the press box knew.

It took every fiber of my being, and maybe it helped that my teeth were chattering, not to say a noisy word to those around me.

For the entire game, 105 minutes, I remained silent during MSUB’s 8-3 victory.

I’m sure my wife wishes I would do the same at home.

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