Blogging the Lafayette Regional

After 54 games this season, the Texas Longhorns softball team advanced to the Lafayette Regional in the regional round of the NCAA tournament. While this is the tenth straight season the Longhorns are playing in the postseason, it’s the first time in five years that they will open up the tournament away from Red and Charline McCombs Field in Austin. Instead, Texas will open up playing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Texas will face Mississippi State in the first game of the double elimination tournament on Friday at 3 p.m. and ULL will play Texas Southern after that. The Longhorns beat both ULL and Texas Southern twice this season.

I will be going along to cover the tournament for The Daily Texan, the first time for me going out of the state to cover games. This has the potential to be a great experience. I will be live blogging the trip with the sights and sounds of Lafayette here as well as things along the way. I won’t be posting game updates here–that will be on my Twitter (@ViewFromTheBox) and The Daily Texan Sports Twitter (@texansports). But everything else, odd things along the road, things around town and interesting things at the stadium will be here. (Note: This is in ascending order with new posts at the top and going in order on down the page.)

Sunday

Back in Texas. The trip was nice, but home is so much better. Texas is where I belong. (Kinda sounds like it should be a song.)

Empty Lamson Park. Game over. Season over.

Well, I can officially say I’ve heard the “Star-Spangled Banner” played on an accordion.

It’s championship Sunday here in Lafayette. By day’s end, we will have a Lafayette Regional Champion. Texas needs to win twice today while ULL only needs to win one of the possible two games today.

Saturday

It was a crazy day both physically and emotionally. Tough loss to start the day, but a tremendous way to finish it off. Lindsey Stephens with a three-run shot in the top of the seventh to lift Texas over Mississippi State and to hopefully two games versus ULL tomorrow. Horns Up!

Here’s the schedule for today. Texas versus Louisiana-Lafayette will get us started at noon. Texas Southern versus Mississippi State will follow that at three. The winner of that game and the loser of the first game today will then square off at six. Two teams will be eliminated today and one team will have the upper hand tomorrow.

I know UT athletics gets busy, but I don’t know if a block of area has ever been as busy and full as it will be here with softball, baseball and graduation. Glad I got here early.

The field here at Lamson Stadium is looking good to start the day. It’s going to have to survive three very important games today.

Friday

It’s been a really long day today. Two games and roughly seven hours at the stadium. Tomorrow will be an even longer day. So long for now.

Final strike from the Texas Southern/ULL game. It got pretty loud to say the least.

And the Cajun fans are loud and organized too. Wish we could get “Texas Fight” just as loud at McCombs Field at softball games.

Don’t believe me? This place is filled to the top and all around the field for this one. A Texas/ULL match up would be even more packed I was told.

It is packed for Texas Southern and ULL. Cajun fans are just a see of red here.

The most interesting part about the stadium here in Lafayette is definitely the dugouts. Two rows of benches and you have the keep your head on a swivel for foul balls. Could be dangerous.

This will be my seat for the tournament the next three days. It’s a really nice seat outside, minus the brick column off to my right, but that’s a minor issue (hopefully).

First look at the field here in person. Looks very nice. Can’t wait to see it packed for the Mississippi State vs. Texas game at 3 p.m. and especially the Texas Southern vs. ULL game following that. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the ULL crowd.

Even in Lafayette there’s a little bit of Texas.

Learning some French this morning I guess in Lafayette (also trying to avoid making a joke about “The Hunger Games”, if you know what I mean).

Really though. I feel like I have this entire place to myself.

Not much going on this morning in downtown Lafayette. Still a really nice downtown though.

Thursday

It’s been a long day, but this sunset is a good way to close it out. Fun couple of days lie ahead.

The calm before the storm.

Well, I know Mississippi State is in the house.

Finally made it to Lafayette. This is a nice place to call home base for the next couple of days.

Eating lunch at a Whataburger in Shreveport right next to the Independence Bowl. I know it’s got a good history, but it just seems like an odd place for a bowl game.

Obligatory photo that I’ve crossed the state line.

Near Tyler: You know you’re still in Texas when…

And we’re off.