Note: Essie Plouffe is a senior co-captain on the Lasell Softball team, and an intern in the Athletic Communications Office
I had finally perfected my daily routine. Class, internship, practice, team dinner, homework, bed, repeat. It was all figured out and running smoothly, until the week of March 9, 2020.
On Monday, all spring sport athletes met to talk about our spring training trips and the growing concern of COVID-19, commonly referred to as the Coronavirus. The virus was (and still is) spreading at a rate that began to threaten our trips; however, our athletic administration made it clear we were all still going to be traveling and wanted to make sure that we took the necessary precautions. Hours later and in the middle of practice, our athletic director walked down to our field and announced to my team that all spring break trips campus-wide have been cancelled. As upsetting as that was, it didn't mean we were done, and we carried on with practice.
On Tuesday, the School of Communication and the Arts held their annual COM Day, now renamed SoCA Day. Events were still running as planned on campus with no restraints on how many people in a room. Social distancing wasn't even a thought going through anyone's minds. At practice, our coach was trying to schedule games for us so we wouldn't lose those ten games that prepare us for our season opener. She was also trying to schedule team bonding events for us like going out to eat, going bowling, or even just a laid-back scrimmage against each other. Coach stressed that while confusing this time might be, we will pull through this stronger if we stick together as a team.
On Wednesday, the Ivy League and NESCAC had announced that day that all spring sports have been cancelled effective immediately. I'm not going to lie, this scared me. However, I walked into my internship with the Director of Athletic Communication at Lasell and it was business as usual. We were still prepping the rosters, schedules, and everything else in-between on the website for all of the 2020 spring sports. There was a lot still to do, but in the back of our minds was the question: is this all still going to go as planned? It would not only affect me as a student-athlete going into her senior season, but also all of those in our athletic administration and beyond.
On Thursday, it was announced that spring break would be extended a week and that classes would resume online on March 30 for the remainder of the term. My team and I were on a bus to Connecticut to play our season opener against Wesleyan. A million questions flew around that bus for the remainder of the ride, but no one had any answers. As a senior, I had to accept that I would no longer have a normal last spring semester and that I would not be able to see a lot of my professors again. Lasell was allowing us to stay on campus if needed but advised us all to move out. But I couldn't dwell on that yet, we had two games to play. I had to ignore the voice in the back of my head telling me they were going to be my last.
That voice wasn't wrong.
On Friday, the four senior captains got a text from our coach. Our season was over. In one simple text message, my entire life got flipped upside down. There would be no more practices, no more team dinners, no more internship. I wouldn't get a home opener, or a senior night, let alone another game. It was heartbreaking.
It's been two weeks since our season ended, and I was suddenly thrown into a new routine that for the first time in sixteen years didn't involve softball. It's still insane to me, but it's made me thankful for the years I got to spend playing the game I have come to love so much. I'm thankful for my family, coaches, teammates, trainers, and everyone in-between that has helped me to become the player and person I am. Despite all of its ups and downs, the past four years playing for Lasell have been amazing and there's nothing in this world that I wouldn't do for just one more inning out on Taylor Field.