ETBU's Liles enjoys time playing ball overseas
July 19, 2014 at 10 p.m.
Lacy Liles who just graduated from ETBU was fortunate enough to play a few more softball games-in Europe.
"The organization is called American International Sports Teams," Liles said. "They recruit kids who were All Americans and they contacted me and asked if I wanted to take a 10-day trip across Europe. It lasted from June 20 through June 30."
Liles traveled to Paris, France; Antwerp, Belgium and Amsterdam, The Netherlands as she represented the United States on the diamond.
"We played five games," she said. "We had a big group of girls. We had Teams Stars and Team Stripes and I was on Team Stripes. We played against French teams and against Holland teams. It was interesting hearing balls and strikes because it was in French and Dutch."
Liles and her American teammates had no difficulty winning games in Paris despite the fact they hadn't played together. She said it didn't take long to develop lifelong friendships.
"We were a bunch of girls who hadn't played in two months and we never played together," she said. "It wasn't the best chemistry at first but we really gelled. There girls from Hawaii, New York, Texas, California and all across country. It wasn't just a chance to play again but a chance to travel which is something I love to do."
She added that she developed favorite parts of the trip based on playing ball and site seeing.
"As far as playing, Holland was my favorite because the competition was better," she said. "We played their national team but didn't beat them. Basically it was like their Olympic team. As far as travel, Belgium is beautiful. The roads are paved with brick and people ride bikes everywhere. There are beautiful cathedrals and hotels and it's not cluttered at all. Paris has things you learned about your entire life. It was neat being able to see all that stuff. I never thought I'd be able to touch those things. Overall it was a dream come true. I got to play softball one last time and I made some really good friends who I'll be in contact with for a long time."
Liles said she noticed the differences in culture, even when on the field.
"Our ballparks are definitely nicer," she said. "You'd hear people yell in stands, and like I was saying about the umps, the crowd's yelling but it's not English. They're yelling in French. It's a different culture for sure, even on the ball field, just the way people carried themselves. Also, they measure in meters instead of feet so the field was measured at 70 meters."
Liles was pleased to play second base, the same position she played at ETBU and got to wear her ETBU jersey No.3.
"It was a great honor and really exciting," she said. "I thought I was finished playing but I was given an opportunity to play the game again and interact with a lot of new people. It was neat just to be able to jump in, and play alongside players from so many different places. It's a huge world out there. It was nice to explore but it's always a great thing to come home. Although it was a great experience, I couldn't be in better country. I felt like I was home when I got to New York even though I wasn't in Texas yet."