Hornets Overseas - with Paige Gaut in Italy
This is my second summer traveling with the American International Sport Team (AIST) softball team, last summer as a High School player to the Dominican Republic, and now, this summer, as a Lynchburg College athlete to Italy. AIST not only changed my life but it gave me the opportunity to play globally against international professional club teams.
My two-week trip to Italy was a great experience. We travelled to nine different cities and one country. I was selected to play for the team Stars; this Collegiate select team is made up of players from all levels of College play. AIST recruit players who generally are statistical leaders as well as players with good leadership and a strong desire to play at the next level. I had the chance to play alongside other college players from all over the United States. We were scheduled to play eight games total; however, the weather and the rain were not on our side; four games and two teams were rained out. Overall, I enjoyed playing a few games and enjoyed meeting teams and girls from another country, who also love the sport as much as I do.
Playing with international teams, and be able to represent America, is a thrill and makes you feel like a superstar. Our teams were always welcomed with the American flag flying high and the games always began with our National Anthem being played first alongside the Italian's. After each game was done, each club team had a party for the players. I loved mingling with all the girls, and there were even some who were former American collegiate players who transferred to play for the Italian softball teams, and one team even had an American coach.
Not only did I get the chance to play softball, but AIST made sure we experienced all of Italy. We travelled by bus, fast train, boat, and plane to every place we went. We travelled across Italy visiting different cities every day. Italy is a beautiful place, where water runs fresh from the ground throughout every city and no one goes thirsty. Each city brought its own beauty and I hope the pictures I provided give the reader a good sense of the Italian way of life and its colors. From Rome to Milan, via Florence, Bologna, Rimini, San Marion, Venice, Verona, Lake Como and Belligo, I had the best time playing the sport I love and seeing the world.