The crack of the bat, the cheers of the crowd, and the resounding strike three call of an umpire. These are the sounds you expect to hear at any softball venue. But a different pump-up song for every player coming to the plate? That's unique to Elon softball.
Sophomore and 3rd baseman Hannah Olson explains, "Each and every person chooses their walk up song. They choose it because they are excited to get their at bat, they are ready to succeed for the team, and hearing it as they go up gives them a lot of confidence."
In past years, the girls have been stuck with one song continuously on repeat. But this year, they were allowed to choose three. Freshman infielder and outfielder Erica Serafini likes the variety.
"I have three types, and when I'm in different moods and it just helps me basically relax, or gets me pumped up when I'm up to bat," she said.
Outfielder and pitcher Alaina Hall, an Elon junior, put a lot of thought into choosing her songs. She uses the song "Diva"' by Beyonce to showcase her personality when walking up to the plate.
"I'm a bit of a diva, I care what my hair looks like, although you know you probably can't tell right now. I don't like getting hurt, I only get dirty if I have to."
Her last song makes an even bigger statement. After a hitting slump last year, Hall worked hard to gain back her momentum and work out her swing. Her selection of "Get Back" by Ludacris makes a statement to anyone who doubts her hard work and abilities.
"It says, 'Get back, get back you don't know me like that,' and so people think they know me but they don't have any power, they think I'm just gonna hit it to the infielders, but they are in for a surprise this year," she said.
In addition to the walk-up songs, the team gets together and do a 'Star Drill" to support each other and build up the positive energy before the game. During the last few innings, every player has a quirky "Rally Item" that they bring out in a pinch. These range anywhere from a foam sword to a stuffed animal.
Clearly, the girls have already built a strong team spirit, but players agree having the songs adds something extra to the game. Serafini speculates.
"We still cheer on everyone and we are still loud in the dugout with our rally items and everything so it would still be fun and loud, but I think the walk up songs bring a nice little spunk to it."