17 Inches: The Culture of DCSB

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How wide was home plate when you played teeball as a little kid? How wide was it in middle
school? High school? College? What about the major leagues?

17 inches.

To the rest of the baseball/softball world, 17 inches is home plate or the difference between a ball
and a strike, a walk or a strikeout. But to the Defiance College Softball team, 17 inches means
doing what it takes to win ball games, on and off the field, within the 17 inches of the plate. In a
game, you only get 17 inches and that 17 inches stays the same every game, every practice.
To the Defiance College Softball team, 17 inches means more than just the width of the plate. 17
inches means running through the line. 17 inches means laying your glove down the right way.
17 inches means waking up at 3:45 in the morning to practice at 4:30 A.M. 17 inches is running
for forty minutes before touching a bat or a ball. 17 inches is a dry season. 17 inches is hours
spent in the library. 17 inches means curfew at 11 P.M. on game nights. 17 inches means
replacing “have to” with “get to”.

To outsiders looking in, DCSB and the members of it could look crazy. Outsiders don’t seem to
understand or appreciate the time and commitment that the girls of DCSB give to the sport of
softball. To some, it’s crazy to be a part of the softball team at Defiance College.
But to us, 17 inches is a promise. A promise to do things the right way. A promise to support our
teammates. A promise to be a part of the family. A promise to go the extra mile in the off season.
To DCSB, 17 inches is a promise to do whatever it takes to be one of the top four teams in the
HCAC this year. 17 inches means that We Will Go.

Written by Jordan Osborne

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