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Missouri Valley Women Catch World Series Fever

October 21, 2011 07:24 PM
The Rally Squirrel in Indian Wells.
The Rally Squirrel at the Nationals.
The Missouri Valley Section Senior 3.5 Women's team.
By J. Fred Sidhu, Special to USTA.com
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – While tennis is the main focus at this weekend’s USTA Senior 3.5 League National Championships at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, one team is thinking about professional baseball as their home team attempts to win the World Series.
The Missouri Valley Section Senior 3.5 Women’s team from St. Louis, Mo. has caught World Series fever as they cheer on their beloved St. Louis Cardinals who are playing the Texas Rangers for this year’s title.
The team members came to the Nationals in Indian Wells well-prepared to cheer on their baseball team as they wore red Cardinals caps and waved St. Louis pennants.
"We definitely caught World Series fever," said team captain Geri Steckel, at St. Louis resident. The team even brought their own stuffed toy animal known as the Rally Squirrel, which is the unofficial post-season mascot of the St. Louis Cardinals after a real squirrel scampered across home plate during a playoff game in St. Louis.  
As the team flew from St. Louis to California people stopped them to take pictures of the Rally Squirrel, Steckel said.
"We spent last night (Thursday) watching the game and then listening to the rest of it while we were at the Player Party," Steckel said. "Actually looking on our Blackberries to see pitch by pitch what was going on."
During the evening at the Player Party, the disc jockey would give score updates and the Missouri Valley senior women’s team would hoot and holler loudly as the Cardinals took an early lead in Game Two of the World Series.
"Nothing could be better than playing in the Nationals, but it really makes it fun when the Cardinals are in the World Series also," Steckel. "We feel like this is the World Series of Tennis, for us anyway."
Tennis is obviously the favorite sport among the members of the Missouri Valley Senior 3.5 Women’s team, but according to Steckel, there are some very big baseball fans on her team. "There are some (team members) that can tell you stats. They know the names and everything there is to know about the Cardinals," Steckel said. "We have people who don’t miss games."
The Missouri Valley women’s team split their first two matches in Flight 2 on Friday and ended the day in second place with a 1-1 record. They will face the USTA Midwest Section women’s team on Saturday.


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