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Lady Braves Tie State Record For Consecutive Softball Sectional Wins – What’s Their Secret?

Spring is one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons, but one in particular is – softball season! From the time I was five years old until my senior year in high school, I put on my cleats and picked up my bat each spring excited to start the season. I still do, and always will, love softball. (Even if the only softball action I get these days is our local slow pitch league) 🙂

There’s just something about the smell of a new glove, the crack of the bats, and the dirt-stained uniforms from a game or practice that always bring back good memories.

THS helmet - Summer House Studios

Photo courtesy of Summer House Studios – Becky Nord Photography

In fact, some of the best memories for me came during tournament time. Beginning this week, teams all across the state of Indiana are going head-to-head on the journey to the state tournament, starting with sectionals.

And today, I have to give a shout out to my high school alma mater, the Tecumseh Lady Braves, because their win last night brought them to 11 CONSECUTIVE sectional wins (2003-2013)! That ties the STATE RECORD in ANY class! What an awesome accomplishment!

2013 Sectional Champs - photo courtesty of Margaret Herrell Patterson on Facebook

2013 Class A Sectional Champs! – photo courtesty of Margaret Herrell Patterson on Facebook

I am also proud to be a part of that journey – playing on the 2004, ‘05, ‘06, and ‘07 teams. My senior year we made it to the state championships and that was one of my overall best sports memories from high school.


Me with the State Runner-Up trophy!


I was also fortunate enough to get to play with my sister during my senior year. She was a freshman that year and it was exciting to get to play on the same team.

You might be thinking, what’s their secret? How can they keep up the wins for 11 seasons? Some people might say that there isn’t much competition with only four teams in our bracket, but I remember busting our butts to win those titles.

Here’s the secret: sure, we’ve had some great talent come through the program over the years but in sports – as in life – you can’t just rely on talent alone. It takes hard work, hours and hours of practices, and most importantly – GREAT COACHES!


THS Coaches at 2011 State Championship. This was the only coaches pic I could find quickly, but my shout out and thanks is to ALL the great coaches and assistant coaches from 2003 – 2013!

We never could have made it to State, or reached the accomplishment of 11 consecutive sectional wins, without the help of seriously phenomenal coaches.

And I’m proud to say that some of the things I learned in softball from these coaches made me a better person, and will stick with me for the rest of my life.


Gordon Wood – the man from which a lot of this advice came from. He was assistant coach and then took over as head coach my senior year. He has the great ability to recognize talent and potential and works to bring out the best in each of his players. Thanks for all of your support, coaching and advice over the years Gordon!


“If you’re 5 minutes early you’re on time, if you’re on time you’re late.”

I’ll admit to being late on some occasions, but I was NEVER late to softball practices or games. Especially as seniors, we were the first ones there and the last ones off the field. Coaches always said if we were late, we were wasting our own time, along with everyone else’s.

“If you’re not covered in dirt, you didn’t work hard enough.”

This means diving for balls, sliding into the bases, and going 110% from start to finish. My parents probably didn’t enjoy doing my laundry during softball season but that dirt on my clothes represented hustle and hard work – and that’s something to be proud of.

“Don’t cut corners!”

I’m sure the coaches said this too, but one specific memory was a senior when I was a freshman, Kathy Wood, who always said this when we were running. It came from practice in the gym running around the basketball court and not to run inside the lines but it’s something that applied to all aspects of the game, and life in general. Everyone is always trying to get ahead in this world but you don’t get any stronger or grow as a person by cutting corners in anything.

Julie, Kathy and Gordon wood

Gordon with his daughters, Kathy (L) and Julie (R) after the 2007 State game. All three are great role models and have worked hard to build the Tecumseh Softball program into what it is today.
(photo courtesy of Kathy from Facebook)

I am thankful to have learned these very valuable life lessons during my years in Tecumseh softball, and I want to thank everyone who has been a part of the THS softball program.  Coaches, players, and even parents – we all worked together, supported each other, and have ultimately reached a tremendous accomplishment – 11 sectional wins!

And to the current Lady Braves – keep these things in mind as you continue in the tournament!  Seniors – be the leaders, inspire your fellow teammates, and listen to your coaches. You are learning from some of the best coaches in the state so don’t take them, or this chance to go to State, for granted!

Congrats to Tecumseh Lady Braves on your win and keep winning so I can come watch you in Indy!

Tecumseh Lady Braves 2011 State Champions


Mystique Winery & Vineyard – Southern Indiana’s Newest Stop on the Hoosier Wine Trail

As I sit here with all of this warm weather, (SERIOUSLY? 70 degrees in DECEMBER?) I have decided that it would be a perfect evening to enjoy a glass of wine outside and embrace the few hours of daylight we have left. And to add to that, my wine of choice for the night would be the new Hoosier Red I got at the Mystique Winery and Vineyard grand opening event last month!


Never heard of them? WELL…. Let me telllllll you, they are awesome!

Mystique Winery is a new vineyard, winery, and tasting room that recently opened in my small hometown of Lynnville, IN. Never heard of it?  (Trust me, it exists.)

Lynnville, IN

How cool right?! I was extremely excited to learn that we now had a winery in my hometown!

Mystique Winery is a family venture that started as a dream back in 2008 by the Clutter family with the first planting of vines in 2009 consisting of Niagra, Steuben, Vignoles, and Chambourcin grapes.

(DidYouKnow: It takes 3 years to get a crop off of a vine. Talk about needing to have patience!)

It has been a long journey for the Clutters, but through hard work and dedication, Mystique Winery & Vineyard has finally become a reality.

Patti and Steve's children, Seth (L) and Zeb (R) and their wives Heather and Jennifer are all involved with the winery and were busy bees the day of their grand opening.

Patti and Steve’s children, Seth (L) and Zeb (R) and their wives Heather and Jennifer are all involved with the winery and were busy bees the day of their grand opening.

A couple facts about Mystique Winery:

  • It is Warrick County’s first winery nestled on the knobs of Lynnville, Indiana.
  • They’re also a part of the Hoosier Wine Trail.
  • They have a Mardi Gras themed tasting room that is perfect for visiting with friends and enjoying Mystique’s southern Indiana hospitality. (To learn more about why they chose a Mardi Gras theme, check out the article on them from the Evansville Courier and Press.)
  • They have outdoor seating and a fire pit – this would be perfect for my evening scenario I mentioned at the beginning! (If only I was in southern Indiana right now…)
  • Fact: They have great wine!


Their Grand Opening was on November 17, 2012 and it was a HUGE success! Owner Patti Clutter said, It was an awesome day and we were so in awe of the support from Warrick County, family and friends. We had over 25 worker bees that worked their tails off all day and the parking attendants said we had over 1200 people and possibly a lot more!”

They had activities all day starting at 11a.m. and were busy even past dark! It was a great time and I definitely want to back! Due to other obligations that day, I didn’t make it until around 4p.m. but it was still a blast! I did miss the Honey Vines who they had perform, but I heard they were AWESOME! I ended up purchasing their Christmas CD so I still got a little taste of their music.

I tried several of their wines and they even had wine slushies! (To. Die. For!) Here were a few of my favorite wines:

If you like dry wine, the Bacchus was good but my favorite of the day was the Hoosier Red! it is a signature wine of the Hoosier Wine Trail and will be good with just about anything.

If you like dry wine, the Bacchus was good but my favorite of the day was the Hoosier Red! It is a signature wine of the Hoosier Wine Trail and will be good with just about anything.

By the end of the evening, my family stopped by too so it ended up being a fun family outing!

I want to encourage EVERYONE to stop by if you are in southern Indiana and pay them a visit! Also, make sure to check them out on their website, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

Congrats and hope you enjoyed this cake during your celebration!

Congrats and hope you enjoyed this cake during your celebration!

I want to send out a personal congratulation to Mystique Winery and Vineyards and the whole Clutter family for a GREAT JOB WELL DONE on opening their Winery!

Next time, I definitely have to get one of their T-shirts!

“Peace. Love. Wine. Exit 39”*Exit 39 is the Lynnville exit for all you out-of-towners ;)

“Peace. Love. Wine. Exit 39”
*Exit 39 is the Lynnville exit for all you out-of-towners 😉

Mystique Winery Opening In Lynnville, IN – Don’t Miss It!

My little hometown of Lynnville, IN is a thriving metropolis one stoplight town, like many small towns in America, that I love dearly. It has the basics – gas station, grocery store, bank, hair salons, high school, a couple restaurants and now… a winery. WAIT, what? A WINERY? IN LYNNVILLE?

(If you were from that area, you would understand my surprise.) But regardless, how awesome!

The Clutter family from Lynnville started the journey of building their vineyard and winery in 2008 with nine rows of grapevines. And now, with a lot of hard work and determination behind them, they are proud to present the grand opening of Mystique Winery and Vineyard!


This Saturday – TOMORROW – they are having their Grand Opening Event and everyone should definitely stop by!

Here’s the 411:

Mystique Winery and Vineyard Grand Opening Event

Saturday Nov. 17, 2012

13000 Gore Rd. Lynnville, IN 47619

11am – 6pm

(Or as Patti says, until the last person leaves) – gotta love that small town hospitality 🙂

There will be wine tasting, (wait, duh Chels, of course there will be wine tasting, I mean, it is a winery), tours, and a whole lot more! The Honey Vines (Andrea Wirth & Melanie Bosza) will also be playing from 12-4p.m. and from what I’ve heard, they’re pretty awesome.


I’ll have a full blog about Mystique Winery coming soon, but make sure to stop by their grand opening event tomorrow! You won’t be disappointed!

Hope to see you there!

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