Looking Back at My Work at the Notre Dame Regional

Last weekend I spent three days covering the NCAA Softball Tournament in South Bend. It was a fun three days. I was working for the University of Kentucky during the weekend. I love covering events like this because the emotion is cranked up a few notches. It is easy to make great photos when the stakes are so high. The players do all the work, and you just have to capture them. Here are ten photos that I liked from my three days in South Bend.

10. This was a moment that I just had to capture. I saw Notre Dame player Dana Bouquet wearing an interesting hat, and I knew that I had a picture. I was not working the game, but rather looking for moments. This was a moment for sure. I don’t know if it is an NCAA Tournament thing, but some of the hats I saw over the three days was pretty cool.

9. This was a photo that is not possible from anywhere but the outfield. At Notre Dame they had two locations to shoot from in the outfield. I made a couple of nice celebration photos out there, but on the second day Kentucky pinch runner Darington Richardson stole second base. Her head first slide was amazing, and I was glad I was out there to capture it. I only went out there for a half inning a game, but I was lucky enough to make some nice photos each time that I was out there.

8. On the first day of the tournament I had already made my photos for Kentucky. While I was waiting for them to transmit I went down to shoot the first couple innings of the Notre Dame game against Ball State. Ball State started the game off with a home run by Selena Reyna. It was an amazing moment for the Cardinals who greeted their hero at home plate. I love the girl on the end pointing to the air. There are many things that make this a cool photo in my mind.

7. Sometimes a player just ends up in your photo gallery over and over. For this tournament that player was Kentucky catcher Griffin Joiner. Here Griffen celebrates driving in a couple of runs early in the region clinching game against Notre Dame. She would later knock in the winning runs as well.

6. This was part of the first inning that I shot on Friday as well. After Ball State took the lead on an early home run Notre Dame came storming back. Here Notre Dame outfielder Emilee Koerner slides into second base. I love the way this photo looks for some reason. The player in gold with the dirt flying away from here really make it for me.

5. Here is the first of two plays at the plate that made the countdown. This photo was from the Saturday game where Kentucky beat Ball State. Brooklin Hinz made a break for the plate, and Shelbie Scamihorn is waiting for her. Here the ball is getting in, and I love the anticipation.

4. Here is a play at the plate on the final day of the regional. Notre Dame catcher Cassidy Whidden had the ball in plenty of time to tag out Kentucky runner Nikki Sagermann. I just love the gestures here. You can see the dirt trail coming in, and the expression on Nikki’s face is great.


3. Speaking of Nikki Sagermann she hit two home runs during the tournament. Both of them were hug, and tied the game. I was out in the right field stands for the first one, and I thought that I was out of position to make the celebration photo. What I didn’t know was that catcher Griffin Joiner and Nikki have a special home run celebration. I was in the perfect position to capture that. On the final day of the tournament I was back out in the outfield for another Nikk Sagermann home run. This time I had a shot right down the line to the celebration waiting for Nikki. You can see the team and Griffin Joiner letting her know just how big that shot was. I love celebration photos, and this one is one of my favorites.

2. Speaking of celebration photos how about this one? Here the Kentucky team celebrates the regional clinching win over Notre Dame with a little fun. We made the serious team photo, and then we decided to have a little fun. Of course this is the one that I love. This just lets you in to the personalities of the members of the team a little.

1. This is why you do this. I love the photo above. You have two players who have just advanced to the next round, and kept their season going. The joy that comes with a heroic comeback win bubbles over into this. These are the emotional shots that I live for. You hope that your team can win so that you can make this photo. As I was walking over to make this shot I passed a few Notre Dame players who were having a tough time with the loss. The emotion is just as real, but these are the photos that you can show.

 

If you couldn’t tell already I had a great time shooting for Kentucky last weekend. They could not have been nicer to me, and they gave me everything that I wanted. Sometimes you show up to something like this, and you are just the photographer. They really made me feel at home during the three days that I shot for them. I wish nothing but the best for them as they continue the tournament this weekend at Florida.

 

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About Pinola Photo

I am a sports and lifestyle photographer based in West Lafayette, IN home of Purdue University. I cover sports for Big Ten teams as well as other colleges. You can follow me on twitter @pinolaphoto. You can also view my website at www.davewegielphoto.net

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