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Raising ruckus all in fun for DeSales softball team

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

As the DeSales and Pickerington North softball teams took the field for the eighth inning April 13, the Stallions raised a high-pitched ruckus in their dugout, offering fans a free rendition of "Rock and Roll Part 2" -- commonly known as "The Hey Song" -- complete with percussion from pounding on the dugout roof.

It was enough to prompt a Panthers fan seated on the other side of the field to offer a few words of advice to pitcher Taylor Lott, who was on to hold DeSales at bay in a 3-all tie.

"Taylor, don't let that noise bother you," the fan said. "Just get them out."

Had that exchange been heard in the Stallions' dugout, there might have been a chuckle or two over a mission accomplished.

They weren't the first high school softball team to use a catchy tune -- think the underlying semi-acoustic guitar riff from the White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" adopted by almost every high school or college band -- or tried-and-true softball-themed chants to raise team spirit or attempt to outshout the opposition. They probably won't be the last, either. It's a part of the game, like slap-hitting and using one pitcher, that is an indelible part of some teams' cultures while being shunned by others.

"It is ingrained in us. It's fun to do that and we love it," DeSales senior outfielder Katie King said. "A lot of what we do is tradition, what we've done in years past. Some of the cheers, I don't know when they started. And some of it is just what sounds cool, and we'll just start singing."

According to Stallions coach Julie Barber -- and, apparently, at least one opposing fan -- it works.

"I even had an opposing coach jokingly offer me money (recently) to have our girls quiet down in the dugout," she said. "The players chant, clap (and) bang on the dugout. They come up with something new every game."

A rendition of "good eye, good eye, good eye-ee!" aimed at a discriminating batter and covering approximately three octaves might be the stereotypical chant, but that's just the beginning.

Apparently, it's something of a science. A Google search revealed several websites devoted to sharing and/or promoting softball chants. A few of the more amusing ones were:

"Swing that bat watch out for the cat! MEOW!"

And ...

"While you were picking your nose, she was up on her toes and she stole on you. I said she stole on you ...

"While you were brushing your hair, she was already there and she stole on you, yeah yeah she stole on you ..."

It's not so easy to pick a team chant or cheer, either. As North's team gathered in the middle of the eighth inning, one player suggested the team exclaim "hit it!" after chanting "1-2-3" to break its huddle. But perhaps because the game was in extra innings, someone else suggested saying "score!" and that won out.

DeSales, however, won the game, 6-3 in nine innings.

Whatever the words, the practice boils down to the idea of team camaraderie and creating energy in the hopes of achieving success. Especially with the chilly spring we've had, sitting on your hands for two hours or more isn't a lot of fun -- and who really is motivated by quiet?

"It wouldn't be the same in our dugout (without chants)," King said.

Or, they hope, in anyone else's.

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