The force behind each swing of the bat

Steven Stuts//The Miami Hurricane

Behind every successful man, there is a dominant woman to help and support his every move.

The baseball season is probably the longest and most grueling season among all athletic programs. It’s a grind from February through June, and the University of Miami baseball team usually plays five games a week.

To have a relationship during this season is perhaps one of the hardest things for an athlete to  juggle. It takes a special kind of woman to be the girlfriend of a baseball player. It takes a lot of effort for these girls to put up with their boyfriends’ demanding season; the players are constantly traveling, practicing or extremely exhausted from their tedious workload.

Recently, the girlfriends have become known on campus as “The Baseball Wives” due to the support and understanding they provide for the players. Freshman center fielder Zeke Devoss’ “wife” Erin Simpson is part of the exclusive group.

“You have to be very understanding of their busy schedule,” Simpson said. “I feel like I should do things such as bring him dinner after games that end at 10:30 or 11 or be considerate that he might be tired. I try and do things to help him out during his busy season.”

The only way relationships can be lasting is if both sides make an effort. Freshman reliever E.J. Encinosa’s “wife” Kayce Extramil understands how to cope with her boyfriend’s responsibility of being a Division I athlete.

“Relationships have to be about give and take, but sometimes during the season, I feel like I have to give [Encinosa] a little more understanding with what he deals with on a daily basis,” she said.

Balance is also the key for Simpson and DeVoss.

“I also try to balance being a good girlfriend and try not to stir up any trouble with everyday relationship problems,” Simpson said.

The girlfriends try to keep their players focused on what is important in their lives through their constant support.

“I’m supportive by attending as many games as possible,” freshman reliever Joe Lovecchio’s “wife” Jen Engel said. “Keeping his head up and keeping him focused. I know girlfriends can be a big distraction, but I am more of his best friend instead of an obnoxious attention-grabbing girlfriend. I try to keep his mind on baseball because if it’s important to him, then it’s very important to me.”

The girls are motivation for the boys to perform as best as they can. Freshman pitcher Steven Ewing loves the support he receives whether he is on the mound or in the dugout.

“Having [my girlfriend] Emily [Makynen] in the stands makes me feel good because I know, no matter what, I have at least one fan in the stands. Moreover, when she is there cheering me on it drives me to pitch harder,” he said.

Although the relationships for these girls are hard at times, they have been able to create new friendships. They hang out together and often sit together at games.

The girlfriends will continue to cheer on their boyfriends in hopes of going to Omaha in June to try and capture a world championship.

Michelle Solom may be contacted at

April 18, 2010


Michelle Salom

Contributing News Writer

11 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “The force behind each swing of the bat”

  1. S says:

    Regardless of the actual girls or guys described in the article, the picture painted was definitely demeaning. Of course these girls meant well and when a partner is constantly out of the picture a relationship can be difficult but the use of the world wife throughout the article was a very bad choice. I’m a journalism major looking to get published but how can I feel comfortable applying to be a part of a paper that promotes a submissive womanhood. If this was going to be an article about the girlfriends then they should’ve made it ABOUT THEM like their majors or career goals not the number of meals the girls feel they should cook for their boyfriends a week.

  2. E says:

    I don’t care who dates who or why, my issue was that the article was written in a way that praises these girls, not for being ‘supportive,’ but for being submissive. I think it had a lot of potential and is definitely an interesting topic, but the underlying sexist tone is not something I feel is appropriate for the Hurricane, or any other college newspaper. Like I said before, I doubt we’ll read anything similar about the boyfriends of any women’s teams, as this kind of behavior isn’t something many readers would celebrate if it were boyfriends rather than girlfriends.

  3. Z says:

    Yeah that comment was worded poorly, but the purpose of this article was to show the support system behind a group of athletes, it was a human interest piece and not meant to be anything else. The point of an article is to get people to read it and react to it, so the writer actually did a pretty good job…. but my comment is about the comments people are making about the girls and guys on the team and the “stereotypes” or whatever, they aren’t warranted. If you think the idea of the article is wrong thats fine, but these people were just asked to pose for a picture and be in the article; they aren’t promoting what’s being said necessarily… just a thought

  4. T says:

    You say that the relationships were not talked about in the article but they clearly were, “I also try to balance being a good girlfriend and try not to stir up any trouble with everyday relationship problems.” Translation, I avoid talking about any problems and choose to live in blissful ignorance.

  5. Z says:

    I think its sad that some of you have nothing better to do than bash on people you don’t know. It’s an article, get over it. And think before you start making judgements about the actual relationships (which were NOT talked about in the article… it was about SUPPORT if you actually read it)… you probably don’t know these girls or these guys, so take the article for what it is and what was written, but don’t make judgements that aren’t warranted.
    You think I’m a jersey chaser? That’s funny!!!!

  6. H says:

    Yeah it is a good thing YOU are supportive. You are clearly one of the stepford wives described in this article. These are college girls who should be trying to be known for what they are accomplishing, not who they are dating. I can’t even believe a college newspaper would write about and promote something like this. I completely agree with E, I hope to see the article about the boyfriends of the girls on the soccer, tennis, swimming, diving, track and rowing teams in the next issue. Also, some of these girls are clearly jersey chasers…

  7. B says:

    This was such a good story! I’m glad the girls are being so supportive.

  8. S says:

    This article is disgusting and shameful. It completely undermines any sort of credibility of this student newspaper and the fact that it was written and published is shameful. This article is completely demeaning to women. It is terrifying that in the 21st century, the submissive behavior that is displayed by the girls mentioned in the article could be praised like it is, especially in a newspaper that is published in an environment that is supposed to be based in academia and ACTUAL THOUGHT.

  9. C says:

    This is sooooo messed up on so many levels. not to mention the fact that the baseball team is notorious for cheating on their girlfriends. public humiliation for those girls right there

  10. jf says:

    I totally agree with E’s comments. Why on earth are you promoting such serious relationships where the women are subservient. I bet the guys aren’t taking care of their “wives” in the same fashion. This statement is particularly disturbing

    “I also try to balance being a good girlfriend and try not to stir up any trouble with everyday relationship problems,”

  11. E says:

    Where is the article on the boyfriends of the women’s rowing team? Or women’s tennis? Or women’s soccer? Why are you writing about these women like they are the ideal housewives? This was disturbing on so many levels.

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.