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Crank it up: Walk-up music helps softball players settle in

Crank it up: Walk-up music helps softball players settle in

North Texas freshman second baseman Casady Webb (8) hits the ball at the dirt in the game against Nicholls State during the Mean Green Spring Fling Tournament. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

Crank it up: Walk-up music helps softball players settle in
March 22
12:18 2016

Clay Massey | Staff Writer


Kanye West, Michael Jackson and Fall Out Boy can be heard at Lovelace Stadium on every Mean Green softball game day.

While they are not performing live, the artists are on the list of walk-up music used by the North Texas softball team. A walk-up song might just be music to some people, but for the players, it’s the main thing they hear when stepping up to the plate.

“It lets us settle down in the box,” junior infielder Kelli Schkade said. “I think it shows our personality.”

The team’s musical tastes vary drastically throughout the squad. The team is given free rein to pick any relatively clean song they want to use as a walk-up piece.

Sometimes, it can be a tough decision.

“It usually comes down to a list of like five,” junior outfielder Daniell Gregory said. “You have to go through them and have teammates help you pick them out.”

Eventually, the team was able to narrow down their picks for them, and fans, to enjoy.

Kelli Schkade: “My House” – Flo Rida
The lead-off hitter starts it off with a jam from the Florida rapper who gets a bad rep in the mainstream. Schkade herself is not even a fan of Flo Rida.

“I really don’t listen to that kind of music,” Schkade said. “If it’s a hot song or popular, I like it. It’s on the top 20 all the time, so I hear it a lot. But I don’t go out and find [Flo Rida] music.”

Schkade said the song was a good lead-off song, especially with lyrics like, “Open up the champagne, pop! It’s my house, come on, turn it up.”

Harley Perella: “Run This Town (Onderkoffer Trap Remix)” – Onderkoffer (Jay-Z, Kanye West, Rihanna)
Perella brings Jay-Z to the party, but with a twist. Her walk-up song is a remix of his classic “Run This Town.” The beat is heavy on the bass and can really get the blood pumping, which is exactly what a walk-up song should do.

Hannah Gerecke: “Centuries” – Fall Out Boy
Fall Out Boy’s resurgence into the mainstream has produced some great walk-up and hype video hits, starting with, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” and now “Centuries.” Although it seems like everyone and their dog, including Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers, has used this song at some point, it is Gerecke’s song of choice.

After all, it is a pretty epic song when the intro rings out over the PA system. It’s the perfect blend of ominous and heart-pounding.

Lauren Craine: “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” – Michael Jackson
While the pitchers do not have walk-up songs since they don’t swing the bat, they do have warm-up music for when they are getting loose in the circle. The freshman brings the King of Pop to the mix with her warm-up song, and it’s always good to see the spirit of MJ being kept alive.

Bailey Thompson: “A Bay Bay” – Hurrican Chris
One of two very clever entries on the list, Thompson uses this song as a play on her name. Thompson walks up to the intro of the song, which is just the repetition of “ay bay bay” over and over again. It has to throw the opposing pitcher off at least a little bit hearing the batter’s name over the PA system over and over again as she stares Thompson down.

Rhylie Makawe: “9 + 10 = 21” – YouTube user “Personal Dennibro”
The second clever entry onto the list belongs to Makawe, who wears No. 21 on the back of her jersey. Deriving from the vine in which a kid is asked, “what’s 9 + 10” and answers “21” after saying he is not stupid, the remix is heavy on the bass and can get people moving.

“I looked it up and wondered if there was a remix, because there are remixes for everything,” Makawe said. “I was sitting the car with some friends and knew it definitely had to be my walk-up song. I thought it was so funny.”

Kay Kay Hayter: “Dreams and Nightmares” – Meek Mill
Despite the beef that Meek Mill had with Drake a while back, Hayter overlooked that and chose Meek for her walk-up song. Hayter walks up to the intro of the track, which says “Ain’t this what they’ve been waiting for? You ready?” over a piano in the background. Pretty intimidating stuff from Hayter.

Casady Webb: “All of the Lights” – Kanye West ft. Rhianna and Kid Cudi
While the song is actually a Yeezy track, Webb walks up to the intro, which is just Rhianna singing over a hyped-up beat. It sounds like something you would hear over a movie montage while getting ready for the final fight. So, it’s perfect walk-up material.

Karly Williams: “You Can’t Stop Me” – Andy Mineo
Arguably one of the strongest walk-up songs on the list, Williams’ is hard-hitting and in your face. Mineo is a Christian rapper, but that does not stop this track from having major bite. The first thing you hear when Williams steps near the box is the declaration of “You can’t stop me!” The words are pretty reassuring for any batter when getting settled in.

Makenzi Dawson: “Never Say Never” – Justin Bieber
Bieber Fever even finds its way into the hearts of one of North Texas’ players and into the ears of everyone at Lovelace Stadium. Dawson’s walk-up track is simple, consisting of only three words: “Never say never.” I guess it makes sense to never say never when the team is picked to finish 10th in Conference USA and then knocks off nationally ranked Baylor University twice in a weekend.

Stacey Underwood: “Jailhouse Rock” – Elvis Presley
The junior pitcher throws it way back with her warm-up song. The King of Pop already showed up, now The King of Rock and Roll is here. A guitar lick that is sure to get feet tapping is the main feature of Underwood’s choice.

The pitching staff must have something for throwbacks.

Jessica Elder: “They Just Don’t Know” – GYFT
A chill beat helps Elder settle into the circle. Maybe the chill is what makes her off-speed stuff so icy.

Danielle Gregory: “Hate Being Sober” – Chief Keef
Maybe Gregory had Spring Break on the mind with this selection. Chief Keef, also known as Sosa, gets the bass going at Lovelace and Gregory into the box. It has helped her too, as she is hitting around .400 this season. Everyone would hate being sober to hit around .400.

Lauren Miller: “Chimes” – Hudson Mohawke
Another entry high on bass, which seems to be a theme. After a light build-up, the drop hits hard and gets everyone going. This is another one that could throw off the pitcher, with Miller staring her down with this in the background.

Bryana Wade: “Bricks” – Migos
The rap trio rounds out the songs with the catcher Wade. This song is sure to get the crowd jumping before Wade steps in. Heavy on the bass, fast-paced rapping and heavy snare drum sets a great stage.

Featured Image: Freshman second baseman Casady Webb (8) hits the ball at the dirt in the game against Nicholls State during the Mean Green Spring Fling Tournament. Dylan Nadwodny | Staff Photographer

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