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