Thursday, June 28, 2012

We'll gladly take fourth place!

Things were dead for a little while on here. Ryan did a few posts here and there when he had some free time and I recently threw up some posts the other night as my free time is starting to see the light of day again.

My daughter's softball season is officially over for the year 2012 and it was a tough and yet fun learning season (4-10) for a lot of the first time players on our team I am very proud of what they have accomplished. The girls really came together as a team towards the end of the season and for the Super Series (our version of the playoffs-Double Elimination bracket). We were the last place team (12th) in our league and after the super series was played out over a few days, our team ended up taking fourth place overall. We lost our first game 21-11 in the series and I was a little upset at how it played out. I was not aware that strikes can be called at the ankles for our team and not for the other team. Seemed like all the calls were heading in the other teams direction. Oh well what can you do as it's only a game and there is no instant replay in little league! In some ways that loss was the catalyst for the fire that ignited the girls and they decided to play ball and I mean as a team- PLAY BALL. Their bats came alive and we were scoring runs and making awesome defensive plays and I was proud of the girls as they fought their way back from being nearly beat a few times. OH, and it was SO nice to finally knock off a team that beat us twice during the regular season (they enjoyed bragging about it) who also had a female coach that was a little excessive in the criticism of her players at times. She ripped a couple of girls during the game a few times and I felt so sorry for some of those girls. She also didn't take to kindly to shaking our hands after losing the game as it was a very cold handshake that she presented to us. Needless to say the hard earned win was sweet if I do say so myself because it also knocked them out of the tournament! However I knew our next game was going to be a little tough to play as we had consumed all of the allotted game time already in the last game we played and we had no free time for the girls (especially our pitchers) to rest. I had a feeling in the back of my mind that our team was going to be struggling and I also realized that perhaps playing our games back to back in 90+ clear skies heat was not helping us at all. The other team we had to play had a few hours to rest while we literally had less than 12 mins to rest and most of that time was used to move all of our gear to the other field for that game. Our poor Pitchers were exhausted already from the other games. We all were getting sun-burned despite using sun screen and I kept making the girls drink fluids in order to stay hydrated and I also told them to stay in whatever shade we could find as much as possible till the game started. When the game started the other team opened the flood gates on us through the first three innings. Balls were flying everywhere and I mean everywhere! It seemed so unfair as this fresh team was already playing an exhausted team. The girls were having a rough time keeping up with the defensive plays as they kept missing balls and fumbling the ball (some couldn't grip it right away) and the way some of the other teams hits were zipping by them at times it seemed as if it was messing with their heads a little and some were getting frustrated because of it. When our girls would go up to bat the other team brought their whole infield up to the same distance as the pitchers mound and no matter how many times I told the girls it was an intimidation tactic it still bothered a lot of the girls because they didn't know what to think.When we were down 15-2 after the third inning, I tried to keep the girls motivated as much as I could because the looks on their faces said it all when they would come into the dugout. As a parent you know that "sad look" on your own child's face when they're facing defeat and you want to cheer them up as much as you can so you can help them through the "rough patch" and you try different things to get them to at least smile or even laugh a little. Well.....we didn't quit......the final score was 20-7 and we held them to no runs in the last two innings while our bats came alive in the last three innings. I told the girls to adjust their swings and to swing up towards the mountains in order to get the ball up over the fielders head if they pulled their infielders in again. It worked like a charm because we started getting on base more and started scoring runs. They adjusted their defense back to normal playing positions. Win or lose these girls played their hearts out and I couldn't be more proud of them. However I don't think it was so much my speeches or the other coaches speeches that helped entirely. You see............I had a little help with the motivation from something that is a friend to all of us in the summer.....................................either or lose........................we were all getting ice cream after the game!

On June 24, it would've been my mother's 66th birthday. I had always called her on her birthday if I knew wasn't going to be there on that day and I would tell her that I had always wished her a good one and that she might get lucky this year and find out that the aliens will stop by that night for a party (an inside joke me and her had running for years) . It's been seven months since my mother had passed away and all I could think about on Sunday was picking up the phone to call her and tell her that I miss her and yet i can't do that. It's so hard to move on sometimes when someone you took care of and loved and appreciated for so long is just suddenly gone. I guess I'm still healing in many ways. I do have a continuing thought in my mind that shows more how she is running through a big field of Kentucky Bluegrass and she is just in total amazement of what she is seeing that is before her. I also envision her teaching someone the meaning of music as that is what she did all of her life. I am sad and yet I am also happy for her because she is free. Free of the pain that limited her and kept her from being able to do the things she used to be able to do. She was my friend and confidant. She was there for me no matter her health condition. She was proud of me and helped me through the successes and the failures of my life. I love you Mom and I miss you. And no Mom......the aliens didn't land yet because I'm still here so they must still have good leaders yet!


Play at the Plate said...

Congrats to the girls for playing hard. Keep your head up. I know how you feel. I still miss my dad, especially anytime there is a birthday or holiday when we would have seen him.

The Big Kahuna said...

Thank you Mon Ami!