Friday, May 8, 2009

For The Love Of A Game

The sky was what they call around here as mostly cloudy, yet it appeared to me to be all-cloudy, with no blue peeking through. The temperature was in the mid-fifties with a slight breeze coming from the west that made it feel closer to fifty.
Girls were chatting and giggling in between the ting of a bat as the coaches were yelling instructions and reminding the girls that they were to be "fielding not talking." The eleven and twelve-year old girls dutifully ignored the coaches complaints. This was softball, which was a time for sharing and playing and giggling. Definitely not for something as boring as fielding. Besides it had been at least three hours since they saw each other last.
Six o'clock came and the game was supposed to start, there are no lights on this field so the fading sunlight, which was already being filtered through the layers of clouds. The rain, may prove to be a factor as well.
The first of many trains could be heard in the distance, blowing it's horn and the clacking of the train wheels on the track could also be clearly heard, as the wind carried the sound waves across the field to where we were seated.
The game started at 6:10, only ten minutes late.
Fast-pitch softball at this age group is mostly dependent upon how strong your pitching is, and how strong your catcher is, both in fielding and throwing. Otherwise, it quickly turns into a walk, steal, score-fest of epic proportions. Which can make for some long innings, really long innings. luckily they limit the runs to five per inning, or until the team that is down scores five more runs than their opponents.
There are occasional moments of glory, at the plate, but they are few and far between. Mostly it's walk, steal second, steal third, steal home. Sometimes it's dropped third strike, steal second, steal third, steal home. Rarely is it good contact on the ball, for a hit. Rarer still is it a great play in the field as the girls really are just learning the ropes. So it comes down to pitching and catching.
Just like the nine and ten-year old boys in baseball.
Jessie's first at-bat was a success, well in the sense that she made contact with the ball and ran safely to first base, unfortunately, the pitcher threw the ball home and made the force out.
She did however, steal second, steal third and score on a passed ball. So it was all good.
Then came the rain, which is where I had to stop my "live blogging" of the game, because the laptop was getting wet. I will tell you that the next three innings were lots of fun, with the other team scoring eight to our five, we then scored five more and they scored three, so going into the third inning - an hour and a half later, the score was 10-11, with our team being down a run. We then score six more, unfortunately they scored six in their half of the inning, so the score after four innings was 16-17. On to the fifth inning, as the darkness quickly descended upon us.
We score four runs with our first four batters, but you can tell that we are quickly running out of time, and sure enough after Jessie walks to first base, the umpire calls over the coaches and they decide to suspend the game, as if the fifth inning never started. So, at some future date, the girls will replay the fifth inning and then play the sixth and seventh innings to decide it.
Tomorrow Benjy has a ten o'clock soccer game, Jessie an eleven thirty softball game, Benjy and I then ref a game at one and Katie has a two thirty game. Busy, busy day.
This is my life, and I wouldn't change it for anything.
Good night and God Bless!