Friday, June 12, 2009

Pitcher Perfect

As a parent, I always worry about my children. It's in my nature. Go figure. Watching my children perform on the stage or in organized sports can be a bit nerve wracking, especially when they are trying something for the first time.

I can remember watching Andy on the baseball diamond, willing him to get that hit, or make that catch and cheering wildly when he did. Same goes for Benjy and soccer, although I do have to
admit that I don't get too worried about him any
more, soccer to him is like a duck to water.

Katie, I mentioned below, about three post ago, you should go and check it out - I can wait.

Back? Pretty cool, right?

Today, it's all about Jessie, my oldest daughter, who is eleven and tries her best, but doesn't always get the glamour. Except when it comes to helping around the house, there she is numero uno! She just started playing softball, last year. Not for a lack of trying, mind you, because she would ask to play, usually about a week after sign ups. She tries hard and has improved greatly over the past two seasons - if I'm sounding like a proud poppa, I am, and I will not apologize.

Jessie can be the sweetest person, but that doesn't always equate to being great when it comes to athletics.

Imagine now, how I felt when I heard that she finally got her coach to allow her to pitch.

Nervous? Heck yeah.

Excited? Sure, you bet.

Proud? Always.

Then Danny went and cut his chin open.

That would not derail the "J-Train" - I just made that up, hope it's okay.

I got her to the game, ten minutes later than intended, and I had to leave to get some butterfly bandages and a treat for Danny (trying to avoid the emergency room, if we can). I asked her coach when she would be pitching. First inning. I then asked if we were home or visitors. Visitors - whew, that gave me an extra ten minutes. I really didn't want to miss this, it was bad enough that her mom was home with Danny, but that couldn't be avoided. I rush to Walgreen's get the goodies, take them home (while being behind every.single.slow. driver) and rush to the game, getting there in time to see Jessica take the mound.

Camera time! Didn't want to miss her first try at pitching.

I didn't.

First pitch. Strike. (great start!)
Two more pitches; one a ball, the other a hit. Pop fly right back to Jessie. She steadies herself, gets her right hand ready, and makes the catch with her right hand closing in on the ball.


Next batter, she hits a grounder, to Jessie, who makes a great play and throws the girl out at first base. Second out.

Six pitches, two outs. Can I say how awesome this was? AWESOME!!

Five more pitches and we have a girl on first base. Sure it takes a little of the luster off, but I swear two of those pitches were strikes. I might be saying that as her parent, but a couple of the other parents thought they were strikes as well.

Two more pitches and we have a grounder to the second baseman, who then throws out the runner at first, and we have a perfect inning. Yes, I know that technically it wasn't perfect, because of the walk, but come on it was perfect. PERFECT.

Jessie hits the ball a ton. When her brothers pitch to her. Unfortunately, she wasn't playing against her brothers tonight. She was on fire tonight. On fire.

First at-bat - walk. She then steals second. Then third. Then Home!!! --- oops! gonna have to work on that slide. Seriously though, that was her only blemish on a great evening.

Second at-bat - a solid grounder that drives in a run, she gets thrown out at first but every run will count tonight.

Third at-bat - a line drive over the first baseman. Drives in another run, gets stranded on third base because her team has scored it's limit in runs.

Fourth at-bat - another solid grounder that drives in a run. She gets thrown out at first base.

A recap. (Mostly) perfect inning of pitching. One for three at the plate with one walk and three RBIs.

In short, her best game. Ever.

I am so proud.

Last game tomorrow, before the playoffs, let's see if she can build on today's success.


Oh, the game? The girls lost in the bottom of the fifth on a wild pitch