Monday, May 17, 2010

Our first victory!

This past Saturday afternoon marked the first victory of my softball team, the Reds.

At this time, I will pause, and let you take a break to dance up and down. I'm sure you've been anxiously awaiting this day.

You good? Alright.

Our previous games were not complete blow-outs, but we are still finding our way as a team, both teammates and coaches. Our first game, which I missed, we lost by forfeit. The second, we lost to the Bombers, a team coached by their parents, we believe and one that "played by the rules." Their coaches wore jean shorts. While they were not great, they definitely played better together as a team so they ended up winning. Our third game was against the Diamondbacks. Again, we lost, but their team clearly had a "team" spirit going.

And thus we get to our fourth game, the game of our first big "W." Again, we played the Bombers, that team coached by the dads with their jean shorts. This was a team fond of the rules. For example, you throw the bat, you're out. Makes sense, right? Well, I'm a newly minted coach. I haven't played softball myself since I was about twelve years old. The specific rules are rusty to me.

Several of my friends got a kick out of me coaching softball as they'd never known me to play the sport. Rest assured, I have always known the basic rules (my short stint in t-ball and softball as well as growing up with a brother that played baseball). Furthermore, I knew that my abilities as a "Softball Mom" would be killer. I AM the cookie baking-, snack pack buying-type. They love that. So what if I need a little direction in how to fill out the score sheet.

In any event, I was learning the specific rules of the game. So the "throw the bat you're out rule" was one I had to learn before I could enforce it in any way. Turns out, there are more rules. Once the pitcher has the ball, the play is over. No more running the bases. Got it. Oh, and you can't run outside the baseline to get to another base. Even if the play is nowhere near the baseline you're running. Whaaaa?

Yeah, that last one threw us for a loop. Especially when the girl running home was clearly a newbie to the sport and was so excited to get a run. Even moreso when that girl had been running the wrong direction on the bases only two weeks earlier. (True story.) So, jean shorts coach number 2 decides to yell about her being out. But he only began yelling after the next batter had taken two pitches.

Argh. So, not only do we have a large-bellied man yelling at us that we are cheaters, we have young girls wondering why they are being called cheaters. Our team has minimal parental attendance at the games. No moms and dads to stand up in the bleachers and start yelling at the umpire or the other coach. They have no one to advocate for them aside from us. Me? I tend to go a little passive here because I don't know all the rules. But Coach C decides to give them a piece of her mind. She is the more softball-minded of the two of us, obviously. The run ended up standing. Victory!

Furthermore, Coach C is mad now. This coach showed up late, delaying our game by fifteen minutes. He has been complaining about how we are breaking the rules from the very beginning. This was the last straw. So at one point, she notices six people in the infield. There is an extra player in between first and second base. She asks the umpire to stop the game, telling him that it's not fair for them to have six people in the infield. The coach gets all upset. He says that it's fine, there is nothing in the rules about this. He then snottily asks the extra player to take two steps back. She is still in the baseline between first and second plate, along with the girl playing second base. Annoying, yes? Well, joke was on them. Honestly, as Coach C pointed out (and I was nowhere near as astute to the strategy as was she), they would have been better served throwing an additional player in the outfield. Each time we had a big play, it was because they could not get to the ball in the outfield. Clearly their efforts to pad the infield were for naught.

We ended up winning fourteen to four. The games are supposed to last six innings or two hours, whichever comes first. After two hours and twenty minutes, we had finished five innings. Coach C goes to talk to the umpire about wrapping the game up. We had been there since noon (the game was at one) and were pretty beat. The girls had played very well and were getting a little distracted, moreso than the usual level. Of course, Jean Shorts calls us "cheap" for this, and accuses us of trying to end the game because we were afraid they were going to win. Seriously.

Umpire calls the game, and the Reds walked away with their first win. Oh, but we had to move out of the diamond because Jean Shorts had his team run the bases as punishment for their loss.


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