October 22, 2010

It's unfair, it's like pitching to a healthy Lou Gehrig.

Warning: This whole blog entry is going to be about slow pitch softball. I'll never lose any sleep or get super excited about a slow pitch softball game but I had to blog about this one tonight.

So we had our semi-final game today we were the 4 seed playing the 2 seed. In the 6 team league there were 3 clear top teams and we weren't one of them. I guess you could compare us to an 8 or higher seed in an NCAA tourney. We have some good stretches but struggle to put it together for a whole game. What's funny is when we first started playing softball a couple years ago we expected to roll over opponents since we were young, solid baseball players, and athletic. Well that didn't' stop 35 year old fat dudes from hitting bombs over our head while we struggled to get the ball out of the infield. As a result of getting destroyed in those leagues we all took a 2 year hiatus from softball.

I was a terrible softball hitter, however through breaking down swing mechanics of my baseball players I've learned the right way to swing and have become much better. I know what you're saying, "why can't you hit a ball floating in at 2 MPH?" Well I thought it was going to be really easy too until my first at bat I saw the first pitch and my first thought was "Wow, that's really high." I proceeded to suck for a couple years. Anyways after upsetting the 3 seed 21-14 we moved onto play the two seed.

There's an old saying in baseball "The ball will find you" meaning wherever you put a bad defender he's going to see some action, usually a lot of it. In softball this is typically right field. Going into the game I just wanted to be competitive and that wasn't happening through 3 innings. After 3 we were down 8-0 and had 2 hits. We scored 5 in the top of the inning only to have them answer with 4 in the bottom. Going into the top of the 6th we were down 15-7 and things were just looking bad. However, momentum is a great equalizer in sports. It can be tough to attain and nearly impossible to stop a team once they get going..

In the sixth things started to click, down 15-12 with our leadoff hitter up as the tying run who had already homered once in the game, he beat the left fielder and homered again to tie the score at 15. Another famous baseball saying is "new game" when you comeback and tie it after being down. All of a sudden we were on equal ground if we could hold them scoreless in the bottom of the sixth. We came pretty close.

Down 16-15 with a runners on first and second and 2 outs, we were feeling good about our chances if we got the last out. 1 run in softball really isn't that difficult and we had our 3-4-5 hitters up next inning which meant we had a possibility of a big inning. Well, with 2 outs the ball found the right fielder. On a line drive to right he went back, the ball hit his glove and popped out, 2 runs scored. Long story short at the end of 6 we were down 21-15.

Every camp I went to as a youngster one instructor would always say "baseball is the greatest game because you can be a goat in one inning and the hero the next." My brother and I would always laugh at this basically saying, yeah but it really sucks when you fail in the top and bottom of the inning. So after the bottom of the 6th was over everyone was basically telling the RF who was our last hitter, shake it off you're gonna get another shot. In the top of the 7th he did get another shot.

Down 21-18 with the bases loaded and 2 outs up stepped our RF. I was hoping he could just put a good swing on the ball. Hit it hard somewhere and see what happens. It's such a shitty feeling letting your team down when you know you messed up and again since baseball is such a slow paced game you have plenty of time to think about it. Up 2-1 in the count, he hit a soft liner to left center. It never had a chance and we ended up losing 21-18. It was fun seeing the improvement in the team and I actually can't wait until we join a league next summer. Until then, while I'm not losing any sleep over it it still sucks to lose when you're the underdog and make a big comeback in a winnable game.

As for my stats, I just tallied them up and I don't care how ridiculous it is keeping softball stats. After not being able to hit the ball with any authority a couple years ago I hit .643 this year in fall ball. As Johnny Trinno said in Beer League "It's unfair, it's like pitching to a healthy Lou Gehrig"


There is no luck except where there is discipline.

Irish proverb

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