Monday, May 11, 2015

Play Ball!

The two little girls decided to play softball again this year.  We are still in that, "it's just fun to play" stage.  It hasn't gotten hardcore yet.  I was suspecting that when it does they would be out, but after watching how good they have gotten this season, now I'm not so sure.

I love watching the kids play at this age, because they are just so innocent about the whole thing.  If you tell them always throw to first, dammit that's where that ball is going.  Even if the runner made it to first two minutes ago.  They try to figure out what's going on, but baseball can be confusing if you're not paying attention at all times and you know, sometimes when you are standing in the outfield a pretty butterfly goes by and you just have to see where it will land.  Then they realize it's landed on the ball that rolled past that everyone is screaming for them to get.  "Oh yeah!  You're at the baseball game!"

Okay, that scenario hasn't exactly happened to one of my girls, but there was a game a few weeks ago when Georgia did something that had us all giggling in the stands.  Well, laughing after we yelled at her to run.  The Peaches (the team the girls are on-yes after A League of Their Own) had the bases loaded and Georgia was on second.  The next girl got a hit and they started running.  The ball was far enough out that the third base coach waved Georgia home, but the other team was getting it together and the ball was starting to make it's way back home.  Luckily, Georgia was way ahead of it.  That is until she stopped running TEN FEET FROM HOME PLATE!  For whatever reason, she stopped dead.  Everyone in the stands cheering for The Peaches started yelling at Georgia to run home, along with all of her coaches on the field.  She looked up at all of us yelling and waving her to home plate, shrugged her shoulders, turned and ran the rest of the way a few seconds before the girl from the other team got there with the ball.  So yes she was safe, but damn was it close.  And why the hell did she stop running??

Well, I asked her after the game.

"Um, Georgia, why did stop running?"

"Oh yeah!" She said remembering.  "Then everyone started yelling at me to run."

"Yeah because you were supposed to keep going?!" I said.

"Oh, well I thought it was a foul ball and I had to go back." She told me.

Now why she thought this I have no idea.  She had already run past third and nobody was telling her to stop but something made her think this way.  Perhaps it was the butterfly.

Here we are just a few weeks later and that child had a kick ass game last week.  So did Lana.  Georgia, was definitely the star though.  She started out playing catcher, which in coach pitch means she just has to corral the balls that gets past the hitter, which is most of them at this age.  She wasn't just corralling them though, she was catching just about every ball that came behind plate.  They almost fell right into her glove every time.  Then I realized she was making the effort to get them into her glove every time.  She and Lana both got a hit off the coach pitching.  This is something they have been doing more of lately.  It's hard for the kids to get the timing right of when to hit the ball, even if the coach is pitching it directly over the plate for them.  

The best part about the kids when they get a hit off the coach is that they pause for a minute with a, "wait-did I just hit the ball?" thought.  Then they hear the screams for them to run to first base.  Unfortunately, Lana waited a little to long to realize what happened and was out at first, but hey at least she hit the ball!  Georgia hit it and managed to get safely to first.  

Then came the last inning, there are only three innings at this age.  Georgia was playing third.  Most of the time they go through eight batters on the team and switch whether they get an out or not.  However, if they make three out before the eight batters get to go, then they switch.  That last inning was short, because Georgia made not one, but two outs in a row at third.  That ball got hit in her direction and she as there to catch it and tag the base both times.  For those of you who haven't seen 6 and 7 years old kids play baseball, you are probably thinking "yeah, so? Whatever."  Those of you who have seen those games are just as impressed as everyone else was that day.  She had parents from our team and the opposing team come up to her after the game to tell her what a great job she had done.  I was so very impressed and proud.  Unfortunately Andy was out of town that weekend as was Sonya, so I was the only one in the family to see it, but I talked it up to both of them.  

We are coming to the end of the season in a couple weeks.  I'm not sure if they will want to play next year, I guess we will cross that bridge next  January.  At least  they know more what they are doing and with a little practice, they might actually be real softball players someday.  Who knew?  I honestly thought that butterfly would keep them from ever figuring this game out.  I will file this lesson under-Never underestimate what you're kids can do.  

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