Thursday, May 4, 2017

First Softball Games of the Season

All three of my girls are now playing fastpitch, which is totally wonderful because third- through ninth-grade fastpitch have all their games at the same set of fields, so even though Ren and Rachel's games both started at 5:00 yesterday, they were on fields right next to each other and I could easily walk back and forth between the games.  Emily's game started at 6:30, but once again, right next to the other two fields, so it was no big deal to move our chairs from between the first two fields and over to her field.  These next three years are going to be super easy, softball schedule-wise.  Nathaniel's games start up in about two weeks, and they'll be at a different field, but I'm just going to be thankful that I only need to commute between two sets of fields and not three like last year.

Ready for some pictures?  I thought so!


They all bumped up into new leagues this year, so new teams for everyone!  Rachel is THRILLED that her team colors are purple and yellow because they're her favorite colors.  Ren feels pretty good about this season because of her experience with her accelerated team last year.  (She opted out of playing with her accelerated team again this season because she hated being away from home so much, and I was a lot relieved when she said that--accelerated teams are a huge time commitment; I feel like I hardly saw my other three kids during those couple of months she was playing.)  Emily's new coaches...I am so in love them, professional-wise.  They have been working with her so well, and they really know what they're talking about, and even Michael commented that Emily seems like a completely different kid on the field this year.  Yay!

Rachel was SO EXCITED to play her first game of "grown-up" softball.  She hit a couple of foul balls before striking out each time up to bat, but the fact that she swings at the ball is a major achievement in this league, so we'll take it--especially for a first game!  She played third base, and spent a lot of time playing in the dirt and dancing when she got bored, which led her to completely ignore the ball the one time I saw it coming at her, and it simply rolled on by while she studied the clouds.  She'll get there.





Ren had a pretty good game.  Because I was switching back-and-forth between her and Rachel's games, I'm not sure how many times she was up to bat, but I saw her go up twice, and on her first time up she hit a foul ball or two, and then she was walked; and on her second time up she was hit by the ball and automatically walked, which led to her stealing second and then running to home with the next batter's hit.







Emily had to go warm-up while the other girls' games were wrapping up, and while I was going back-and-forth between the ongoing games I took a quick glance over at Emily's field to check on her, but couldn't find her.  I walked over to take a closer look and experienced a bit of parent shock when I realized that she was one of the girls warming up--I just hadn't recognized her because she looked like a teenager and that is not the mental picture I have of her in my head.  Mommy heartache.  (I showed this picture to Michael and he said, "Whoa, she looks just like pictures of you from high school!")

She wasn't terribly pleased with her performance during the game, but Michael and I saw a lot of progress in her performance over last year.  Last year, she swung at the ball once during the entire season.  (She got hit in the ankle bone by a hard pitch a couple years ago and it's really messed with her head ever since.)  Last night she swung twice, and even came pretty close to hitting the ball.  She's already swung twice as much as last year, and we all know that you miss 100% of the hits you don't swing for, so I'm thinking she's going to have a much better year, hitting-wise.

She had two mistakes that she's beating herself up over, but she had absolutely no experience with one of them and I don't think she'll make that mistake ever again, and the second could have happened to anyone and I think she'll set herself up in a better position after this so it doesn't happen again.  I'm really optimistic about this season for her.  Like I said before, her coaches are fabulous, so I'm really excited to see how this season pans out.










And then there was this guy, who did not want to be there.  He was a good enough sport about it all, but it turns out that he thought Michael's arrival at the fields meant that he was there to pick up Nathaniel and take him home, which was not the purpose of Michael coming to the fields.  Major sadness for the monkeyboy, but then Ren and Rachel's games finished and they played with him during Emily's game.  It ended up being nice for him.


Whew, first games done, and three more to go for this week.  Ha ha.  No life outside of softball and baseball for the next eight weeks.  Now if you'll excuse me, I have some stain removal to do on multiple pairs of white softball pants...

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