Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hopeful Parents

My monthly post is up at Hopeful Parents.  Click HERE to check it out.  The topic is:  Balance and summer vacation.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Softball season winds down

My favorite softball player strikes a pose
Julia's first Softball is coming to a close.  Her team had a bit of a rough start but rallied half-way through the season.  Their standings at the end of the regular season was 6th out of 12 teams, so they finished in the top half.  Playoffs start this weekend and we are all hoping the girls win and continue on  through the playoff series but our first priority is that they have fun.

Keeping her eye on the ball.  Her pink sneakers always bring a smile to my face!
It has been a fun season!  This is Julia's first year playing ball and she loves being part of the team.  The girls are from all different schools and range in age from 7 to 9 so many of them didn't already know each other.  Most live close to us and it's fun when we run into her new friends outside of softball practice and games.

The girls huddle under the beach umbrella for a bit of shade.  Julia's number is 2.
Julia started out quite timid and afraid of the ball.  She didn't want to hit the ball - when she did she said it hurt her arms/hand/wrist.  At this age they use a pitching machine so it does come at them rather fast.  She eventually got used to the feel of the ball hitting the bat and it no longer hurts her arms.  She has had quite a few RBIs (runs batted in) and even scored a few points.  At this age they mostly run one base per hit but can run two bases if they hit the ball well into the grass.  That rarely happens and so it's mostly hit the ball and run to 1st base.  Many of her teammates have been playing t-ball and/or softball for a few years and Julia was able to solidly hold her own even in her first ever softball season.

It's great when an at bat results in a run to 1st base!
Each game is 6 innings long.  Sometimes that can go by quickly, but when it is a 5:45pm game on a school night it can seem like an eternity to those of us on the sidelines.  We were scheduled to played each team in the league twice but some games were cancelled due to thunderstorms.  Each team had a different jersey - Julia's is red and her team is the Dragonfly's.  The team they were playing when I snapped this photo just happened to have red shirts, too.  It was funny to see so many red shirts out on the field!

Julia played field positions in most of the games and is interested in playing catcher in an inning.
There is a snack shack that is a top destination for the kids after (during??!!) games and practices.  It's funny to see all the children negotiating with the parents for more money for some snack they just have to have.  Parents are assigned one turn each season to work the snack shack and I was surprised at just how busy it is - even the 9:30am Sunday morning shift that we were assigned!  It would appear that more than a few kids hit their piggy banks before game day and the siblings of the players were often over to make a purchase or two or three while waiting for big bro/big sister to finish their game.

Water ice is a perfect treat after a long game in full sun.
Chris pitched in to help out the coach as needed.  A few parents commented to me about how he should be a coach next year since he is so upbeat and positive with the girls.  I agree - he has a wonderful way with children.  Emma made it to all the games and everyone knew her and greeted her by name.  No surprise there!  My little charmer is always remembered for her huge smiles.

We are so proud of all your dedication and hard work this season, Julia!  We hope you have a winning playoff season and look forward to seeing you play again next year!