Aw snap. Someone posted this online after Saturday’s dance class. We learned this same piece Friday night (except for the last 8 count) and let me just say that before this class I thought I was a decent dancer, generally picked up choreography fairly well and quickly, and could hang at least in terms of movement and keeping time with the other kids. Heh. Let’s just say I was very humble driving home Friday. Can’t wait to go back. Shiznit.
Know what movie is awesome and I forgot about until I was going through a box I hadn’t looked in for a few years? Drop Dead Fred. Very silly and very deep. One of my favorite combinations. Here’s a clip so you can get a taste. Then go find it online somewhere and give it a watch. It’s lovely.
So, I don’t have much today. My whole body hurts after 5 softball games this weekend. We came in 3rd and it was disappointing to barely scrape the championship game only to take a loss. But we were heroic in our effort and I just gained so much respect for these crazy people on my team that I count as friends. See, there’s something wonderful about playing a team sport at a level of play that is physically demanding. It’s a bonding thing over blood and sweat and tears and laughter and beer and fights and cheers and highs and lows that’s difficult to explain. My right leg is mess of bruises, Mack is wearing a sling for a sprained shoulder, Bailey and Johnmire had some bloody knees, Johnmire is also recovering from a dislocated finger, Cassidy has a new scrape down her sliding leg, Strok is hungover, and none of us will be properly hydrated again for at least a week. It was freakin’ fantastic. Anyone who’s ever played a competitive sport knows what I’m talking about. And maybe it seems silly to feel that way about a rec league softball team/tournament. Again, difficult to explain. But do we ever have a good time. Coach’s recap follows. Since I’m “general manager” of our flag football team that’s gearing up to start in a few weeks, maybe I’ll have some more fun sporty posts in the future. For now, though, here’s the final 2011 take away. You shoulda been there.
For those of you not in attendance, here’s a tournament recap: After moving through the first three rounds with relative ease (we won our first three games with an average score of 14-5), we then took on much tougher foes — namely, Mother Nature and scheduling conflicts.
The motto of the tournament quickly became “Mother Nature is a raging whore.” After our third round victory, the skies opened up and rained out the rest of the weekend — which pushed all games back to the following weekend. When the next weekend rolled around, the skies promptly opened up again, raining out the rest of THAT weekend by Saturday morning. We didn’t even get to play.
Fast forward to the following weekend (which was this past weekend), and it finally looked like we were going to get this thing wrapped up. We started our Elite 8 game against a scrappy Bucknell team, who had just knocked off #6 Georgetown. We were missing some important players due to some scheduling issues, and after a rather inauspicious start, we found ourselves down 8-0 in the bottom of the first. All seemed to be lost when our bats got off to a slow start, but after going to the bullpen and playing tighter defense, we began to chip away at the deficit. The game also featured not one, but TWO Walters-to-Mackenzie put outs at the plate. Mackenzie speared two laser beams that would’ve had most catchers in the league diving behind the backstop in fear.
We managed to tie the game at 15 in the bottom of the 7th, with the winning run trucking around third base in the person of Bailey Gaither. After a heroic slide between the legs of the covering pitcher, the umpire looked at Bailey’s out-stretched hand touching the plate, with the tag being applied to Bailey’s hat, and called him — out? OUT?! But we were all ready to mob him Sid-Bream-style and everything! Alas.
So we went into one-pitch extra innings, and after holding Bucknell to a 1-2-3 inning — including a strikeout on a nasty curveball thrown by Will “Big Willy” Perkins — we came up to bat needing just one run to advance to the Final Four.
In the bottom of the inning, Bucknell’s pitcher came down with a case of Steve Blass disease and walked the bases loaded with no outs. The aforementioned Will Perkins then slapped a game-winning single to the right side.
We then played a tough Villanova team in our first-ever Final Four appearance. And I’m not gonna sugar coat it: They took out one of those Catholic school paddles and turned our collective ass a rosy shade of pink. After the emotional roller coaster of the Bucknell game, we came out flat against a hard-hitting team and just couldn’t find a rhythm on offense.
But good news came out of it. During the game, the red secure phone I keep in the bat bag started ringing. Marieo had wrapped up his tournament in Richmond and was making the 150 mile trip in hopes of making our next game. As Dan noted at the time: “He left his cape at home, so he has to drive, but he’s on his way.” And he was just in time.
We took on #6 Georgetown in the last game of the day. We’d held a solid lead over them for most of the game, thanks to some solid defense and great pitching. But they managed to hang a five spot on us in the top of the 7th to take the lead.
We had the top of our order up in the bottom of the 7th, however, and that was all we needed. After two quick singles by Walters and Longmire, Marieo tee’d off and launched the ball into the neighboring county for our second walk-off win of the day.
It was an early call time the next morning, with our first game starting at 9:00 against Richmond. The Spiders had played seven games in a row the previous day, including a knock off of previous champion and #1 seed JMU. So we probably held a slight advantage just in terms of fatigue and soreness.
Our bats got off to a sluggish start, but thanks to more stellar defense and more great pitching, we held a lead over Richmond for most of the game until — once again — we gave it up in the top of the 7th.
We found ourselves down two in the bottom of the 7th, but thanks to a defensive miscue by the Spiders, we were able to tie the game. After a single by Longmire, Marieo was intentionally walked to put runners on second and third with one out. Sarah Lee then poked a single through the hole on the left side for the game-winning run and our third walk-off of the tournament (and 7th of the season).
We then got another shot at Villanova, but it just wasn’t meant to be. They hit the ball just a little better than we did, and advanced to the finals — which they came within a homerun of winning.
So all in all, it was a great tournament performance. It’s hard to be upset that our only losses came at the hands of a team that nearly won the whole damn thing.
Our goal for next year is to make the finals and be the ones hoisting the trophy at the end. Here’s hoping that Mother Nature cooperates.