The First Game

I had my first softball game last night, and I have to admit that it was more fun that I thought it would be. Since I read an article recently that people who set goals are more successful, I decided to set some very reasonable goals for myself, which included:

Don't throw up
Don't strike out
Don't trip and fall while running
Don't throw the ball away and
Don't throw up

I wasn't sure I was going to be able to accomplish the first (and fifth) ones, because the pre-game jitters were really something to behold. I can honestly say that I was more nervous about this game than I was defending my thesis, on my last job interview, or getting married. That and I ate meatballs for dinner before the game. Don't ask me why.

But once I got to the field, I realized that the heavens had smiled down upon me, and had actually cut me a break for once.

First of all, the game was 6pm, which means that the sun was strategically positioned...any place that I looked. It was like the entire field was just in silhouette- much like playing softball in an ipod commercial. The other players grumbled about this, but I was delighted, because it meant that I could claim that I lost any missed ball "in the sun". And no one can say anything! Because it's the sun! Can't do anything about that! (This softball thing just got a whole lot easier). I lost balls "in the sun". I lost bats "in the sun". I lost entire people "in the sun". It was fabulous!

I was also stationed out in right field (which I had been campaigning heavily for), since no one ever hits stuff out there. (Well, there was this one left handed guy, but we mostly walked him whenever he came up). There were only two balls hit my direction the entire night. I didn't catch either on the fly, but I did manage to "stop the ball" (which translates into it bounced up and hit me in the shin and yes, it will bruise). But I managed to throw it to the second baseman, and not over her head, which was a definite plus for me, and goal number 4. Other than that, I spent my time sending a telepathic mantra to the batter that went "Not over here. Not over here. Not over here". For the most part, I think it worked.

The only other hurdle was batting. I understand that coaches will put their best batters up first, so the fact that I was batting 11th makes since. Actually, I'm not half bad at batting. I can hit the ball. I just tend to hit it back to the pitcher. My first time up to bat, I swung at the very first pitch. I wasn’t planning on it, but he tossed an easy lob at me, and I swung without thinking. The good news is I hit it! The bad news is that I hit it right back to the pitcher! Technically that makes me out, but I was celebrating anyway because I achieved goals 1, 2, and 5.

The second time I was up to bat, I was feeling marginally better. I knew the first pitch he threw was low, so I wasn’t going to swing. Unfortunately, my brain forgot to tell my arms that because even though the brain recognized it as a bad pitch, the arms were so excited that they couldn’t help themselves and swung anyway. Never mind that it was after the catcher caught the ball. (This, by the way, is still a strike no matter how you argue that you were just “practicing”). Picky umpires.

The second pitch was better, which was good because the arms were swinging anyway (having obviously not learned their lesson from the first pitch), and I managed to connect and hit the ball straight over to the second baseman. This normally would have been an out too, except that the second baseman “lost it in the sun” and bobbled it. I ran. I still would have been out, but then the second baseman also lost the first baseman in the sun, because he threw it over her head. First base! First base! I’m on first base! I was so excited! (I thought a victory dance would have been over doing it, but a small victory wiggle may have slipped out). I was all content to hang out on first, but then the guy after me hit the ball, and I was off running again! I tried to stop at second, but the third base coach was pinwheeling his arms like crazy, so I ran to third. Third base! Three times as good as first base! I don’t think I’ve ever been on third base before! (I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a base hit period). I was trying to tell this very amazing fact to the third base coach, but I was interrupted by the crack of the bat again, and he was yelling “Run! Run! Run!” so I ran. And ya’ll, I scored a run! In my very first game! Annnnnd, I did not trip at all! I’m beginning to see why people play this stupid game.

We lost in the last inning, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that for one hour, the softball gods indulged me and I didn’t make a complete fool of myself.

And actually managed to have a smidgeon of fun while doing it.


Jean said...

That's all that really matters! I would have been just as excited scoring a run or getting to 3rd base for that matter. Congrats! May the baseball gods smile on you next game as well.

Anonymous said...

That's my girl! We always knew you could do it!