As some of you might know, I signed up to play softball this year for the winter league with my church group. I got the chance to play in a couple of games as a fill-in for missing players last year, and decided to sign up to play the whole season this time around. Because this is my blog and I like writing about it, I'll be posting weekly updates on our league and my personal stats in the hopes that I can build on them as the season progresses.
So far, we've played four games - two last weekend and two this past Saturday night. Frankly, the first two games we played we were really not very good. And by that I mean bad, and in part it was my fault. Sadly, to get a copy of the 2010 American Softball Association rules, by which our league plays, you have to be a dues-paying ASA member, so I'm not as read-up on all the rules as I should be. Those first two games, I did get three hits (two singles and a single/error that left me on second base). However, I didn't know that if I wasn't touching the base when the ball is pitched, I could be called out... so yeah, I kind of killed a rally there. Not a mistake I'll make again, though, that's for sure. In the second game that night, I was the third base coach with two on, no one out when our batter lined to second base (though I still believe that ball hit the ground) and both runners were doubled off their bases for a triple play... not easy to do in softball. Needless to say, we lost both games.
This past Saturday, our first game was a close contest for the first five innings, but we made a ton of late errors (mostly throwing errors when people tried turning double plays) and ended up losing by a much less close score than we should have. I had one opportunity to make a play at the plate when our shortstop threw the ball into me and I tagged the runner out by about a half-a-step, but the force of him running into my arm jarred the ball loose from my glove, and when I fell backwards, it popped out of my glove. (I tweaked my shoulder nicely on that one too!) Not really any blame to assign there other than I need to try my best to keep two hands on the ball. It was a hard play. I did go 1-for-3 that game with a single that turned into a double play with the next batter. In the other two at-bats I lined out to shortstop and grounded out in that direction.
The second game we played we won 17-3, and I went 2-for-4 with two singles and a run scored, grounding out in my other two plate appearances. We broke it open early with 7 runs scored in the first frame, and thanks to some good pitching and a lot of pop flies, we held the opponents to just one run over 4 innings. I made two plays in this game. The first was on a slow roller down the first base line which I quickly ran over and grabbed and threw to first. Thankfully, the runner slowed and never actually touched the first base bag, otherwise he was definitely safe. I think he assumed he was out. I'm not complaining. The second play was a relay from center field to shortstop to home plate in which the throw beat the runner home by three steps and I caught it cleanly. The runner stopped running and clearly thought about trying to get back to third, but he tried to dance around me instead when I ran up to tag him, and I got him cleanly in between third base and home. Our team's "fans" cheered when I nabbed him (which was really quite a nice feeling!) and I made sure to give the love back to our shortstop Caleb for the perfect relay throw!
I'm still a bit sore from the games, especially my shoulder from the collision at the plate and my back from being a tall overweight person, but it was definitely fun to win a game, so I'll live with it. We are now 1-3 on the season, and I'm 6-for-13 in hitting (a .462 average). If I were an objective scorekeeper I'd say I've made no errors yet. Still waiting on my first home run (ha ha)!