Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Erin's second season of softball wrapped up this past weekend, and though in her age division the league doesn't keep score, I'm fairly sure that her team was the best. It's possible anyway, even if I wasn't biased. All the players improved so much over the course of the season and a couple of the girls were just outstanding--real naturals right from the beginning.
Erin wasn't her team's best player but not the worst one either. She made many really great plays and got many good hits. Other times and other plays, not so much. But she always tried and she maintained a good attitude when things didn't work out the way she wanted. She understands the game well and was generally attentive while she played her positions out in the field.
Here she is at bat one day. A few things need work here, including Erin's coach's pitching:
The best thing about Erin and softball is her enthusiasm. It was entirely her idea to play softball last year. I've never played and I wasn't even aware that there was a league for 5 year-old girls until Erin asked me to find her a team and sign her up last year. And ever since that last season ended she has talked about playing again this spring. She attended every practice and every game very enthusiastically and she really seems hooked.
"Your daughter loves playing, she's such a jock!" was not an uncommon comment to hear from other parents. One word I would have never thought to use to describe Erin is a "jock", that's for sure. This is a kid who never met a pink, sparkling, sequined object nor a pony, butterfly, or unicorn toy she didn't like. But she seems to like softball almost as much as any of that, and it's nice to see some sort of counterweight.
Her second-to-last game was tuesday evening, and this was the last game I got to see. The league provides each player with their team shirt, pants, socks, and visor. Nonetheless, most of the other team was dressed like this:
I found that amusing. They reminded me of the Bad News Bears, complete with yellow team color. I thought it was funny, even if no one else did.
John took Erin to her last game early saturday morning while the twins and I were in German school. Right after school the girls and I joined Erin and her team at her lunch-time team pizza party at a nearby park. After that, Erin learned from 3 of her teammates that their older sisters are on the same softball team and were playing in the championship game for the 8U division of the league (the next division up from ours). So Erin and I went to watch the game with her friends, and cheer on their sisters.
Erin and I talked about all the changes we noticed in the play in the next division, such as the kids, rather than the coaches, pitch and play catcher, scores are kept, and outs are counted too. It was a really exciting game to watch because the skill level of these 7 and 8 year-olds was really impressive, though unfortunately it wasn't a close score, and "our" team lost.
A couple of hours later, all of the teams in the league (with nearly 200 girls ranging in age from 5 to 14) lined up on the main field for the award ceremony.
Fortunately, after far too many speeches, they bring the younger kids' teams up first to receive their trophies. Erin's coach made up little photo dog tags of each player with "Marlins VIP" on the back, and Erin was very proud of it and her new trophy.
After the ceremony we headed up to Grandma's house where John and the twins had already gathered, and Grandma got some nice photos of Erin in front of her roses.
Erin is already looking forward to next spring, when, as a 7.5 year-old and a 2-year veteran of the 6U division, she'll get to move up and play in 8U--the beginning of the big kid leagues. Here she comes.