Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Humbling Defeat

The Orange Crush. That’s the name of my daughter K’s 14 & under girls softball team I help coach. The girls have played together for several years and have come to be feared throughout Williamson County. For the last several years we have lost only one or two games, and have been the county-wide champions for 3 years straight.

Last Thursday night we were humbled. It was the first game of the double-elimination annual tournament, and 7 of our 15 girls couldn’t make it to the game. We had the absolute minimum necessary to start a game- 8 girls. Our opponent was a group of 11 & 12 year old girls that had also been playing together for a few years and had amassed a record of 50 wins and 0 losses. They had requested of the county to “play up” to the older league so that they would have some competition.

On a few other occasions we had played with 8 girls- our short stop is so strong that we have her play short AND third base and play 3 outfielders versus the 4 allowed. On all those occasions we had won, but not by the scores we had become accustomed to. Usually we win with scores like 25-1, or 28-0, or 22-4, but with only 8 players we drop to scores like 11-3 or 14-6.

The first tournament game did not go as expected. When our girls found out they would be playing a bunch of little 11 and 12 year old girls they let their guard down. They walked onto the field and got slammed. They lost their first tournament game and dropped into the loser’s bracket. One more loss and the year is over. The mood was somber, and all any of our girls wanted to do was get the whole team together and meet up with the Red team again. Odds are that will happen in the finals next week…if we make it there. 3 games to win now to make it to the finals.

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