This was going to be our first closest softball “friendly” ever. I had talked to my long-time friend and she said she was going to come to this game but we kept it a surprise from Tess. We had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning though because we had to be at the field by 6:45 a.m. We laid everything out the night before to make it easier in the morning and after I cooked a breakfast of bacon, eggs and bagels, we were on the road.
We got to the field on time and went down to the dugout where we were going to be playing. Tess was in fact warming up to pitch but in the end one of the other pitchers pitched first. In fact, since we were playing 3 games and didn’t have another catcher, the pitcher who was on the mound first would be catching for Tess whenever she did pitch. Oh boy.
When the game was supposed to start, my friend showed up and we walked over the dugout and surprised Tess. The smile on Tess’ face was ear to ear! I’m sure she wished that my friend’s daughter had shown up too but it was very early in the day and school just got out so she shouldn’t have expected too much because if she didn’t have this game, she would be sleeping too. Unfortunately, our umpire supposedly had a flat tire on the way to the game so our game was delayed 20 minutes and my friend wasn’t going to be able to see her bat. Tess, by the way had moved up in the line-up as she should have. We lost the first game by 5 points.
At the start of the second game Tess began to warm up. Boy, oh boy was she a doubting Thomas. She was near me when she was warming up and I felt she was doing fine but she kept calling me over asking me (in a panic) what she was doing wrong. I told her nothing but that I noticed she was cupping her hand again when she went back to pitch but she said she wasn’t. I told her OK and that I could video tape her and she said ‘fine’. By now the game had started and I was really trying my best to keep score on my app but I was so off by now that I had to give up. Finally, Tess told the person who was catching for her that she was warm. I also saw the last pitcher warming up just in case….
When she went to pitch she did OK. She wasn’t throwing hard at all which meant people were hitting off of her but luckily the defense was there to back her up. She made some great plays as well as her team. She also didn’t walk too many people so that was good. I was making my pre-planned motion from the stands for “move the dirt around” but she must’ve forgotten what that meant because she asked me after the game, “What did that mean.” Oh well. I reminded her but she probably won’t do that for at least 3 more months or more.
Second, third and fourth inning she got out of her head a bit but had slowed down her pitches so much that it was hard for me to watch, knowing that she could pitch a lot harder than that. The good thing about pitching today was that the catcher didn’t really have plays to call so she didn’t have to worry about throwing a change-up or anything other ball besides a strike. Tess was still cupping her hand when she pitched which caused some of her pitches to go high but I couldn’t tell her ‘nothing’! Her coach catches her doing that in practice and she’ll correct it then but she says she prefers to do it that way. After all, she has to make pitching “hers” so if she’s able to still throw strikes while cupping her hand back to pitch then go for it. To me, it just looks awkward but she did see another girl doing it when she and I went to pitching practice so that solidified that she was going to keep on pitching that way.
Since I wasn’t keeping score, I have no idea if we won or lost and neither did any of the parents.
For our third game the third pitcher went out to the mound. I was sitting next to her mom and she was yelling at her daughter to do this and that but I reassured her that it was Hot, that she’s doing fine and that it was just the first inning. Sure enough. She was throwing some strikes. Her stats were that she faced 20 batters, threw 29 balls and 41 strikes for 70 pitches. That’s pretty good! I only wish I had been able to keep stats during the game Tess when Tess was pitching but I would bet she threw more balls than strikes. We lost that game by 2 points.