Well, here’s something a bit different. I’ve never been to a girl’s softball game before, so last weekend we went up to Wisconsin to watch our eldest granddaughter play in a softball tournament. It seems like only yesterday that she was a toddler playing with her dollies and tea set and now she’s ten years old and ready to take on the world.
For the first couple of games, we choose to watch from a place of comparative safety behind the fence and sit back to enjoy what is, for us, a new experience. You have to admire the enthusiasm that these girls show, and I can’t help noticing that they’ve picked up one or two mannerisms, probably from watching major league baseball games on TV, although I somehow can’t imagine Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the others standing in the dugout singing “We are the Yankees, couldn’t be prouder! If you can’t hear us we’ll shout a little louder!” which the girls proceed to do until they reach an ear-splitting crescendo that scatters a flock of birds roosting in a nearby tree.
During the second game there is a lot to cheer about as the hits are coming fast and furious and we spend most of our time either clapping the team or slapping the mosquitoes that are evidently ravenous up in Wisconsin. By the end of the game we have scored 16 runs and a gazillion mosquito bites despite a liberal application of bug spray and Skin-So-Soft.
The next couple of games are played at another park, the field brand new, the playing surface pristine. I hadn’t planned on making a panoramic view of the field so I take pictures from all different angles and when I finally download the resulting shots and decide to stitch a couple together to give an idea of what the place looks like, I have one heck of a time trying to get things to line up.
It’s not easy to get a clear shot through the chain link fence so I opt to be a bit more adventurous and observe the game from along the left field line. My husband, who is rather more cautious, chooses a spot a bit further down at the end of the safety net.
“The ball will have to make a sharp turn for it to hit me,” he says as he settles down. Famous last words! Almost at the first crack of the bat, the ball comes hurtling towards us and makes a freaky wild turn. Luckily his reflexes are still pretty good and he gets a hand up to protect his head, the ball giving his palm a pretty sound wallop. I am very impressed by Wisconsin hospitality when a man comes running all the way from the other side of the field with an ice pack. There is a lot said about the rivalry between Illinois and Wisconsin and this good Samaritan wasn’t to know we were from Illinois but I’d like to think he would have extended us the same curtesy even had he been aware of the fact. Be that as it may, we are extremely grateful for this friendly gesture.
By the end of the fourth game our team has a 2-2 record. Granddaughter has played some excellent games at first base, got several key hits and has shown that she knows what to do when it comes to running the bases. It all comes down to the final game and our girl goes up to bat. After watching the ball whizz over her head and a few wild pitches outside that get away from the catcher, she gets knocked down by an inside pitch to the leg. She crumples in a heap and the coaches rush out as we hold our collective breath. They eventually get her to her feet and she hobbles to first base. She’s obviously in some pain but she doesn’t come out of the game and even steals second base. Attagirl!
They end up winning the game and then I find out that the first game that they lost wasn’t part of the tournament so they are actually 3-1. Hooray!! They make it into the Championship game which is being held this weekend. That was one wild and crazy tournament! Unfortunately we won’t be able to make the game but we’ll be there in spirit.
Thanks to Tina over at Travels & Trifles for picking the Wild topic for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge.