This week I subbed for our coed softball team, as well as played in the usual men’s league. I was told the coed team we were supposed to play was pretty horrible, and it was expected that we would run-rule them in 5 innings. I was a little nervous, being that I hadn’t been hitting so well in the men’s league the last two weeks, and with half the guys, that put a little more pressure on me to be a big bat. I’ve been pretty consistent in the field, so I wasn’t as concerned about that, but nerves are nerves, and without coming off as sexist, I didn’t want to show up as the new guy and make a fool of myself in front of my female teammates.
We started off a little slow, with a few rough innings. After the third, they were up 5-0. We had some decent fielding, but there bats were solid and they were capitalizing on hitting in the gaps and less than perfect throws. I was hitting leadoff, and already had 2 at bats – one triple and a double. The double was a close throw and I was pushing for the extra base, so I slid into the bag and tore off a nice few layers of skin on my leg. Worth it though, I was driven in two batters later. By the end of the 6th we had come back to tie it 5-5. Being the visiting team, we batted at the top of the 7th, and this was our chance to get some base hits and some runs on the board. I had two batters in front of me who popped and then grounded out. That made it two outs and I’m up to bat. I added a single to my hit list for the game, leaving me only a home run to hit for the cycle…and win the game. Being a lefty, I’d been working the second basemen and the right-center fielder all day, trying to hit between the two and shoot the gaps. This time I thought I’d try for right over the first base line because usually right fielders tend to be the weakest player in the outfield, and with my speed, I knew I could at least get to second. I took the first pitch. It looked good, slightly low and a bit outside, but I knew I could pull it. Bam! I turned and bolted down the first base line, kicking it into third gear. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the first basemen snag the ball on the tip of her glove – out. Damn it.
Bottom of the 7th. We had to hold them to keep the game alive. Two nice plays in the infield and a popper to left kept the game alive for us. The game was still 5-5 and we were going to extra innings. We batted ’round again, but no luck. Bottom of the 8th and we held them for another inning. Extra inning number 2. Top of the ninth and I was up again. I hit a solid shot to get me safe at second. The grounded out to first, but I was able to move to third. The next batter hit a line drive over second and I booked it home. Final score: 7-5. Nice
The next night I played for our men’s team. We’ve had a rough season and this particular evening we were playing the number one ranked team. After only a few innings, we were down 7-2. I wasn’t swinging as good as I was the night before, but in the 5th I hit a grand slam, which brought us up to 9-7. They tied it up in the 6th and nobody scored in the 7th, bringing us to night number 2 of extra innings. We didn’t hit well in the top of the 8th, and they knocked in a run after a few solid hits and a walk in the bottom of the inning, winning the game. Oh well. We lost to the number one team, but we at least gave them a good run. And that game, I didn’t lose half the skin off my leg.