My oldest, age 7, just suffered a tough loss in her final softball tournament game of the year. Their team took 2nd place. They had a great coach and all the heart in the world. But an 8 p.m. game against a better strategized team just did them in. It was a close enough game, not a wash out and the girls really improved from last year. It wasn’t all the same girls but several of them carried over from last year, and most of them will be moving up a track to ‘kid pitch’ ball next year.
It’s likely that she’ll be in soccer with some of the same kids as well. K will be in this level again for next year and perhaps another, I’m not sure, but it’s an ending of sorts. We always ask if they want to play again. After last year’s softball to the forearm while catching, I wasn’t sure if she would play again, but I’m glad she did. She improved her batting stance, her ball handling skills, her ability to pay attention, her attitude, fear of the ball, and her fielding in this year. I really hope she plays again. Not just so she has kids to talk to, but so she can look back and say, wow, I really did improve. I worked hard and it made a difference. I’m not sure that occurs to her right now. The last couple of games it all really seemed to click. She played 3rd base and did a lot of grabbing when the ball rolled out into the outfield and also played behind first and was there if it went awry. Like she knew what she was doing.
Sadly she was the last hitter of the last inning and struck out. She didn’t make it to base the last game at all, and had been stranded on 3rd the last several games. Because of our mental preparation (hey you’re already in 2nd hard work is what’s going to get you to first!) and because their coach prepared a water balloon fight– hysterical by the way– for after the game, the girls didn’t seem to be all that disappointed.
As she was brushing her teeth, though, she said, she didn’t even get a hit. I think it had been bothering her. She’s so emotional and I hate that out of my traits THAT had to be the one passed down to her. It’s so easy for the kids to take failure on themselves when it’s really nothing to do with them. I countered with the idea that she actually did get a foul tip, so she did hit the ball. Her face shone. Sometimes you just find the right thing to say. Tonight was that.
They did play a great game and showed great sportsmanship by inviting the winning team to play water balloon dodge ball with them!