The William & Mary Tribe that is. And today was their very first game.
The girls have had several practices over the past month, and many of them even attended the softball camp offered during their Spring Break last week. But for a majority of the team, this was their first time playing softball. And frankly, they weren't quite ready for game day.
We showed up early thinking there would be time to warm up, but very few girls were there. Sure, the OTHER team was on the field. Looking slick in their matching long sleeve white t-shirts under their jerseys, their matching blue shorts and tall white socks. Practicing their pitching, their fielding, their batting.
Our Tribe? Well, they all straggled towards the field. Mere minutes before the game started. Wearing a bunch of mismatched shirts and sweatshirts under their jerseys, all different types of pants, their way-too-big hats falling into their faces. Oh and the whining. Don't. Forget. The. Whining.
"It's too cold."
"Can I play with my jacket on?"
"Why don't we cancel the game on account of the windy weather."
"Can you make sure my mom is watching me. Hey MOM, you're actually not watching me."
"Can I sit out this inning?"
The coach made a wee bit of a mistake in telling the girls that there were only three innings ... when actually there were six. Normally not a big deal, except tonight it seemed like we reverted back to winter, with the wind chill and temperature hovering around 36 degrees. It was f*&^%#^ing cold outside.
For the first few innings I would have said that our team should have been called The Bad News Bears. There were a comedy of errors that had every parent smirking and giggling under their scarves and down jackets. The swinging high in the sky at every pitch. The dandelion picking in the outfield and cartwheels around the bases. They were awful. AWFUL.
But they were having fun. And that was all the mattered.
Until the 5th inning. When something in these girls snapped. Maybe it was the realization that if they just smacked the cr*p out of the pitches that they'd get home and out of the cold faster. Who knows. And who cares. They just started making contact with the ball. And they started scoring runs.
Three of them actually. To WIN the game! It was awesome.
Cold as hell. Flask-free. But awesome.
Here's to a great season!
Riley was the first batter on her team
She was also the first pitcher
Some of the girls on our team ... taking a good sportsmanship oath before the game.