Friday, September 6, 2013

Best5Zach's Year of Softball in Review

Well, softball is pretty much over for the year. It's tough to believe it's already over. I guess time flys when you play 4 games a week. HAHA!

I have to again thank my wife for getting me involved with softball. I have many new friends that I would not otherwise have if it weren't for her convincing me to get involved.

A little back story: 3 years ago, she found out that there was an Army/NASA softball league. She joined up and I watched the kids. Every few games, they needed a player to fill in and I would. I was very rusty, not having played in 15 years. But, I contributed.

The next year, I played on the team full time as well as an A-league team. Meanwhile, Alyse was already playing part time on a SportsPlex team, which also landed here on a Research park team. Our NASA Co-Ed team, which we played full time on, went to the Finals and came up 1 run short in the championship.

I fell in love with playing and this year we decided to play a little bit more. . Alyse decided that she wanted to coach a team or two. So, we put together a Sunday Nigh Co-Ed team of players that we knew from different NASA teams. This league started a few weeks before the NASA league, so it allowed us to get tuned up before competition started. What we found out was that the SportsPlex was just a LITTLE more competitive than we initially thought. We had terrific players all the way around, but we found that there is more to softball than good players. Everything matters, from lineups, to equipment, to strategy.

For example, in our first game, we were absolutely smoked. 22-2. After the game, one of the players asked us why we were playing with cheap balls. We didn't quite understand. So, he gave us a ball and told us to do our research. It turns out, we were using crap balls that kept us from hitting the ball hard.

The next few weeks showed us what real competition was like and it showed in the NASA league as we rolled out to an 8-0 start. Keep in mind that this NASA team was a traditionally .500 team that played well under pressure. Suddenly we were tops in the league. Alyse played between 1st and 2nd and I played a myraid of positions. Alyse was given the honor of playing on the All-Star Team at the halfway point of the season!

 Our Sportsplex team, sponsored by Madison Hospital, finished slightly above .500 and finished tied for 4th in the tournament. Not bad! Meanwhile, we spent the empty nights filling in at the Research Park league. Whew! 2-3 nights a week we were playing ball.

And then Alyse signed us up on a Tuesday-Thursday league with the Madison team. Suddenly, it was 5 nights a week. But, we were loving it. The kids loved playing at the ball park.

All that eventually took it's toll on me. The night before we left for the beach for Family Vacation 2013, I dove into 3rd and tore my labrum. Initially it was ruled a strain and I continued to play as I could. What that meant was, no outfield, no SS, basically a warm body on the bench. I also couldn't hit worth much. So, I drew walks as I could. The Tuesday-Thursday league was tough and we never did do much good.

When it ended, we got serious about playing in the NASA league again. I sat on the bench mostly while the MisFits went deep into the playoffs, coming up shorter than usual and finished 4th . I believe we finished with a 10-2 record, which is an all-time best for that team.

In the next to last game, I took some video footage, which I promised all season I would do all season.

In my guess, Alyse and I played in better than 75 games in 5 months. It was a blast, though I don't know if I would do it again. We had a great time getting to know new friends and getting to know the old friends better. Can't wait until next year!