Coming off our 3rd place finish in the previous 16A tournament, I gave our girls a 2 week break as we’ve been playing and practicing for 4 weeks in a row. I figured, they’d come back a little rejuvenated but rusty.
Right out of the gates, they WERE a little rusty.
Our pitcher slated for the start got sick in pregrame warm-ups due to the heat (and nothing to eat but a poptart and donuts for the day).
14 year olds! smh!
So our other pitcher got the nod in the first game.
Small things a coach notices – That first game back although we looked rusty, we ended up winning 4-0. I could tell the girls have been thinking a LOT about softball just in their style of play. That’s where the rejuvenated part comes in. I could see tangible differences in their game to where I could tell they’ve been doing a lot of mental reps over the last 2 weeks.
The second game was an all out DOOZY! I feel we got the bad end on a couple of calls butt here we were 1-1 with time expired in what would eventually become a 2.5 hour 12th inning game. Our pitcher got a bite to eat and was feeling better so she was ready to start that game. She did a SPLENDID job of holding them to 1 run in 5-6 innings of ball before she humbly informed me that she’s not feeling too well but she’ll give it another go. I didn’t want to chance it and pulled her and the pitcher from the 1st game came in and pitched the rest of the way.
Mind you, this is in the heat of the day 2:30 and 4pm (12 inning) games. The second pitcher already pitched the first complete game and came in and pitched another 6 innings in 95 degree/not a cloud in sight weather. So with 2 outs in the 12th inning Ambush magic happened. I won’t divulge of the details but it was a thing of beauty to watch these girls grit it out to pull ahead 4-1.
As a side note: Millhouse Threats’ pitcher pitched the entire 12 innings until we pulled ahead. She deserves a HUGE kudos for toughing it out in that heat. That kid did an awesome job of holding us to 1 run til the 12th.
Emotionally beat, at this point I’m very happy we didn’t have to play the next game in the losers bracket. Instead we got to go home. I don’t know if the girls could’ve played another hour.
That brings us to Sunday. The first game, we faced a very well coached Intensity-Craig team who had a great inning of softball against us with timely hits (and errors on our part).
We talked over our issues in our post game and came out the next game ready. We won that game 5-2 and advanced to the Championship game.
We were to rematch Intensity-Craig and won the 1st game 6-3 and had to face them again in order to win the Championship (double elimination).
They beat us in the last game to win the championship but the way the UIC acted made it a miserable experience for both teams.
Here’s the situation (as accurate as I can tell it): It’s a long story. We’re almost at time expired I’m sitting on a bucket outside of the dugout closer to the catcher because the way Markey Park’s dugouts are situated, my catchers had a hard time seeing my signals (been doing it since the start of the 1st championship game).
Far as I know both teams parents have been mentioning to watch the batters feet. Nothing too hard, just commenting as parents do. This one particular play, my parents ask about a hitters feet. I can’t approach form the dugout so I call blue over to the fence and ask, “if he’s keeping an eye on the batters feet”. The blue, says “yes. I was watching and proceeds to setup behind our catcher. Everyone is quiet and no one is talking anymore and ready for the next pitch. Out of NOWHERE, what I thought was a fan yells… “THAT’s ENOUGH! FROM BOTH SIDES! ONLY COACHES TALK TO THE UMP!” My parents start yelling at the guy and he keeps talking.
I motion for my parents to just ignore the guy and let him talk. They stop and he keeps on going and walking over. *I tell him I’m the coach… he DARTS toward me as if he wants to fight. I tell him “Not to walk upon me”. He keeps coming to about 3 feet away and I told him to “GET AWAY FROM ME” as I’m still sitting on the bucket about to call the next pitch of a CHAMPIONSHIP game. He proceeds to tell me he’s the UIC and I make it VERY clear to him. *”I don’t care who you are, get away from me as we’re not even talking to you and this has nothing to do with you.” *He then tries to tell me to get in the dugout since I’m the coach. in so many (non-threatening) words, I tell him to get lost.
2-3 minutes later he returns again and to tell me he’s the UIC and he has the tournament director over there and wants me back in the dugout and to go talk to him. *In all fairness, the TD looked like he was just as shocked as I was when I walked over to him IN THE MIDDLE OF A CHAMPIONSHIP GAME and reluctantly said I should go back to the dugout just to appease head “umpire in CHARGE”.
By now, my mind isn’t even on the game as my players are still playing and I have no idea what’s going on. *Soon as the next inning takes place, the umpire behind the plate feels so bad, he comes over to apologize for the UIC’s behavior. *
The behavior he displayed spooked my players and parents and I’m sure the other team as well.
Totally uncalled for.