Last weekend started like most, early Saturday morning my family and I load up and head out for my younger sister and I to play softball for the weekend.
Our team, the RidgeRunners, played at Starplex in Murfreesboro Tennessee. Our first game was at 9:30 am on Saturday. I know going in, this weekend we only have myself and another pitcher, which is by all rights OUR best short stop.
I get the start for the first pool game. We struggled to get hits and stay on base. We just couldn’t string enough hits together and we lost 1 to 0. No excuses, we just didn’t do the things that we needed to do to win.
Moving on to our second pool game, Korey gets the start, which means everyone moves around to positions that makes us a little bit less competitive. We lost our second pool game 9-0. We were on the struggle bus for sure!
Our first bracket game, come out to a slow start but we gain some composure and dig in, we were able to get our bats going but it was just too late the timer expired and we lost by 1 run.
Couple of hours break and we know, if we lose we go home! We finally won the last game of the day, 8-2 against Hype Fastpitch. So, that meant we come back early Sunday morning for a new day of ball.
Sunday morning’s first game was at 8:30 am, against the team we lost to yesterday 9-0. I got the start in the circle, low scoring game but we won 1-0.
At this point, I wasn’t sure we could go the distance in the losers bracket but I knew one thing about our team, we never quit. One of our coaches pulled me to the side and said “Let me know which game you need to sit, you can’t pitch all day” and without thinking I replied with “who said?” I understood how much my arm could take, and we had the best chance of winning with our short stop at short.
We started our next game around 9:55, and we won that game 7-5.
We were two games into the day. My arm was still feeling great. We played our third game against Lady Colonels at 11:20. We won 3-2. Then it hit me, we had worked our way back to the championship game. The RidgeRunners, who had lost their two pool games and their first bracket game, were going into the championship game against a team that was undefeated, and were the 1st seed team in the tournament. My coach told me that it was fine if I couldn’t pitch anymore, but I was thinking that I wasn’t finished and the defense was standing strong behind me and I wasn’t going to stop there. I had the confidence that I could finish. Championship game starts around 12:35, going in, we know if we want to win, we have to win this game and take them to the if game. After playing back to back all day since 8:30 that morning, I’m starting to realize that I had already pitched 15 innings.
We take the field and played hard and we won. I wasn’t expecting it after the way we played them the day before, but we did it.
My dad, also a coach who calls pitches for our RidgeRunners team, looked at me and asked if I had one more game in me. At this point, my arm was feeling it, but we had just won that game 10-3. We were going to the if game. We had just beat them by 7, and I was thinking what’s stopping us from doing it again. Our bats were hot, I was locating my pitches, the defense was still making plays, my little sister had literally caught every game I had thrown and wasn’t letting up!
The RidgeRunners stepped on that field for the 5th game in a row and played for each other in that if game. Around 4 minutes until the timer went off, we were batting and there was 1 out. I looked over at one of my teammates, and asked “are we for real about to do this? like did we really just do that?” I was in shock. I had just pitched 22 innings in a row, and we had just won the entire tournament after losing our pool games and our first bracket game.
I could not believe it. I had pitched 35 innings over the entire weekend, and on Sunday 22 in a row. I never would have thought we would have won that tournament the way we did, but my team had my back through the entire thing. We did something that I not done in my entire life. It was crazy, and I have never been so proud of my teammates. Everyday is great to be a RidgeRunner but I can’t explain the overwhelming feeling of pride that day! We play a lot of softball and we do it well and win often but this win was one for the memory books!