Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tourney Time: The Good Part 2

If I know anything about blog readers, it's that they'd much prefer reading about the bad and the ugly over the good. So I'll try to make the good brief, then move on to the juicy stuff.

Southeast had its first single-elimination tournament game Sunday morning against Tanque Verde. We cruised to a 7-2 victory and started to look like the team I envisioned prior to the tournament. Southeast was hitting its stride at just the right time because our next game was a rematch against The Amazon Women of Sahuaro, pictured above. As you can see from the picture, #8 is our tallest player. The three Sahuaro players at the left of the picture are all as tall, if not bigger. The whole team was like that. It was David vs. Goliath.

The atmosphere was electric, the tension, palpable. Parents of the Southeast players, quiet for most of the tournament, came to life. It felt like we were playing for a national championship. Pitching dominated the game. We hung with them for the first two innings, holding them scoreless. But the Sahuaro pitchers were too good and too plentiful, rotating in a new pitcher each inning, and our two pitchers eventually wore down in the heat. Sahuaro had two three-run innings and sent us home 6-0. Our tourney run was over, but we gave them a hell of a fight. After the game, the Sahuaro coaches told our coaches that we were the only team to give them a hard time up to that point in the tournament.

Kailey went 1 for 1 at the plate against Sahuaro, and was one of the few Southeast players to get on base. She fouled off one pitch from the Sahuaro pitcher, who was throwing smoke for a 12, er, 8 year-old. Kailey eventually drew four balls from the opposing pitcher and then hit a single off of her coach. It wasn't her best hit, but it was probably one of her best at bats. Since she batted at the bottom of the order, she never had more than one at bat per game. She batted .500 for the tournament going 2 for 4, with one strike out and one hit pitch. Not too shabby.

And I can't say it enough: Kailey toughed it out. Actually, all those girls toughed it out. It was hotter than hell out there and they were tired from playing so many games, yet they gave it their all. Not bad for a bunch of 8 year-olds. Hopefully they collected more than just their participation medals (that's what's going on in the picture. Kailey is the one walking back in line). I know that whenever I look at Kailey's medal, I'll be reminded of the hard work and the fight that she and her whole team put up in her first All-Star tournament. And I'll remind her of how proud I was.

Sorry kids, it's late and I'm tired. The tournament bad and ugly will have to wait another day.

No comments: