Play ball!

T-ball and softball season is in full swing now.

We’ve been at the ballfield nearly every Monday through Thursday night since mid-April. After last year’s experiment with Phoebe playing in the machine pitch softball league for the first time and me coaching her team, Phoebe advanced to a full-fledged girls softball league and I’m much more content as an assistant. Faye, meanwhile, is playing T-ball again and I’m helping coach her team again with my good friend, Tim. On some nights, I’ve picked up Faye from school and whisked her home for supper and then to the ballfield for practice – while Kates took care of picking up Phoebe and bringing her to practice a couple hours later. Then Kates took Faye home while I stayed to help with Phoebe’s practice.

Tonight was Faye’s first T-ball game. And the 4 and 5-year-olds keep it interesting for sure.
Game time was 5:30. Which means Kates was making a pit stop to grab supper for all of us at Sonic around 4:50 as I was breaking from my office to head for home. All of us arrived at home simultaneously around 5 and were immediately challenged with corralling Faye, who was more interested in sharing her latest kindergarten artwork with us than with eating her supper and getting ready for her game. Eventually, we succeeded and got her seated at the dining table. She ate her summer, dressed in her uniform, and we left the house at 5:26 … Good thing the sports complex is only a couple minutes from our house.

As Faye and I were walking up to one of the fields at 5:30, a pair of girls dashed in front of us toward the bathroom to change into their uniforms while the rest of the team was assembling in their dugout. Then a girl with a blue shirt joined our team – which has purple shirts – in the dugout. Tim thought she was one of ours and maybe she hadn’t gotten her uniform.

“Remind me of your name, honey,” Tim said.
The little girl was preoccupied with the other girls and wasn’t engaging with Tim.
“Where’s your mom sitting,” he asked, hoping he could get Mom to help.
“She’s over there,” the girl said, pointing across the field to the first base side.

All of us coaches looked to the first base side and suddenly noticed the team – dressed in blue shirts – warming up on the other side of the field. This girl had come to the wrong dugout. We all had a good laugh and directed her to where she belonged.

We finally got the girls organized and placed where they belonged. Tim rattled off a batting lineup and we began the game.

Faye batted first and slapped her ball off the team and up the middle of the diamond. She advanced to one base at a time as each successive batter took their turns hitting the ball from the tee and arrived at home base a short time later.

Faye did the same thing during her second at-bat. We got through two full innings before our hour time-limit was up. And by that time, we’d lost about a quarter of our team because they needed a bathroom break.

Tim handed out a bottle of Gatorade and a pack of baseball cards to each of the girls during a team huddle after the game. He hands out the baseball cards and tells the girls to study the pictures to help them learn how to hit, catch and throw.

Everyone walked away smiling.

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