Last night was the final game of regular season. The boys were still riding high from the win last week. They were ready to play ball.
We took the field first. We had a couple of bobbles and allowed two runs to score. Nerves began to calm and they got the third out.
Our bats weren't blazing last night. We had a couple hits, but no runs. We took the field again.
The boys looked like a ball team and not a bunch of rag-tag kids. They held the other team and didn't allow any runs. We rallied the boys as they came in from the field. You can do this!
Bats were still cold. No runs. We took the field again.
The boys again held the other team and the score was 0-2. Was this how the game would end? Neither team was hot with a bat.
Then our boys came up to bat. Something changed. One hit, then another and another. Bases loaded. Then a strike out and another. Here we go. Then a hit and runner scored! Then our third out came. 1-2 was the score.
We took the field with the cheers of hold them. Don't let them score! You can do this! The boys did.
We came back to the dug out and the coach gathered the boys around. We can do this. Let's bat! The boys came alive again and scored another run. 2-2 a tie!
The ump told the coaches we would play one more inning to settle the tie. Each team would have a final bat. Nerves ran high in the coaches and parents. Our boys tend to shut down in the end and give up.
The other team batted first. Two outs and then the top of their line up. One, two, three hits and two runs scored. Would this be it for us? Would they continue to hit and score and that third out not happen? Please, let us get an out! The next batter hit the ball and we got him out!
Now the question became can we answer with three runs? Could our boys do it? Our bats haven't been hot tonight.
Our first boy came up to bat. He hit it and was thrown out at first. The coach said the first baseman dropped the ball. The first baseman told the truth and said he dropped it. Our boy was sent back to first!
Next, batter struck out. Then a hit. Almost had an out at second, just missed it by one foot! We had two on base! Another hit and a run scored! 3-4 was the score. Could we do it?
Another hit! Three on base. Please let us get another! We did! Two runs scored and WE WON 5-4!
We couldn't believe it. They had just beat the third best team in our division! The other team was in disbelief. They had written us off. Before the game, a couple of their boys made the comment "Oh we are playing that team. They are the worst team and never win." We proved them wrong.
They may have started out as an awkward little team of inexperienced boys, but they have gained experience and confidence. They have learned some basics of ball playing. They haven't given up. Our coaches have been gentle and encouraged each player to do his best. They have taught the boys integrity and sportsmanship. They have embraced the each player's uniqueness and guided him. Even though each of us wanted the boys to win every game, winning was not stressed. Winning has been achieved through hard work and it has paid off!