The Green Machine Strikes

It finally happened last night.  Our softball team won a game!  It’s the first win in the history of the Green Machine.

We played against High Tide 2 (High Tide is a Baptist church in Delaware with two teams).  The humidity was terrible and we were slow to adjust.  The first game was probably the worst we’ve had.  We only scored one run!

In the second game, we actually took an early lead, then squandered it.  But we held on, pulled ahead, and came into the bottom of the last inning with a slight advantage.  We had to hold them in the bottom of the last inning, but we didn’t do it.  They tied it up, sending the game into extra innings.

In the top of the eighth we had a pretty strong outing and added a few runs.  We held them in the bottom of the inning to win by four–though at the time I thought it was a lot closer than that.  What a relief when we made the last out to notch the win!

As that second game got closer to the end, the thought popped into my head that I had the potential to blow it like Bill Buckner did in the 1986 World Series (poor guy–he had a really good career but will always be remembered for that error!).  I was even playing first base.  Sure enough, on what would have been the out to end the game, I botched a throw to first.  It dropped as it came toward me and I was too slow to realize I needed to turn my wrist to make a basket catch.  So the ball hit my glove but not at an angle where I could hold on to it.  It fell in the dirt right in front of me and was just spinning in place in the dirt.  As time seemed to go in slow motion, and the runner got closer and closer to first, I tried with my sweaty and slick hand to snatch up the ball.  I finally secured it about half a second after the runner crossed the bag.  I felt terrible.

Something really cool happened in the bottom of the last inning.  It was one of those life-lessons-from-sports kind of moments.  Our second baseman (er, basewoman), Betty, missed a pop up in the seventh inning that allowed some more runs to score, tying up the game.  It rattled her confidence so much that in the bottom of the eighth inning she asked our designated hitter, Rick, to play second in her place.  He asked if she was feeling well or was hurt.  She said no, that she just didn’t want to blow it for the team.  So Rick, a guy with a lot of class who is a true encourager, refused to go!  He crossed his arms and adamantly insisted that she could do it and he wouldn’t sub for her.

In a near panic, Betty was forced to go back out to second.  Now here’s the really cool part: she made two putouts, including the game-winning out!  The first one was a pop up that she caught.  The second was a hard grounder with a runner on first.  She scooped it right up and had the presence of mind to dart over to second, tagging the bag several steps ahead of the runner, to nail down the win.

One of the best parts of the game was that we had two precious little fans: my nephews.  My brother Jason and his wife Kristi brought their two little guys, Justin, age 4, and Kevin, 2.  They’re huge sports fans.  They were really into the game.  In fact, at one point when it looked like we might lose the second game, Justin started to cry!  Afterward he told me that earlier in the game we were losing, but explained that at the end of the game we “winded.”  He really got a kick out of our team name, the Green Machine.  He laughed and said it was “silly.”  Justin paid such close attention to the game and remembered so much that it was amazing!  It was really cute after the game, because both little guys went out to home plate, took a swing, and ran around the bases… about a dozen times.

So maybe the Green Machine isn’t exactly a threat to dominate the post season, but who cares?  We won a game!

Published in: on August 17, 2007 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

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