July 14, 2005

It's a little over an hour before we have to leave to get Tracey to her game.  It's about 106 outside and will still be that or more when we get to the field.  The girls will warm up and take infield practice during the hour before game time and simply prepare as they always have.   There's no real pressure for Deer Valley to win - we only have to win one of two possible games tonight.   We've beaten this team before but it was a close one.  So how do you get the girls loose and relaxed for a championship game?  Our coach came up with a novel idea to loosen his girls up and break the tension of the game at hand.  

Last night, the girls had a hard practice as they always do.  At practice time, it was still 105 out at 8:00 PM and the girls worked hard on the fielding drills and hitting drills.  Tracey really hammered the ball last night which was great and threw a little batting practice as well.  She did good for the last practice.  As the last girl was hitting, her dad came around and was leaning against the fence short of first base.  As Stephanie ran past him, he pulled a couple of water balloons out of his pockets (his pockets were really loose) and nailed her three times with the balloons.  Everyone laughed and coach told the girls to grab their bats and helmets and line up in a straight line in the outfield far enough a part that they wouldn't hit the other girls.  Then all of the coaches and dads lined up and pitched water balloons to the girls.  It was great fun.  Their eyes opened wide as the first balloon came in - not really knowing what to expect.  They hit the balloon's and water sprayed everywhere.  The girls were laughing and having a great time.  It was like watching your kids play with water at six or seven.  I've also never seen the girls hit so well.   Not many of these balloons made it past them and it was a riot.  Carol noted that the first pitch was great as you could see the wall of water burst from the girls bats on impact.  

As we started to run low (about 30 balloons left in the coolers) coach ordered a cease fire and told the girls to put their bats down and remove their helmets.  Us dads started to back away from the cooler as we all knew it was time for the girls to have a chance on us.  You must know that these girls are softball players and don't throw like girls or miss their intended targets.  It was great fun.  It loosened everyone up and got the girls closer as a team.  These girls are All Stars and many played against each other during the regular season only coming together now.  They had fun and were all leaning on each other, all soaked from head to toe with smiles as wide as the Grand Canyon across their faces.

Wish us luck tonight.  I'll do my best to update this early (or late tonight) so you all know how it all turns out.  Take care for now and I'll be typing at you later.