I’ll preface this by reminding you I tend to get a little superstitious about sports. Despite being aware of the Colts’ epic comeback against the Chiefs in January, I refused to turn the game back on. My turning it off had something to do with the change, right?

I watch KU games from the same seat until they lose, then switch to the opposite side of the couch. In March, I’ll often switch seats at halftime if things aren’t going well.1

And so on.

M’s kickball team began their season Tuesday night. Before the game, her coach walked over and asked if I would mind keeping score. This is kind of a big deal in kickball, as it’s just a hair off being full chaos for 70 minutes. Despite each kid being instructed to run over and report to the scorekeepers after they either score a run or commit an out, there still seems to be a moment in each game where the two scorekeepers and umpire are huddled up to make sure of the score or number of outs.

But, as I’ve written about in the past, I enjoy keeping score for baseball. So I told the other two sisters to stay out of trouble and accepted the responsibility.

Despite St. P’s being on the road, the home team kicked first. They scored one run in the top of the first.

About 15 minutes later, St. P’s finished the bottom of the first with 20 runs, which in fourth grade kickball, signals the end of the inning. There was only one out.

Top of the second one run.

Bottom of the second, 16 more runs for St. P’s.

Top of the third, scoreless.

Bottom of the third, another 20-run inning.

A quick 1-2-3 top of the fourth mercifully brought in the run rule to put the game out of its misery.

That’s right, our girls won 56-2. Clearly this is a time when the label “mercy rule” was appropriate.2 This game was painful to watch.

It’s not that our girls were all that great, either. They did play well, especially on defense. But the other team really struggled to make basic plays. Our girls kept kicking it to the middle of the infield then running as their opponents struggled to make the right play.3

When I handed the scorebook over to the coach after the game, I asked her if this meant I had to keep score for the rest of the season. She laughed, as I intended. But I admit, deep down, I felt a twinge that, yes, I do have to keep score every game until they lose. Because me being on the scorebook was somehow responsible for their performance.

I hate my brain sometimes.

The test comes in their next game. When they play Friday night, I’ll be on my way to a high school football game. If they win, I’m off the hook. If they lose, though, I clearly have to grab the scorebook next Monday.

  1. Which I just now, in August, realize I forgot to do at halftime of the Stanford game last year. Dammit! 
  2. Speaking of that, as the top of the fourth was beginning, a parent came over and asked for the score. When I told him he asked, “Isn’t there a mercy rule or something?” 
  3. Whiteyball!