Yesterday was the fourth time one of our girls played in a kickball City Championship game.

For the fourth time, we played our worst game of the year and walked away losers.

L’s team got waxed pretty good, 20–4, and it really wasn’t that close.

The team they played was solid at the plate and really good in the field. They only had a couple girls who could really blast the ball, but every other girl knew how to either kick away from the defense or to the spot that forced the defense to make a tough play. Our girls have been fantastic on defense this year but they made just enough mistakes to put us in a hole early. Then they could never get anything going on offense and the result was not in question after about the third inning.

So much of this game reminded me of some of M’s City title games. We got down early, and you could see our girls tightening up. There were those bobbles in the field, something M’s team always and only did in championship games. And we were cursed by the big roster. You play ten in the field in kickball, but everyone kicks. Because we weren’t putting long innings together and have a roster of 16, we didn’t make it through our entire lineup two full times. Our last kicker was on deck for her second attempt when the final out was made. Which meant L and our other big kickers only kicked twice. Unless you’re perfect in the field, you can’t win that way. Same blueprint as two of M’s City losses.

L did ok. She had two singles. Her first kick was solid. It could have been caught but they only knocked it down and were able to keep the runner in front of L from advancing, which kept L at first. Her second kick was down the third base line and kept in the infield. She told me before the game she was nervous and it showed in her kicking.

The team we played had a couple girls that looked more like sixth graders. Seriously, one of them was almost as tall as their coach. One of L’s teammates has cousins at that school and she said she was going to check their yearbooks to make sure those girls really were fourth graders. A little late if they’re not!

The other bonus was this team was coached by the crazy coach C’s team played against earlier this year. We were walking in at the same time and she did a double-take, “Where do I know you from?” she asked. “I coach our sixth grade team. You beat the crap out of us last month.” As she was after C’s game, she was super nice in the few moments we chatted. But, man, during the game she is turnt up, as the kids once said. I was glad I was on the opposite side of the diamond from her this time.

So we are now 0–5 in City playoff games as a family, all the losses coming to teams from the south side of Indy. Seriously, there’s something in the water down there because they just eat up good teams from the north side. Looks like we’ll need another combination of craziness like M’s team had last year to ever win another City title.

There was some pressure on this group because we’re pretty sure it’s the last time all of the best girls will play kickball. We’re still debating whether to move L into a more competitive soccer league next fall. Another good player runs cross country and plays competitive lacrosse and we’re not sure if she’ll come back. Two other players are at the point with softball where they will start playing year-round travel ball.

If this was it for them as a whole class, it was a great season with a disappointing finish.

Oh, one thing I forgot to add to my weekend wrap: C’s kickball team won their last game of the season last week! After two close calls – games we really should have won – we avoided going 0-fer with a five-run win. The girls were all super excited. And I think they were done with the head coach and I. We were a little intense in the last couple innings as we tried to will them to the win. Two girls in the field who kept getting in each other’s way were especially done with us. But, hey, we got the Dub!

C finished a fantastic individual year with another home run, a couple more runs, and some more great plays in the field. Her dad coaching third did run her into an out, though, when he fell asleep. She was flying around second and my focus was on the runner in front of her, who was dragging ass. I was yelling at her to move it as C approached third. A defender was chasing but I assumed she would dump the ball off to the pitcher to end the play. Instead she cut toward C and had a great angle. I yelled at C to stop, she skidded, ended up on her ass, and was then tagged out. I quickly told her it was my fault as she wiped away tears of pain because of her skinned palms. She nodded and walked away wordlessly. I seriously don’t think anyone has ever run her down on the bases so I think she was pissed about that more than the pain in her hands. But it was totally on dad, which she forgave me for later. Thank goodness we didn’t lose by one!