Another kickball season is complete.
L’s team was supposed to make up three games that had been rained out. One school never responded to multiple messages from our coach about a reschedule date. It’s the team L kicked six homers in one game against a year ago, and we’ve generally beaten them like rented mules since third grade. So I don’t blame them for avoiding the game.
Monday we played on a crazy field that has a fence in short left field. C’s team played there three times and that stupid fence always got in their heads. Her team had at least four girls who should have been able to kick it over the fence. While we had multiple balls bounce over for ground-rule doubles, no one on her team ever flew the fence for a home run.
In the top of the first Monday, our second kicker put one over the fence. She did it again in the third inning. And another girl kicked two over. L was super excited to get her shot, but kept kicking line drives that bounced off the fence for Green Monster-style singles. We were up by 40-some runs in the fifth and L knew it was her last shot before the mercy rule kicked in. A new pitcher gave her a fast pitch that she neatly deposited over the fence. She raced around the bases with a satisfied look on her face.
L made sure to let C know that her team kicked five over the fence in one game while C’s team couldn’t put one over the fence in 21 innings. Sisterly love!
L also made a crazy play in the outfield where she cut off a screaming line drive and threw a perfect strike to second to hold the kicker to a single. After the play she stood in center and flexed. I laughed out loud.
Wednesday night was supposed to be our final makeup game, against a team we knew we would hammer. As we left home L said she was going to try to break her record of six homers in a single game. This is another weird field – the church is awfully close in left field but if you kick to center or right the ball can roll for days – plus she hasn’t kicked as well this year. But I told her to go for it.
When we arrived the opposing coach came over and asked, since it was their last game and they had five 8th graders playing their final game ever, if we would mind if they forfeited the official contest and the teams just played for fun so she could move girls around to different positions.
Our coach said sure, although there was some grumbling from our girls. It ended up being a good time. Both teams played girls in new spots. It was fun to see some of our girls who are often in the outfield get to pitch or play first base. There was zero stress because no one was keeping score. Both teams were laughing and having fun. You know, how youth sports should be.
Since I wasn’t keeping score I lost track of L kicking a few times. She did not kick seven home runs. I think she went something like 4–6 with one homer. Since this was officially a forfeit I’ll not add those numbers into her season totals.
She ended up going 26–31 with seven home runs in five games. She slightly raised her kicking average to .839 from last spring’s .825. But the seven homers were way down from 22, although she did play two more games last spring.
We are already putting together a strength program so she can get those power numbers back up next spring.
The team went 3–2 plus the forfeit, crushing the bad teams but not getting closer than 14 runs to the two top teams. Kind of a bummer year after playing for the City championship last spring.
Now we will be all about basketball for sixthish months.
CYO kickball pitching philosophy is that you pitch slow to good kickers, fast to poor kickers. The idea is to make the good kickers provide their own power and try to overwhelm the weak kickers with speed. ↩