This season was supposed to be L and her team’s final run to kickball glory. Even with a tough schedule we figured they would be battling in every game and, because of the strength of their division, remain in the mix for a City championship berth right up until the end of the season.
Instead it’s been a bit of a mess.
Things started well; they won their first two games. They beat a solid team by one, scoring six runs in the bottom of the 7th to comeback for the W on opening day. Next they run-ruled a perennially bad team. Then everything went to shit.
They’ve had three straight run-rule losses. They’ve lost by 26, 31, and 27 in four-and-a-half innings each time. In the last two games we’ve been behind 14–0 and 13–1 after one inning. What we used to do to other teams is now being done to us. Paybacks, etc…
Our coach, who is perpetually sunny and upbeat, looked at me after last night’s beatdown and asked, “What is wrong with us?”
The answer is pretty simple: the three teams that have beaten us all have players that look like young women while ours still look like kids. Last night we had a right fielder playing literally in the bushes that bordered the field and St J was still kicking the ball over her head. The three teams that have crushed us all had 4–5 girls who could not only blast the ball, but place it in the right spot. They either found the holes between our outfielders, or knew which of our girls had zero chance to catch anything kicked at her and sent balls her way. I think we’ve given up more home runs in those three games than we’ve given up in two or three seasons combined.
We also make a lot of small defensive errors that turn innings into bad ones. Last night in one inning L over-ran a ball and allowed it to drop, another girl dropped an easy fly ball, and two other girls ran into each other and allowed a ball to drop. Instead of only giving up 4–5 runs, we gave up the limit of 14. That’s been the story in every big inning this year.
Meanwhile we have no one who can kick anymore. L gets on base consistently (she’s 15–19 so far) but hasn’t kicked a home run all year. Or really been close to one. This is the same kid who had 22 home runs in a season 18 months ago. She can’t kick as far as she used to and the outfielders are better at this age, so on the rare occasion she gets ahold of one, they still hold her to a double or triple. None of our other girls who used to boot the ball are doing any better. I think we’ve had only two or three home runs all season, and have only had one 14-run inning.
There are two games left in their season. We play St B’s, the team we beat by one, on Tuesday and then the team that waxed us last night on Wednesday. I would like to hope that St J’s would take it easy on us in our final home game, but they have a one-game lead for the division and can’t afford to slip up. We are just hoping we can beat St B’s on Tuesday to get one more win before the girls hang up their kickball visors for the last time.