in february, my daughter was invited to try out for a 12U fast pitch softball team.
she was 9.
12U means you can be age 13 and the size of a line backer and still be eligible.
she made the team.
at the very first game of their very first tournament, ella was informed she would be catcher. she had played catcher exactly one time before this announcement, the day before in practice.
“sure, why not.” she said when they handed her the shiny new catcher gear.
my thoughts were more along the lines of “what the $%^^???”
that first game they played can only be described as painful. physically, emotionally, and psychologically painful. i understand they were a brand new team, and a young team, i mean their catcher was 9 years old, but i was seriously doubting my judgment as a parent allowing her to participate in this. it got to the point that the parents were searching deep within their souls to try to find something good to cheer their girls on.
“you only allowed 15 runs that inning, you rock!”
“you only over threw the base by 50 ft instead of the usual 100 ft! good on ya!”
“maybe next time you might want to throw that ball instead of just holding it to get the person out, good job though.”
basically, we lied our heads off telling them they were doing good.
ella turned 10 during the course of this season, she is the second smallest girl on her team. fall league ended last night with her team having a winning record for fall. this was after losing approximately 30 games in a row. ella stuck with it as catcher and did not allow any stolen runs at home for the majority of the games, even against 14U teams that had girls that were up to 15 years old, the size of andre the giant, and had beards. during the last 5 games of the season, every at bat resulted in her getting on base.
my favorite memory of her is when she took on a very large 13 year old who was charging in to steal home. ella ended up landing on top of her as the girl took her out and knocked the ball out of ella’s mitt. ella, seeing the girl had slid short of home, starting scrambling over the top of her to get the ball. the girl, realizing she was short of home, started trying to scoot on her butt the last few inches to be safe, but found the travel rather difficult with a 10 year old clad in catcher gear scrambling over the top of her stomach. it was a hard hit that had coaches from both teams coming onto the field to check on ella, all she said was “let’s play this game!”
as you can see by the picture of ella and her sister, ella does have a distinct size disadvantage in this league. so proud of that girl, she took some beatings, gave some beatings, and is so much cooler than i will ever be.