Monday, February 23, 2009

Watching Softball at Woodsong

A weekend highlight happened Friday afternoon when our granddaughter Leslie dropped by Woodsong. She was on her way up from Belmont in Nashville, Tennessee, to see two girl friends at the University of Illinois.

The next day the three were heading over to Belleville to meet up with the Freeport High School speech team at the state tournament. Today Leslie made the long drive back to Belmont after going to church with a friend in Effingham. Her Aunt Mary and cousin Brianna were able to come across the river and have lunch with her at Belleville.

Otherwise our weekend was taken up with following Texas A&M softball team playing in the Marriott Houston Invitational tourney and the University of Georgia softball team hosting the 6th annual Georgia Softball Classic at Athens.

When Leslie arrived, we were able to report Texas A&M’s first victory where they beat Northern Illinois 14-2. Her cousin Erin’s exciting 5 for 6 hitting success with seven RBIs, which included a three-run homer, kept the phone lines buzzing between Woodsong and Tara up at Aurora and Vickie down in Georgia. Her heavy hit over the score board excited the game-tracker announcers—but not as much as Erin’s family fans. Oh, yes, she also put out the two Northern runners who were silly enough to try to steal. Later that night, A&M defeated Prairie View 11-1. More phone calls followed.

Ranked 16th in the nation now, Georgia also won both their Friday games, winning against Ball State 15-3 in five innings and Tennessee State 8-0 in five. We went to bed happy for Erin and happy for our son Gerry at Georgia, where he is assistant coach.

Saturday morning the grey rainy day suddenly turned to a snowy day. Since Gerald needed a tool at Sears, he volunteered to take me to my hair appointment in his pickup. I hadn’t thought about it being slick, but evidently it was because we passed a car on Route 13 that had flown across the medium and across our west-bound lane and into the ditch. We got home in time for me to fix lunch and for us to have it eaten before the afternoon games began.

After A&M shut out McNeese State 3-0, and Erin batted .500, we were pumped to listen that evening to the game against home-team Houston Cougars, who were ranked 18 while A&M had slipped to 19th because of recent away-game losses. After battling the wind in a come-from-behind game, A&M forced the game into an eighth inning. The game-breaker rule placed Erin on second base in this inning. She made third thanks to Alex Reynolds’ sacrifice, and then onto home, thanks to Kelsey Spittler’s game-winning single. We went to bed happy after that 4-3 victory. Georgia had won over Marshall 9-1 in six innings and over Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis 15-3 in five innings.

Today started with a very early phone call from Gerry to his dad, and I am sure they talked softball. We thought we would see both of “our” teams won their respective tournaments with five wins apiece. But that wasn’t to be. Georgia did win their tourney by defeating the University of North Carolina Greensboro 12-2 in five innings—their ninth straight victory with the mercy rule. They had hit 10 home runs in this tourney, and their tournament batting average was .425. Next weekend they travel to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Georgia.

Texas A&M was to play University of Illinois for the championship at Houston, and the game was in the fourth inning when we got home from church. Soon Gerald had the game going, and I brought down chili for our lunch, which is what we also ate last night while we watched their game.

When Kelsey Spittler made a big hit in the bottom of the seventh to tie up the game, I thought for sure we’d repeat last night’s victory. But Illinois scored a run, and then despite our game-breaker runner making it to third, we couldn’t get the hits to bring her home. We lost 5-4 and are going to bed sad tonight, but I am sure we aren’t as sad as those kids on the bus heading back to College Station, However, they will be playing on their home field for awhile now, and I predict more sweet dreams next weekend.

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