Friday, April 11, 2008

Eagles Softball

On Wednesday, I stopped by Dickinson Stadium to catch a few innings of UMW baseball, and when the game was over, we headed over to the softball field to catch some of the second game of the UMW women’s softball double-header against Virginia Wesleyan. It was the first time we’d seen the UMW women play—they were great competitors, and the quality of play was top notch. But unlike men’s baseball, with the women there’s a lot of chatter on the field, and lots of cheering from the dugout. Lots of shouts of “good eye.” It reminded me of the days watching my daughter play softball, starting out on a county Parks & Rec team when she was 9 or 10. Some of the girls playing Parks & Rec were frankly afraid of the ball, and stood like statues at the plate, never even attempting a swing. And since the 9-year old pitchers had a hard time finding the strike zone, the games featured many walks. Innings you feared would continue indefinitely, walk after walk after walk. All to the sound of teammates and crowd shouting, “Good eye,” as if the girls at the plate were consciously making the decision to pass on a bad pitch, instead of immobilized with intimidation at the ball, make that “softly lobbed” at them. So I chuckled at hearing “good eye” again, but at least now it was warranted. The Eagles split the double-header, winning the first game 1-0, and losing in the second 4-0. The season is over except for the tournament, but next year, we’ll add women’s softball to our “things to do” list.

Note the shorts in the top photo. Someone please tell me how you slide in shorts. We didn't see any slides while we were there, but I wince just imagining it.

By the way, the men lost to Salisbury on Wednesday, 5-3. But more importantly, when I got to the stadium, there were Hot Dogs! And Blow Up Boppers! And Free T-Shirts! And even though I got there too late to catch his appearance, there was an actual Eagle Mascot, doing the full mascot shtick. Just days after I said the college games had none of those things. I’m not sure what the reason was for all of the hoopla, but I’m certainly not expecting those extras on any kind of regular basis. I can only hope that someday I’ll get my chance to see that eagle mascot. Oh, the missed photo op!

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