Friday, November 6, 2009

Softball News! has been a while since I posted anything! Well, I guess my preoccupation with coaching my 8th grade girls fastpitch team will do that. So here is the skinny on a very interesting season...

First and foremost...there was some pressure going into this season. As 7th graders these girls went undefeated and took home the title for their school for the first time in about 6 years. However at the 8th grade level Tahoma Jr. High has never won it. They have had a few good teams...but always seemed to fall short. In addition there were some things that needed to be addressed as good as this team was. Their defense was questionable...they won by outslugging their opponents. That is all good and well...but you need defense to win in the long term. Also...they needed to understand winning with class. I wanted to address several other things...but after meeting the team realized that messing with things would also mean messing with the team chemistry...and that was a no no...

So we opened the season against the one team that would likely give us a run for the title. Northwood is a very solid team...and their coach makes them such year in, year out. I started MH...the girl who I expected would be my ace pitcher. Do not get me wrong...she is an unbelieveable pitcher in any light...but the season had several surprises in store for me...and pitching was one. She pitched an absolutely wonderful game...solid from start to finish. As close as this game was she never showed signs of cracking or even bending...cold as ice and smooth as glass with her pitching. My defense was diamond hard...with the exception of a first inning jitter run that we gave up nothing sniffed home plate because oh MH's pitching and the defense led by KG and AM. The bats kept going with BL & HE moivng the runners and keeping the pressure on Northwood. The end result was a defensive struggle and a 3-1 win for my girls. It was a hard fought that the girls should be proud of.

I explained many times over the season that blowing out your opponents if great for your stats, and fun for a little while...but boring in the long run. Games like this are the ones you really remember and make a season one to recall again and again. And they seem to have realized this we we played Northwood for a second time later in the season.

Our next game was against our sister squad. TJHS is an 8th & 9th grade building. The Middle Schools are 6th & 7th. To keep our school from forming one super team and one made of scraps, the league required that the 8th grade teams be the same as they were in the 7th grade. We can cut players and they can join the other team...but two things need to be kept in mind...they players cannot be some of the stars of the 7th grade teams...and I can only cut if I have a lot of players. I had 18 try out...I pared it down to 15...the other 3 joined the our sister squar...the Blue team (we are Gold). Now that I have that cleared up...

We played the Blue squad...and while the game was never really close...I will say that they did manage to score the more runs against us than any other team the entire year. We won 18-7. HM pitched a good solid game...but I was also not starting my top players in their normal spot (if at all)...and I believe that with a solid defense her ERA would have been significantly less.

Next came Meridian...a fairly hapless team that had some offense...but no defense. This is when I got my first look at surprise pitcher. In my initial depth chart I had her as my #3...she was good but had control issues in practice. In this game however she could do no wrong. She flirted with a perfect game for 3 innings...and a no hitter through 4 innings. She ended up with a shut out. Again I was not playing a first string defense for much beyond the first couple of innings. We walked away with a 10-0 win.

No comments:

Post a Comment