The Humbling Experience of Playing Softball

Last Wednesday I finally got to play some organized softball which I’ve always wanted to do in college but never got the opportunity because I didn’t know anybody who wanted to play. Unfortunately, I haven’t played softball since PE class in middle school and it gave me an experience I won’t soon forget. The team I played on was with my fellow Turner coworkers and they play in a “beer” league where alcohol is consumed throughout the softball match; I only drank one can but others were pounding them down like old college days! I guess it’s hard to find players so we teamed up with another company titled Glumac which I think is an engineering firm. We played two games starting at 6 PM all the way to 9 PM with the first game being decided by time and the second one being played till 7 innings.

When I got to the field, it was a busy day apparently because we had 23 players which is huge compared to the other team which probably had around 12 people so we could basically field two teams. This made it a little difficult to get some reps but I got to play multiple times in the field and also batted three times. When I was on the field, I mostly played center field because I found out that the more experience players play in the infield similar to soccer. I was waiting for a ball to be hit towards me so that I could make a diving catch but I never got my opportunity. I’m also pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to make the catch because the other guys were belting those balls pretty hard and on top of that, the softball’s name is misnomer! It’s hard as hell! I ended up not making and catches but I did get to throw the ball once and that was the highlight of my outfield experience. When I got to bat was my favorite part, as it probably is for most people because there is nothing more fun than hitting a ball.

Before it was my turn to bat, a coworker asked me when was the last time that I hit a ball and I told him 7th grade then he grinned at me. Luckily, your own team pitches to you rather than the other team so this was a relief for me and also you get 5 tries and that is it; there are no strikeouts so you can attempt to swing at anything. I had confidence in myself because the ball was huge and I was pretty athletic so this was going to be easy in my opinion. The first pitch that I got was thrown at my feet and my friend told me he was just playing with me, which didn’t help me at all cause I needed all the practice I could get! The second pitch came in and looked perfect so I used all my strength and swung at it envisioning a home run and listening for the huge thunder that was going to come. But all I heard was a swoosh and myself spinning around in a circle. Then came the comments about my golf swing and the wind they felt. The third and fourth pitches ended up in the same order and this lead my teammates and opponents to cheer for me. I’ve never been on this side of the cheering before and it was very humbling. Hearing people say “You can do it! Keep your eye on the ball” made me feel athletically inadequate but also motivated me to not let them down. It did help me that I had my coworkers and other people rooting for me that I didn’t want to fail them on my last pitch. So I locked my eyes really hard and focused on the ball and was able to make contact! Although it ended up being a fly ball everybody cheered because I was able to make contact and I’m glad I was able to experience what it was like to being cheered on when you’re struggling. On my third at-bat in the 2nd game, I was able to contribute to my team. I was less nervous on the 3rd time and was able to hit an RBI and then I ran the field over two hits and was able to run home. Our team ended up winning by one point and I like to think that it was due to my RBI 🙂

I really enjoyed playing softball because all my coworkers were very supportive and it was a fun atmosphere. I would definitely try and make all the games over the season just to become better friends with my coworkers and also work on my hitting! We also have this golf event coming up in September and I think I would need to practice before that occurs as well. I’m still in my honeymoon phase with my job but everything has been going fantastic and I’m learning so much both in my work and out of work.

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