Saturday, June 09, 2007
The third week of the softball season ended yesterday. So far it's been a good year and every indication is that it's going to continue.
Once again this year we have scheduling issues, for which I have no responsibility. The athletic department (this league is a community league at the university with which my place of employment is associated) is planning to resod 4 of the 10 fields so those aren't available until early July. They have let us use the outfield of the baseball diamond. We have 73 teams in 13 divisions so this presented a challenge for the schedulers. Extending the season and scheduling double-headers solved this.
Our fields are with one exception not designed to be softball fields. We do use the intercollegiate softball field, but the other fields are just open grass. We do use one soccer/field hockey/frisbee/lacrosse field which is covered with what is essentially carpet - fake grass without blades. We use rubber bases which the umpires set out before the game and pick up after the game. Most nights we have games going on at least 4 fields at once. When the season really gets going we'll have 7 games going at once.
I've umpired one fast-pitch and on slow-pitch game, and played 2 slow-pitch games so far. The umpiring is going really well this year. I attribute that to all the softball I watched in March, April and May. Of course the fact that I've been doing this for 8 years might have something to do with it. I hadn't planned to umpire the slow-pitch game I did on Thursday but one of my umpires (I am the umpire-in-chief fo the league) called with a work conflict too late to get a sub.
My softball stuff is all in residence in my car so I grabbed the couple of things I needed and headed for the field. I did rearrange that night's umpires so I could do the game on the softball diamond, which has permanent bases so I didn't have to lug bases. Game time is 5:30. I had woodworking class at 7 so I let the captains (no coaches in our league) know that I was going to keep the game moving. An hour and 5 minutes later the 7 inning game was done, and I was headed to class. It was a relatively low scoring game (12 -7) and the teams did their best not to waste time. I was only 15 minutes late for class, which isn't an issue since it's an open shop class.
Our team is now 3-0. I've only played in two of the games. I missed last week because Amy had a concert. I'm playing second (no kneeling, not much running). I've only been involved in a couple of plays. First game I took a throw from short for a force out - and almost got taken out by the runner. Last night I fielded a ground ball cleanly and flipped it to the shortstop for the force. In the first game I walked twice and grounded out once. Last night I grounded out to the pitcher and hit a deep grounder to the shortstop. My courtesy runner beat out the throw on the second and came around to score later in the inning.
We're off to a good start, and I can't wait for more.