Saturday, May 20, 2006

Boys and girls, playing nicely together...

Last Monday night, we didn't have a scheduled game! It was the hottest day last week, and a free night, and I had to get my Little League fix, so I was finally able to head out to Nancy Ryles School and watch my niece play in her T-Ball game. Her team is made up of boys and girls, 5-6 years old, just starting their baseball careers.

My niece, Molly, is not hard to spot. The long-ish blonde hair sticking straight down from her Giants cap gives her away. Plus, she is not picking the grass, talking to the opposing team, or looking for her mommy.

Molly is the softball player in the family, with little sister Jane about to start her sports career this fall with kick-and-chase soccer. Molly takes her Murrayhill LL T-Ball very seriously, and I appreciate this. One time when she was visiting one of Jack's game, as she was leaving, Jack looked up from the team huddle and waved to her. Molly told her mom, "he should be listening to his coach, not looking at us."

Jack missed the T-Ball stage. He really wasn't interested in baseball during kindergarten-first grade. We jumped straight into coach-pitch when he started in third grade. Unfortunately, most kids started two years earlier, so he was head and shoulders above the other first and second-graders, literally, but the same level skill-wise. But, he caught the fire, played summer and fall ball, and has not looked back since then.

Molly has a good coach (my bro-in-law) and they seem to be having fun. They have moved into the second half of the season, meaning the coaches pitch four balls and if they don't hit, they pull out the old tee. Molly never needed the tee. That's my girl! She also never over-ran second or third base. And quite often she would look to throw out the lead runner when she was playing defense. That's my girl! She hustled on and off the field, and knew when she was up to bat. That's my girl!

I wonder if it is too soon to take a U-8 traveling softball team out on the tournament circuit...wait, maybe she should stick to baseball. When was the last time there was a girl in the LL World Series?


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