Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Not Illegal, but Frowned Upon Part 2

Miss part 1 of the CAN Softball Tournament Extravaganza? Read all about it right here!

I feel like I should explain why the title of these posts is "Not Illegal but Frowned Upon." This is a story that will probably only be funny to the 12 or 13 of us who were there this weekend, but when has limited appeal ever stopped me before? That's right; it hasn't.

So Dale (the coach) emailed the team to say that bringing our own alcohol to the tournament was at least discouraged if not forbidden. That turned into Evan saying, "I didn't know bringing our own alcohol was FROWNED UPON IN THIS ESTABLISHMENT."

So I was standing with Evan, Sean, Marty, Lindsey and Keith watching a game, and the pitcher threw an illegal pitch (meaning it was either too high or too low, etc.). The ump yelled out, "Illegal pitch!"

Someone in our group then quipped, "Well that's not really illegal, it's just frowned upon. Thanks a lot, bin Laden." Which you might recognize from this scene in The Hangover.

And I proceeded to giggle like a little girl for the rest of the day at the thought of the scene. And anytime anything happened, I proceeded to say "Thanks a lot, bin Laden," at every turn. I usually like to take jokes and run them into the ground as quickly as possible. I think the team will agree when I say: mission accomplished.

Also, I giggled like a little girl just writing out the story. Easily entertained? Easily entertained.

So there you go. Thanks a lot, bin Laden.

Now, the Michigan game! Yes, we lost. Michigan went 13-1 this season. Only 14-0 James Madison had a better year, so we knew it was going to be a tough game.

As I mentioned on Monday, we really did hold our own, including drawing four or five walks in a row in one inning, causing the only pitching change to take place in the middle of an inning I saw all season in any game. I think their pitcher walked in two runs, and the coach jumped out there quick and yanked him.

The rest of day 1 was spent lounging under our tent (as seen in the picture at the left, which was actually taken on day 2) and watching other games going on around the grounds.

With 69 teams in the tournament and only five fields, there was always another game to watch, which was fantastic. Not to mention the beer truck! Five taps on the side of a keg-filled truck. See the photo below. Pretty awesome.

The whole scene was just incredible -- like a giant multi-college tailgate where everyone was having a great time.

It was ridiculous, and the team already has a list of things we need to do for next year now that we've seen how things go.

Among the things we need: inflatable couch, baby pool, slip-n-slides, pitchers for beer so we don't have to keep getting up, some kind of stereo to play ridiculous music, our own cornhole boards, etc.

I have to confess: due to my staying out too late on Friday night and only have that brief two-hour nap before the 4:30 a.m. wake-up on Saturday, I was, shall we say, "out of it" for most of Saturday. I had three drinks MAX all day. I just couldn't.

Quite a few teammates commented how they've never seen me so subdued. I almost fell asleep several times Saturday. Some people were even talking about going out Saturday night. I couldn't imagine. It's astonishing I didn't fall asleep on the drive home Saturday.

I got home, took the dog out, showered and hit the couch. I was passed out by 9:30 p.m. Thankfully, I set my alarm before I passed out. I woke up at 6:30 a.m. right on the couch. I felt pretty damn good on Sunday morning, especially comparatively.

Sunday was a different story. Because of some rain Saturday evening, game times were pushed back. We were originally scheduled to play Cornell at 9:30 a.m., but it was pushed back to 12:30 p.m. Since we were there and ready for an early start, we just started drinking.

Dale planned ahead and brought a cooler of beer since the beer truck (shown on the left) didn't open until 10 a.m. At around 11:30 we got word from tournament officials that our game was finally scheduled to start soon.

I was already four drinks in, so I ran up and ate a quick hot dog and hamburger combo, and then Matt came through for me in the clutch with some Gatorade. We were ready for the game.

We'd already played and lost to Cornell once earlier in the season, but we felt like we could hang with them. Honestly, we played some decent defense during this game; it was our offense that stunk it up. We didn't get our bats going until the third or fourth inning, and by then, Cornell already had a lead on us. It was too little, too late.

Before the game, Sean, Evan, Keith, Marty, Lindsey and I were watching Villanova play and giving their second baseman props because she was diving all over the place for balls (that's what she said). We talked about how it's been so long since any of us had done it, and we're not sure we'd really like to lay out for a ball anymore.


It's the second-to-last inning. I'm playing right field, Dale is playing left-center and Jen is playing right-center. Normally, since most balls are not hit to right field, we liked to play the right-center fielder shallow to cut off some of the balls hit up the middle. That meant the right fielder (me in this case) had to cover a bit more ground. No problem. I was an outfielder growing up. I know how to get around and judge fly balls out there. I rather enjoy it a lot, actually.

Sure enough. Jen was playing shallow, and a ball is hit over her head. I saw it, and I thought I could get to it. So I took off. I was tracking it, and I could tell it was not going to be easy to get there.

The ball was coming down, and I knew I had to dive for it. I was running from right field back and toward center field, so as I dive for the ball, I'm kind of jumping into the air backward with my left arm extended. I felt the ball hit the tip of my glove and bounce away, and I landed hard on my left side.

I hopped up to make sure someone was getting the ball (Dale did), but I quickly doubled over because it occurred to me I couldn't breathe. And there was a ridiculous amount of pain coming from the ribs on my left side. Thankfully, there were no other balls hit my way during that inning, and I didn't need to take the field in the bottom of the seventh because Cornell won.

I won't say I've lost a step or two in my increasing age because that implies I had the steps to lose in the first place. Speed was never my game. But if I'd been even one step closer to where the ball landed when I started running, I believe I would have caught it. I might not have held onto it when I landed, but it would have been in my glove in the air haha.

I spent much of the rest of Sunday icing my ribs and in moderate-to-relatively-severe pain.

It is now Wednesday afternoon, and this is the most pain I've ever experienced. But! It only hurts when I move, speak, cough, laugh or breathe. So as long as I don't do any of those things, it isn't so bad. I recognize now how exceptionally lucky I've been. I've never broken a bone, never gotten stitches, never needed to go to the doctor for an injury, which is remarkable considering how active I was and how many sports I played growing up.

This is ridiculous though. There aren't enough painkillers in the world right now. If this isn't a cracked rib, I don't even want to think about how much that hurts. It's not necessarily excruciating, but this is still pretty terrible, which leads me to believe it's probably a really bad bruise (best-case scenario) or a possible cracked rib (worst-case scenario).

So, yeah. Great haha. Second-to-last inning of the last game of the season, and that's when I hurt myself. Figures. Almost made it the whole season. *sigh.

Anyway, this got a bit longer than I intended. I know; I wrote something and got a little verbose. Who knew?!

I'll pick it up with the conclusion in part 3 on Friday, which will cover our cornhole adventures and our team nicknames! As well as any other randomness that comes to mind while I'm writing, which always happens.



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