Sunday, April 15, 2007

10-9 Loss and it's all the coach's fault

Well, my varsity girl's team is 0-3. We lost 10-9 on Friday. We were suppose to "roll over" our opponent, but instead played equal with them for the entire game. The game was very competitive. The lead changed 3 times and we had the lead going into the bottom of the 7th (we only play 7 innings).

We were up 9-8 in the bottom of the 7th, when after a quick first out, my defense failed my pitcher on two occasions. She was clearly rattled and walked the bases loaded. I pulled the infield and outfield in for a play at the plate. The next girl hit a slow dribbler to my shortstop and she fired home for the out. Bases loaded and 2 outs. We were still up. I was feeling good. I had the players return to their normal positions.

My pitcher couldn't find the strike zone. Next batter walked on 5 pitches and a tied the game.

I would have been happy with a tie and told my pitcher to just 'give her something to hit' and she did. A shot squib of a hit that was about 5 foot off the first-base-line and only 45 feet up the line. My first baseman rushed in for the ball and turned to throw to the 2nd baseman. However, she was a little late breaking to 1st and the runner beat the throw by 1/2 a step. The home team won 10-9.

I was crushed. We really should have won. 0-3 is tough on the soul. However, the girls were really happy with the result. We played all 7 innings rather than getting mercied after 5. We scored runs, the girls got hits, some excellent plays were made in the field.

In the after game huddle, I blamed myself. I made 3 mental errors that probably cost our team the game.

  1. In the 3rd inning with 1 out, my number 5 hitter drove a ball into the gap in the outfield and the runner on first made it to third. However, the bases weren't the nice spiked version, but instead the stupid strapped version. The strapped version slide around on dry ground. That's exactly what happened when my player hit the base. It slid out from under her and I caught her from falling. However, if a coach touches a player while the ball is in play, that player is out. So rather than having 1st and 3rd with one out, we had a solitary runner on 1st with 2 outs.
  2. In the 5th inning, I had a girl on 2nd and the batter hit a laser shot up the middle into center field. In our league, the outfielders play 15-20 feet behind the bases, so I held up my runner. The centerfielder bobbled the ball and had I sent my runner she would have scored easily. However, since I held her up, she had lost all her momentum and if she started for home, she would have been thrown out. We stranded our runners that inning.
  3. Finally, at the top of the 7th, I wanted to substitute one girl for another in left field. However, my desired substitute didn't want to bat. She throws the bat when she makes contact and the ump said he'd toss her out of the game after her initial warning. She was scared, so I didn't sub her. However, she is a better batter AND a better fielder than the girl playing for her. In the bottom of the 7th, I forgot to make that substitution. As luck/fate/baseball would have it, after our first out in that inning, the next ball was driven to left field. My reserve left fielder totally misplayed the ball. My starter (who was sitting 2 feet from me on the bench) would have made that catch.

So we are 0-3 and I think we might end up without a win this season. The girls are learning leaps and bounds, but the curve is steep and the season ending in 3 weeks is short. Next game is on Wednesday. I'll keep you posted.