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Sunday, July 14, 2024

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Say What? 5.17.2006

By Rick Racela

Dynamic pitching, vicious hitting, and robotic fielding: welcome to the Cape Atlantic League Softball, where the average player should be very, very afraid.
Well, okay, it’s not as bad as all that. I’m exaggerating. But it can get pretty nasty sometimes, although it’s a well-learned lesson.
I joined softball this year, but I’m not a beginning player. I’ve played for almost 10 years, and though it’s never been “my sport,” I’ve always enjoyed it – sliding, hitting, running, catching – it’s all a challenge, which I never turn down.
Through grade school, I played on a Little League team, and then I played with the same girls on my school team. We turned out to be pretty decent: four-time Little League champs and a winning team in school softball. And the girls I played with – Nikki, Joanna, and Jill – were all talented and very fun to play with.
Of course, now, we play against each other in high school softball. And let me tell you, the level of play has more then tripled, literally.
Some of the girls I’ve seen play are absolutely amazing. They never miss a grounder, catch every pop fly, make every throw perfectly, and send every ball to the outfield with the bat. And there are not just one or two of them per team. Every single player is like that, which makes playing against them not much fun.
Not that I’m putting my team down. We’re a decent group of girls, with some good talent, but none of us is perfect. But there are times when we get really down, playing teams like Holy Spirit, Buena, Sacred Heart, or St. Joe’s, and we get shut out and demolished.
It can kill your spirit, but we try not to let it. We try to stay content and just play our part of the game; stay calm and just make the plays.
But there are fun games, like the last time we played Wildwood Catholic, for instance. We had a good time playing them with a little bit of rivalry.  They ended up winning, 17 to 13, but we all did something good, turned a double play, caught tough line drives, had some big hits, and made some pretty decent plays that showed that we were actually competitive. And that felt good.
We have good days and bad days, close games and blow outs, but the important thing is to play because we love it, and have fun while doing it, and that we do.
Even if the games get to 20 to nothing, we still don’t give up because we love to play. Even if playing includes shut outs and embarrassing moments, we still love it.
Davis, 16, of Green Creek, is a sophomore at the Technical High School.

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