We missed most of the Reds game tonight in favor of our first softball practice of the season. Didn't look like we missed much, just the third big loss in a row (that can't spell good things for Miley) and Wily Mo making us wonder whether Kearnsy is even going to put in a single at-bat at Louisville before he's back in Cincy.
Things on the softball field were much more optimistic. Our team is the Stars, the mid-level Special Olympics unified team. On a unified team, half of the players have disabilities (“athletes”) and half do not (“partners”), and they're divided evenly in the infield and the outfield. Usually teams have partners at pitcher, first, and short and the two middle outfields; at least that's how we have it set up.
Jon, my husband, anchors us over at shortstop. Abe, my youngest brother, plays first. Matt, who is my oldest brother and also autistic, plays second base. And I am the emergency back-up pitcher who has pitched a lot more than I ever intended to.
It's really quite humiliating to pitch slow-pitch in Special O. Pretty much everyone who does it stinks at it (though Bobbi, our regular pitcher, is actually quite good). The athletes will often not even swing at good pitches, so there's no getting them to chase bad stuff and end your misery. And even though it's slow-pitch, you're pretty likely to hit someone. Tonight, for example, I hit a batter in the leg, and though I'm confident it really didn't hurt him, he absolutely refused to come back within four feet of the plate.
Despite my bean-balling ways, our team is looking pretty good this season. Everyone's skills are improving, we've upgraded our third-baseman, and rumor has it that next week we may be getting a real-life baseball player from Ball State on our team.
This may finally be the year that we win a game. Go Stars!