Here is another one of our inspirational short stories. This inspirational story is dedicated to my daughter and her commitment to the game of softball.
I must say that if I had never had the privilege of having my daughter I would have never quite understood how much work it takes to participate in a competitive game of fast pitch softball. Just to put it into perspective professional baseball players have a very tough time hitting off a very good fast pitch softball pitcher. Home plate is 43 feet away in softball versus 60 feet in baseball. Seventeen feet may not seem like much until you’re the one standing at the plate.
This past weekend we traveled from Rapid City South Dakota to Denver Colorado and played in a tournament that once again tested their skills against fifteen home town teams. Another unique part of fast pitch softball versus baseball is that in almost all tournaments the girls play at least three games in day. In some cases they have played as many as six. This weekend the temperatures ranged around 90 degrees and the sun beat down on everyone. Therefore, by the third game plus it begins to wear heavily on the girls. This is where the inspirational story comes into play.
The very first game on Saturday was scheduled to start at 9:30am. Because there is so much preparation in gearing up for every game the players were required to arrive at 8:00am. Still backing up the clock we needed to wake up and eat breakfast at the hotel and leave by 7:00am to make it to the field on time.
After arriving at the fields the girls begin warming up by slowly tossing the balls back and forth. Following this they hit of tees into nets to prepare their swings. The pitchers, which my daughter is one of, then need a minimum of about 30 minutes to warm up and practice the numerous types of pitches they throw. As an example my daughter throws a curve ball, screwball, drop ball, change up, and of course a fastball. Although the team has four pitchers you never know when a change will be necessary. Just like professional baseball pitchers there are days that a pitcher can walk on water and days they will sink to the bottom of the sea in seconds.
In the first game my daughter was the starting pitcher and they won that game eleven to five. At this level of play rarely will a pitcher throw a no hitter; therefore, all positions and players are extremely important. Not only on defense but runs must be scored in order to win games. On the flip side of that coin my daughter would throw shut out games all the time in little league. In most cases they could not catch up to her fastball in little league. However, at this level girls can hit the ball.
By the second game which was played immediately after the first one the temperature was up to about 85 degrees and the sun was beating down hard. I was taking a bottle of water to my daughter about every other inning. I had a cooler full of iced water bottles and know that without providing water the girls will dehydrate rapidly. Although everyone plays under the same conditions, the teams that prepare in advance for these conditions standout clearly. Our team practices six times a week and practices hard. Teams that think they can just show up on game day are eliminated quickly. When you drive close to 500 miles or more to a tournament you put in the time and effort way before you make that drive. My daughter is 17 and she has been playing since she was five.
As a parent and huge fan of the game, the temperature and burning sun took its toll on me this past weekend. On the other hand my daughter and her teammates played three very hard games the first day and we returned to the fields the next day to play three more. The temperature was even hotter the second day, but they came ready to play. They’re hard work paid off with a second place trophy.
Immediately following the game we loaded up into our vehicle and drove immediately almost 500 miles home. We will do it again in two weeks and again three weeks after that and again and again. I find my daughter and her teammates extremely inspirational. Inspirational short stories like these help me to recognize that hard work and dedication pays dividends in so many ways. My daughter is drug and alcohol free while volunteering at our church and many other activities that make me question my childhood activities. You see I did participate in sports and other activities growing up but I see how much more my daughter is focused on her future. She will be successful at whatever she puts her mind to. I look forward to watching her grow in so many ways.
Thank you for reading our inspirational short stories and May God bless you!