Sunday, 17 September 2017

The End Of The Season

We survived another crazy season of slo-pitch, laughter, and fun as the playoffs wound down today. The rain really did a number on the fields this weekend, so kudos to everyone who got out there and worked on them. As you can see from the image to the left, it didn't quite finish how we would have liked, but I gotta hand it to this team in that we overcame some tests this weekend to give ourselves a shot at defending our championship. In the end, we could have used some better luck through the playoffs to set us up in the final, but that's how the ball bounces sometimes.

There's something about being a weekend warrior that just brings out the fun in everyone. The nice part about the league is that teams that aren't playing usually crash at the community club where the league plays out of for refreshments and laughs. It's always a good time stopping by the club, and I have to admit that there was a rather intense game of Chase the Ace happening for one team. Regardless of what's happening at each team's table, everyone chats with everyone else and it's a great atmosphere.

After starting the weekend with a loss and a tie, there was a sense of dread that we might already be out of the running for a spot in the final. However, three straight wins pushed us to a 3-1-1 record - second-best in the pool and just ahead of another team that finished 3-2-0 (yes, we beat them). Without stating too much drama, we literally played for our championship lives after those two games, and everyone really came together to pull off three important wins to send us into the final.

The final didn't go so well for us. Whatever black magic we were using to hit so well in the earlier two games today dried up. Defensively, we played pretty well, but you rarely win slo-pitch games with single-digit scores. In the end, we just didn't score enough and didn't hit enough to defend the title, and now we'll watch others celebrate with the trophy at the year-end banquet. Which sucks.

Again, we overcame some adversity to make it to that spot for that opportunity, and I have to say that it was fun seeing everyone come together. Despite suffering an injury that prevented me from playing past the Saturday morning game, the loss of my bat in the lineup was hardly noticeable as everyone began hammering the ball and getting on base. To be fair, I'm not sure I would have disrupted the team even if I could have played with the way they were hitting and running. Everyone rallied when I went down, and that was a major part of the fun this weekend!

We also lost two players due to work midway through the season that were quite good. They made a strong middle infield pairing, and the fact that they were working two provinces away didn't make for easy commutes for Sunday evening games. There was hope that they could escape for the weekend to join us once more, but they couldn't get away. Having those two players back in the lineup would have really tightened up the defence while adding some much-needed offence, but those that filled in did an admirable job nonetheless.

Having those three bats in the lineup may have scored more runs in the final, but it also could have meant those that were playing well missed a chance to add their name to an incredible run. I would have loved to see this team win a second championship in back-to-back years, but it wasn't to be this season. I'm still damned proud of what this team accomplished, and nothing will replace that feeling of pride in battling back from an 0-1-1 record to advance to the championship final.

A great season was had, and I'm looking forward to next season already!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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