At one time, she looked cute as a button, dressed in pink with ponytails with visions of Alice in Wonderland. She played with dolls, helped mom bake cookies, and has probably earned a few bucks baby-sitting. She has been, and always will be daddy's little girl.
She still has all those little girl attributes. The only difference is now she looks cute dressed in sliders and shorts. If she is wearing ribbons in her hair, they are team colors. She still bakes cookies ... team bake sale. And she has probably earned a few bucks ... at the team car wash. Now she is, and always will be daddy's little second baseman (or insert position of choice).
She takes pride in how much dirt she can collect every weekend. Go to dinner on a night that she is not playing and it takes an hour of primping to get ready, and she still feels self-conscious. Go after a game and she'll walk right into a restaurant with a streak of dirt across her forehead, ratted hair, stained shirt and brownish/white socks. Or brown toes with sandals! Let's EAT!
She is ready and willing to play at the drop of a hat! If she can get away with it, she will play on two teams. (In the same day no less) She has a huge wardrobe: plenty of tournament shirts and shorts from all the teams she has played on. Her parents do her school shopping every weekend at the tournament T-shirt booth. When you say, "wear something nice", she thinks it means a tournament shirt without dirt stains.
She needs to get an athletic scholarship. Her parents have spent $100,000 on camps, private instruction, batting cages, gloves, bats, equipment, uniforms, player fees, concession stands, travel and lodging. THEY'RE BROKE!!!
She is a fierce competitor, willing to stand in against a fast pitcher at close distance that even pro baseball players would have trouble hitting! And she might be 5'2" and 100 lbs. soaking wet. She might play first or third base at 20 feet from home plate, saying I dare you to bunt ... drive one down my throat!!!
She has more spirit than maybe any other team sport. At least it sounds that way. Softball is the only sport where a girls ability to cheer sometimes effects roster decisions. She can't bunt or hit, she is a liability in the field ... but she cheers constantly! She is playing the game for all the right reasons! SHE LOVES IT! She could hang out at the mall, stay home and watch TV, or spend her summers at the pool. Instead she has a tight schedule with limited free time, hangs out on the practice field with a coach in her face, and spends her summers getting baked on a 95 degree field with no shade. Maybe we should get some of our kids checked for IQ? :)
She has her priorities in order: Tournaments, League Games, Team Practices, schoolwork, individual practice and batting cage, family, private softball instruction, church, conditioning, softball camps, boys. (Maybe church comes before the batting cage.) At least on Sundays.
She is diligent and hardworking. She knows you get out of something, what you put into it. She is not the type of kid to take the easy way out! She is competitive, not willing to give up. She learns many valuable lesson during the course of her softball career, like:
You can stay at Holiday INN for $12 bucks a night if you are willing to go 4 to a room.
Hotels don't monitor pool usage, and you can go swimming anytime, whether you are a registered guest or not.
Continental breakfast means: 3 bowls of cereal, bagel, 2 donuts and 4 glasses of OJ.
Unlike the geographically challenged, softball girls know how to get from home to every field in a 25 mile radius.
Last years sunflower seed that she found in the bottom of her bat bag aren't too bad if she washes them down with enough Gatorade.
Never wash your socks when you're on a winning streak!
Never wash your socks when you're on a hitting streak.
Never wash your socks after you've scored the winning run, scored any run, or were close to scoring a run.
Never trust a mother who says she won't wash your lucky socks.
She has a lot of fun every summer, enough to make her come back next year regardless of all the sacrifices, the money, the occasional bad coach, the occasional injury, drinking water that people have put their hands in, etc.
But first and foremost, the Typical Girls Fast Pitch Softball Player is somebody's little girl!