Sunday, April 06, 2008

Perhaps the Longest After-the-Weekend Softball Post EVER
(with a TON of photos to back it all up!)....


[So this is just to warn you...if you don't like sports, or softball, or stories about incredibly athletic and cute daughters...skip on to the end, where I actually have a picture of me and my two best high school girlfriends who got together to celebrate a 40th birthday...but if you can handle a big, long sports-filled post...read on!!]

Delaney's travel team, the Birmingham Mustangs, had a tournament this past weekend at a town about an hour north of us. There were six teams in our age bracket (12-and-under) and we were READY to play! But then...the weather decided to turn all crazy on us, and go from sunny and warm on Friday to a freezing cold and rainy Saturday morning. A scheduled 9 am game turned into an 11:3o start, which was pretty frustrating...but we finally got started (and, thank goodness, I had a little hand-held heater that kept me good and warm all day long!)!

And let me just say, this was the BEST we have played all year long! (We've already won 1st place in one tournament, placed 2nd, and placed 3rd in another.). We hit great, our four pitchers were amazing, and our fielding was awesome. It just all came together all day long for us! We won three games and then made it into the championship game (but I'm gonna wait and let you read about how that all turned out, further down in the post!).

First, though, let me share some of my favorite pictures of Delaney from those first three games.
(Can I say right now that I LOVE having Gary take his big camera and big lens and get so many great shots at Delaney's games? These are SO making it into a mini book scrapbook soon!)







And then, some of my other favorite shots from the tournament (pitching, running, catching, home-running, fielding, and being with great friends!)...




And now, I'm going to give you a Play-by-Play of the championship game (so again...if you don't like sports in any way...or if you don't necessarily want to hear me brag incessantly on my daughter... here is another opportunity for you to log out of this blog while you can ...LOL!!)

Okay, so, after we won our first two pool play games of the day (in these tournaments, you start out with pool play games, which don't necessarily "count" but that do count in the sense that it places you in certain "tournament" games which are lose-one-and-you're-eliminated. For example, if you win all your pool play games you will be seeded #1 from your pool and then have to play a lower seed from the other pool in your first tournament game. Now, we have been the lowest seed before and still gone on to win several more games and even make it to a champonship game, but it makes for an easier run if you do win your pool games). So...sorry for that long explanation...we won our two pool play games and then we're seeded #1. We ended up getiting a bye, then had to play the @2 seeded Sidewinders. It was a tight game, tied in the last inning, then we had two back-to-back homeruns that gave us the win!

After that game, we were 3-0 and heading to the championship game against the #1 seed from the other pool. The team was a really strong, older team from Florida called High Intensity. We watched some of their previous game and they had good hitters, good pitching, and good fielding. It would be a tough match-up!

The game turned into a pitching duel, with our pitcher Montana having an OUTSTANDING game. We played to a 2-2 tie, and headed to the 7th and final inning. We held them in the field with some great plays (like Delaney making some great plays at second)...


And then had our chance to win the game in the bottom of the 7th (we were the home team, and had the last at-bat). We got two girls on base, but then had two outs. And wouldn't you know it? With two outs and the game on the line, guess whose turn it was to bat? Yep, Delaney!

To put this in perspective, you have to know that Delaney had a tough day at bat. Her fielding was outstanding, but batting was a bit of a struggle. She is always one of our most consistent hitters and rarely strikes out, but she had only gotten on base once during the day (she was only hitting balls to the infield and they would always get her out at first base). And then, during this championship game, she had gotten out once at first base and then had struck out her second time at bat.

She got up to bat, and immediately got one strike on her...

You could tell that she was feeling the heat, just a little bit. You could just see it on her face...

And then she swung hard a second time, and had another strike against her...

She looked to the coach for instruction, took a few deep breaths, and tried to block the "pressure" out of her mind...

And then with two outs and two strikes on her and the winning run on base (can you hear the "Rocky"-like music in the backround? LOL) ...
she hit it over the second baseman's head and into centerfield!!! She hit the winning run in, and we WON the championship game!!!!!!

And THAT, my friends, is why one of our favorite mantras in the house is from the wisdom of Winston Churchill:
"Never,
Never,
NEVER
give up!!!"

Delaney told me after the game that she just tried not to think that she had two strikes on her and kept in mind what the coach had told her before the inning started her. He had told her, "Delaney, when you come up to bat, the game may be on the line. And then you just gotta get out there and do your job!" She always plays best under pressure...and she certainly delivered here!!

Needless to say, we were all very excited!!! (I even did a little happy dance...okay, it was kind of a big, goofy happy dance that involved twirling and clapping!).

And then, how do you get to celebrate?

You grab the trophy as a team....

Pose for a team picture...

And then let your little sister pretend like she got a trophy too....

(Sydney, by the way, was SO disgustingly dirty from all the playing she had done for HOURS and was absolutely wiped out!!! But she was also too cute. She yelled, "Go Delaney! You can do it!" over and over!)

[If you want to read more about the Mustangs or the tournament, go to our website. Our coach has a pretty good description of the tournament on there!]

And while that, pretty obviously, took up much of the weekend, there were some other activities going on . . .

~ I watched the Final Four on DVR, which is actually quite handy. I fast-forwarded through commercials and watched both games in under an hour. (I was quite surprised that Kansas won, but Memphis is still my pick to win it all. So I was glad to see them win!!) I CANNOT wait for Monday night's Championship Game!

~ I kinda developed a new addiction (and, seriously, do I NEED a new addiction? lol) I watched the Battlestar Gallatica marathon all day long on Friday, watched the "series recap" they aired, and then was totally ready for the season premiere Friday night. Now, I am SO hooked on this show. How did I not discover it earlier?

~ I got together with my two very best friends from high school and college (we've all been bridesmaids in each other's weddings, been at the hospitals on the nights of our child's births, partied together too much at the beach, etc., etc.) and celebrated Cheryl's 40th birthday. Yep, we're all turning 40 this year....which is SO bizarre, since we all feel like we're still 20 sometimes!

So, we had cake (which was too cute, because it said Happy Birthday Mom since Cheryl's three daughters made it) and enjoyed some time together...


This past weekend just reminded me that life is SO good...
ALWAYS good...
and it's all about capturing the moments, sharing some laughter, celebrating victories big and small, and cherishing the people around you!

(And thanks for sticking with me through ALL of those stories and pictures!!)

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC Monday!! I'd love to hear all about your weekend too!!!

21 comments:

Adrienne said...

Congrats to the girls!! That cake looks GOOD!!!

Lynilu said...

Wow, what a weekend! Congratulations, uh, to everyone, I guess!!! LOL!!

Gin said...

These pictures are all so good. I just love the action in them. Congrats to the team.

camport said...

What an awesome high Delaney must've been on that night. Hooray for her and her team!!

Love the pics.

:)

Maria said...

Wow....Cheryl! Soooo fun to see all those wonderful pictures! Congratulations to the girls! Woo hoo! How cool is that!

Patti said...

Wow Wow Wow Delaney did awesome. I cannot handle pressure. I know y'all were BUSTING with pride!

That cake looks yummy. How sweet you all celebrated together.

Sheila said...

Congrats! and although I'm not into sports, I enjoyed reading all about it.. great pics. Thanks for the lovely compliment on my blouse.

Cheryl Wray said...

Adrienne--The cake WAS good!! Carrot cake, cream cheese icing...yum!!

Lynilu--Yes, Congrats to Delaney and that that we all just survived all the activity! lol

Gin--I love the pictures too!!! Thanks!

Camport--At church Sunday morning. Delaney said she still felt the adrenaline in her!! :-)

Maria--We were SO proud of them all!!

Patti--Yep, we are sorta proud parents! LOL

Sheila--Glad you read it all, even though you don't like sports. Ha!!

hippochick said...

WOW!!! What a weekend. Are you all exhausted today?

I'm sort of blah about the games tonight. I was pretty much rooting for N. Carolina, so now I'm not too excited. Oh well.

I'm still getting caught up after being away so long, but I'm hoping to post today.

Wasn't Stephanie's post a riot?

Anonymous said...

GO TIGERS... I hope Memphis goes all the way...

Lorri

~Telah said...

Congrats on the big win! I bet that made you one proud momma!

Edleen said...

Congrats!!! wow, great shots and looks like everyone had so much fun!

Anonymous said...

i want to know and to see the video of you dancing the happy dance.

bob bob

Cheryl Wray said...

Hippo--I do think it took most of Monday for me to recover from the weekend. :-) Well, I was cheering for Memphis last night but it was still a really good game.

Lorri--Me too!!! But they came up a little short. :-(

Telah--It's hard NOT to be proud. But at least we're a team full of proud Moms and Dads!! ha

Ed--Thanks! It was great fun!!! (And I can't wait to do some scrapbooking with those pics!)

Bobby--Ha HA!!!! No videos of that (but I can tell you that i'm sure it was quite humorous!)

Lynn said...

sounds like a busy weekend! Love the pictures you got some amazing shots! Enjoy turning 40 this year!

Lynn

Anonymous said...

I love this post. Can Delaney be any cuter (and smaller?).

Marg

Linda said...

I just love how nice your photos are turning out. Glad you all had a gooder and oh that pic of sydney is adorable. Thanks C for all the sweet comments on my los. Appreciate it.

Kimberly said...

Glad u had a great weekend. Hope your week is just as good. We had some t ball games over the weekend and Douglas' team won both...we are having so much fun with t ball. And that cake looked so yummy and loved all the pics!

Kathy said...

WOW! Great photos! What a nail biter that one was! I bet Delaney was so excited she could hardly stand it! CONGRATULATIONS!

Cheryl said...

Congrats to the girls! If you were one hour north of B'ham you were within one hour of me! Well, actually I was on a retreat, but my home! Loved the pictures, those girls are just so dog-gone cute!!

Mississippi Songbird said...

Congratulations... Our summer league will be starting soon. I am so ready for some baseball games. Have a great week.. Great pictures..