Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pitcher This - Back To The Diamond

This Fall I had the opportunity to sub for a softball team as they wrapped up their 2012 summer league schedule. Specifically a lob ball league due to the speed that the pitcher delivers the softball to the plate I found myself back on the diamond.

Having played competitive ball way back in the day(80`s/early 90`s) I was interested in finding an opportunity to get back to the game.My spouse had casually mentioned that her employer's team was looking for spares. The door of opportunity had just opened.

It had been decades since I threw, batted and caught a softball so there was some trepidation upon getting the call for a double header earlier this month. Add to that was the fact they needed a pitcher and that position was one I never previously played. Then again how hard could it be to lob a ball across the plate?

The position can be quite challenging in terms of pitching and fielding. There is a certain strike zone comprised of a rectangle behind the plate where the ball needs to hit the ground. Unfortunately to reach that spot the ball usually drops through the wheelhouse of most hitters. The challenge is to present a pitch that is a borderline strike so the hitter will swing at something not necessarily in their sweet spot.In terms of fielding the pitcher is in the direct line of fire from the plate and "comebacks" are often witnessed. Once the ball is released you need to be prepared to field or evade a hit up the centre of the diamond. As a ball hockey goalie I am used to having balls shot towards me so it was not an unfamiliar, nor uncomfortable, situation.

Got the call this past Monday night to close out the season and found myself back on the pitching mound.Seems the squad is looking to solidify the pitching position so I got an invite to join the team for the 2013 season. Might not be the most glamorous position to play but one I think I can do well at once I have an opportunity to practice my pitching skills. Unless things change over the winter it looks like I`m back to the diamond.

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