Above is the photograph of the 2008 NSA Alabama 8U State Champs, which includes our granddaughter, Hannah (age 9 - bottom left in team photo), Second Base. This was an exciting year and from beginning to end, she participated in 26 games. In regular season, they were undefeated. Hannah was chosen in her first year ever to play softball to play on the Helena All Stars team. She can catch anything thrown or hit at her - she's totally awesome. And she is quite the slammer when it comes to hitting that ball. They played in several post-season tournaments in the area to prepare the team for the State Tournament, which was this past weekend. We were at the ballpark Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 8:00 p.m. But it was so worth it. We were undefeated going into the final game yesterday for the championship, which even amazed our coaches. We were facing a team that had one loss, and that loss was to us earlier in the day. We needed to win that game! The opposing team had played another team right before our game in the hot sun, and we could only hope that they were exhausted. No way! They came to play ball! Our girls didn't have their best game faces on and they let them beat us 12-2. We took a short break and just as we began the second game to break the tie, a bad storm hit and we ran for cover. The field maintenance people and park president said we'd get the game in, but it'd be a while. It took about 2 1/2 hours for the rain to pass and the field to be prepped, and we started again.
I am quite hoarse today, as probably all of the parents are. We did everything we could to lift those girls up to believe in themselves, to relax and do what they do best, and that is, to play ball! The first inning ended in the other team leading 6-1. Coach Chris had a long face, but the girls lifted up the coaches and said "we are going to win this!" We held the other team three innings and went ahead by two points. And the highlight of the day was that our baby Hannah, caught the ball and tagged a forced run to second base for the winning out.
Triumphant, all were screaming and throwing gloves in the air. It was the most amazing thing I've been a part of. We thank God for a wonderful season where not just Hannah, but also the boys and parents and grandparents made new and good friends; we thank God for the wonderful teams and great sportsmanship that we witnessed everywhere we went: we thank him for keeping all the injuries to minor bumps and scratches; we thank Him for the most wonderful, patient and fun coaches in the world, especially Coach Chris Watts; and we thank Him that His will was for our girls to experience this very special honor.