Friday Two Cents: It’s Good To See The Fruits Of Your Labours


 

twoCentsOldNew

Follow-Up to Friday Two Cents: Using Statistics To Help Teach

 

On Tuesday we had the championship game for the softball league at the school. The game itself was extremely exciting to watch and in the end it was a shame to see it end.

Let me set the scene for you. Both teams are lined up along the base lines in what I call a learning circle. We begin with the Canadian National anthem and then I gave some last-minute words of encouragement. The Bears have home field advantage and they take the field to warm-up and throw the ball around. We play slow-pitch with your own team pitching to you with four pitches maximum. The Dolphins are up to bat and began their routine with their pitcher warming up as well.

Bears vs Dolphins Lined up for the National Anthem

Bears vs Dolphins Lined up for the National Anthem

The game begins with the Dolphins getting a single from the first batter but the Bears respond with a couple of great defensive plays getting players out at first and the runner advancing to 3rd. The next player hits a line drive along the first base line for a triple scoring a run. The next batter gets out with a play at first and the Dolphins lead 1 – 0. The Bears are up in the bottom half of the first but the Dolphins are equal to the task and get three outs for a 3 up 3 down inning.
Not to be out shown by the Dolphins, the Bears respond defensively getting three outs out of four batters in the top of the second. Yet the bottom half is where they showed their stuff. With a batter on first and two outs the Bears look like that might not score a run. However the next two batters get singles to load the bases setting the stage for what comes next. The next batter rips the ball past the outfielder for a grand-slam home run. The inning ends and the Bears are now leading 4 – 1 after 2 innings.
In the 3rd inning both teams got players onboard but could not cash-in any runs. With the top of the 4th about to start I checked my watch and saw that we had extra time. The players suggested they play 5 innings because we had extra time (we usually play only 4 innings because of time restrains but we always have a 5th inning available). I told the players that it was up to the captains’ to decide and I would abide by they their decision. So both teams went off and discussed it and the Bears captain said yes as did the Dolphins. I said are you sure otherwise we only play the 4 innings. They both agreed and we continued the game. The enter exchange took about 2 – 3 minutes and we continued the game with a 5th inning agreed to. Would this decision be a good or bad choice for either team? Will one take advantage? I wasn’t sure, so I bid the game continue to find out.  
The Dolphins were up and their captain responded with a single. The next player came up to the plate and on his second pitch hits the ball over the second baseman’s head. By the time the ball got to the infield the runner on first scored and the batter was on his way to 3rd. The fielder threw the ball to third but over shot the 3rd baseman. The runner continued home without stopping and was awarded with a home run, making the score 4 – 3 Bears.
The next batter for the Dolphins continued the hitting spree with a single, but the next batter rockets a hit into deep right field. Both runners round the bases with the batter stumbling on his way from third to home plate but still scoring a home run. The Bears buckle down and get the next three batters out but the damage is done. With the bottom of the 4th coming up the score is Dolphins 5 – Bears 4.
The Bears quickly respond with a single but the next batter pops up the ball in the infield and gets out but the runner on first does not tag up and the fielder gets him out by stepping on first for a double play. Yet with two outs the Bears get two more runners on base but cannot bring them home. The inning ends with Bears trailing 5 – 4. Now the Bears are feeling glad they added on the extra inning where the Dolphins are not.
But the feeling of regret quickly fades as the first batter gets on base. The second batter hits the ball into right field and is running to second when the fielder over throws the 2nd baseman allowing the runner to 3rd and continue home scoring a home run. The Bears then get two outs but the Dolphins are not finished. A runner gets on base and the following batter hits a hard shot into deep centre field. The throw to the infield is coming but it is too late the runner scores another home run. In the last two innings the Dolphins hit 4 home runs, scoring 8 unanswered runs. The bottom of the 5th inning is coming up and the Dolphin’s lead has grown to 9 – 4.
The Bears have one last chance to get six to win the game or five runs to tie and force an extra inning. The two first batters get on and with the third getting out the Bears have two runners in scoring position at second and third base. The next batter comes up and pops the ball in the infield. A fielder gets the ball but the runner on third does not tag and the fielder runs over and steps on third base for the game winning double play. The Dolphins begin to cheer as they win the 2016 Championship game. The final score; Dolphins 9 – Bears 4.
Championship Trophy. Gold, Silver & Bronze Medals and MVP Balls.

Championship Trophy. Gold, Silver & Bronze Medals and MVP Balls.

I bring out the medals and I see that many of the Bears are crying because they lost. I told them and the crowd that they worked hard and they should be proud on how they played and put in their best effort. I know that at the time it does not mean much but I know they did have fun and that is what is important. I then handed out the MVP balls to the two players (male and female) and then medals to all the teams from 1st place to 4th. Everyone gets a medal (the two teams that lost in the semi finals both get bronze medals). Finally after the Bears take a team photo for the parents I get the Championship Trophy ready. I told everyone there that even though the Dolphins lost their first two games, they came together as a team to get to third place. They finished the season in third place but were first in runs scored. Now they are the first, 3rd place team to rally back, win both playoff games without home field advantage to win the championship game.
Leadership, Sportsmanship, Teamwork, and a Positive Attitude; attributes I was trying to instil in the students all year. It feels great that the 2016 Dolphins developed and showed all of these qualities in the last couple of weeks of the year. It’s good to see the fruits of your labours come to fruition.
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