Softball playoffs on Saturday

Today we received the bracket and schedule for our softball playoffs on Saturday. The playoffs are at West Potomac Park, are umpired (unlike our regular season games) and games are limited to 1 hour. Some other quirky rules that we don’t have during the regular season include being able to walk and strike out, and each batter starting with a 2-1 count. Should make it interesting.

There are 5 rounds: Round 1, Round 2, Quarter finals, Semi-finals, and of course, the finals. These games are being played on 4 fields and since there are 32 teams total, it means a potentially long day. Earliest games begin at 8:30 AM. Our first game is at 9:30 AM. We are the home team with a 7-2 record and are playing team that is 4-0-1. (Apparently, a number of teams dropped out of that division so that none of the teams played more than 5 games.)

Should we win our first game, our second game (in round 2) would not begin until 1:30 PM, giving us 3 hours to rest and either practice or watch some of the other games. Should we by some miracle, continue to win, we have a game every hour thereafter (2:30, 3:30, and 4:30-ish).

It’s all pretty exciting, being in the playoffs. I’ve got a nervous feeling in the pit of my stomach, even as I write this. It’s the kind of good nervous feeling that I think helps me play better, but still, I am nervous. I want to win!

Building the lineup is tricky. In the regular season, it’s all about having a good time and I try and get everyone more or less equal playing time (with a slight favor to the “regulars” who show up to every game). Now that we’re in the playoffs, I want to set up a lineup that will let us win, even though that may mean leaving some people out of the lineup. I’m working with my co-captain and bench-coach to mitigate this as much as possible, and I think we’ve got a good starting lineup and good substitutions, but still, it’s tough.

We’ve got a practice at lunch today. I think we’ll be focusing on backing up plays. Our defense is pretty solid, and we do an okay job at back up, but I think it’s our weaker area, defensively speaking. It’s getting pretty exciting. It’s one thing to watch playoffs on TV and feel nervous and excited for your team. It’s a whole different experience to be in the playoffs yourself.