October 26, 2008

Not a World Series game, but plenty of action anyway

ROCKLIN, Calif., USA - The Priority One text message came through at 8:30 a.m. this morning: The softball tournament was on for this morning, with granddaughter Samantha's team set to play at least one game, maybe three if they won the first two.

Yikes. Put down the Sunday paper and grab the shoes.

That news put a spin on things because we figured that the team was out of the running in the girl's softball tournament held in Rocklin's Lone Tree park, when we didn't hear Saturday night after the first round of games concluded. But as today was the last set of games of the entire season, we kicked into gear, packing cameras, sunscreen and roared up Interstate 80 to the ballpark.

(The roaring part was a lot of fun. Gawd, I wish I had some lights and a siren on my pickup truck.)

The 30-acre park is a sports nut's dreamscape with beautiful softball and baseball facilities, and a professional-style snack bar that was busy most of the day selling hot dogs, hamburgers and enough Coca-Cola to give the jitters to the entire population of Northern California. I had two Supersized Cokes (along with a cheeseburger and Doritos) and expect to see what kind of late night programming there is on Sundays. And maybe I'll check out the sunrise, too...

Food for the hungry
Snack bar menu

We arrived mid-way through the first game, immediately scooping up our other granddaughter, Kami, who was toddling about on her 13-month-old legs with various girls from the softball team shepherding her so she wouldn't get into too much trouble while her mom (daughter Anne) attended to the team in the dugout, one eye on the field, the other on the ever-toddling Kami.

Michael and Kami reading at the softball game
The Captain and Kami read while the game goes on

Grandma and Kami on a stroll
The Admiral on stroll patrol with Kami

The games went fast - really fast - but unfortunately neither broke in favor of Samantha's team, coached by her dad, Steve. Samatha got several good hits, made several great plays (ok, I'm her grandfather, but damnit, they were good). The rest of her team played very well too, losing to girls teams, the members of which looked like they were an average of 30 pounds heavier.

And most of that extra weight seemed to be muscle.

Sami ready to run
Samantha at third base, right before she scores a run

Coach Steve Allen huddles
Coach Steve huddles before the play

Trish yells encouragement
The pitcher's mom yells some encouragement

It was a beautiful warm day, maybe our last warm weekend of the summer as the forecasters are now calling for a chance of rain, falling temperatures and really cold weather in the mountains by the end of this coming week.

That might put a crimp in our plans to take the Grey Goose Express II to the mountains next weekend for a trial run. Perhaps a lowland expedition will be a better choice.

In the meantime, I have several huge files of video taken today at the game to go through. But below is a sample, the first segment of which shows Samantha getting a single.

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