Results tagged ‘ softball ’
The only female staff member of M.I.B., Lily, is trying out for the local travel softball team, the Soo Legacies. She’s doing pretty well, and I’ve been working with her and her friend Julia when I’ve had some extra time. She is really excited about being able to visit different areas of the state to play softball. I’ll be there rooting her on when I can, so I’m hoping that my work schedule doesn’t interfere too much. Nothing is more important to me than watching my kids have fun. Join me in wishing her the best of luck making the team, and having the work ethic to excel!
There’s really no sign of spring up here in Michigan’s crazy Upper Peninsula. In fact, it seems that there is even more snow, cold, and wind than ever. Things will be heating up for the Lake Superior State Lakers softball team, however, as they start their season today in the Superior Dome over in Marquette. The girls play three game today, taking on Lakeland, Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and Wisconsin-Superior. Good luck to the girls this weekend, and all season long. Their season actually kicked off last weekend, though, with the annual ’Take Me Out To The Ballgame’ spaghetti dinner. There was fun and games, and the kids were thrilled that they won two of the raffles. They won a movie package that included, movie passes, popcorn and candy, along with different popcorn seasoning. Also includes some free movie rentals. The other raffle we won was a cooler, beach towels, beach toys, water bottles, and sun screen. Uh…we’ll have to put that one up on the shelf for a few months, but very thankful that we got lucky. And all the money for the tickets goes to the softball team, so it’s a good cause. Brian had a good time showing off his throwing arm and playing with the balloons. Lily and Trevor drew pictures for the girls on the paper table cloths. We had a great time, but we’re sick of the snow and ready to burn the snowman, already.
Lily has been pretty busy with softball lately. Yes, I know it’s December, but there’s really no off-season for us. Last weekend she participated in a free clinic put on by the Lake Superior State Lakers, where she practiced all aspects of the game. Also, during the week, Lily has some hitting clinics going on. They were very productive, as she was working one-on-one with Lakers head coach Lori Shimasaki. I could really see an improvement in her hitting over the past couple of weeks. Lily had a lot of fun, which is the important thing, and the clinics may start-up again after the first of the year.
We had a lot of fun moments this last year, and here are the best of them. It’s always hard to narrow it down to just nine, but the top few were really special and it’s fun to look back and think of the smiles on the kids faces in most of these. It’s also hard to find an order, or to really think that one’s childs’ moment meant more than an other. Read and enjoy, and I honestly hope that everyone had as much fun this past season as we did.
#9-Our 4th up North
With the kids participating in the Sault Area Little League and me coaching, we were able to be in the local Independence Day Parade. The kids had fun being seen by their friends, but really didn’t like the fact that they were throwing candy to the crowd instead of eating it. Riding on the float was fun, but it was literally a pain in the a$$ for me, as I tried to keep out of the public eye, and make sure no kids jumped off. It was good to have Trevor back in baseball and this was Brian’s first year. Lily played in the Sault Girls Softball League, but was able to march anyway because she was helping me coach Brian’s team.
#8-Back in Buffalo
Seeing the Buffalo Bisons is a great Minor League Baseball experience. I saw my first game there back in the ’90′s as my first minor league game. It was really good to be back and that my dad could experience this with me. Coca-Cola Field is a great place to watch a game and one of the best we’ve ever been to. Another first for me, was meeting felling bloggers Danny and Quinn from nybisons. They had a party night going on, too, with live music and I did drink a beer or two. I highly recommend hitting a game in Buffalo if anyone is in that area.
#7-Lily goes 6 for 6
Nothing like starting the season out on a high note. In Lily’s first game of the season, she went 6-6 in helping her team on to victory. Although she never repeated this feat, she did have multiple hit games though out the season. It was a brutal summer for these girls, as the temp was in the 90′s many times for their games. They played during the heat of the day, too, as the boys played in the evening so the heat wasn’t as bad for them. Lily had a great season, though, and this first game is something she can really be proud of herself for, as we’re proud of her! She played just about every position, but like her brother really liked playing catcher.
#6-My Loony children
In July we headed down to Dow Diamond, home of the Great Lakes Loons, to see them take on he Whitecaps. This was the kids’ first trip to Midland and they were really impressed. Dow Diamond is a really nice stadium, and the playground there was a big hit. They did a lot of playing and were happy to meet Louie the Loon, the Great Lakes mascot. They also had a camel mascot, but I’m not sure what that was all about. The kids had so much fun I promised to take them again next season, no matter who the Loons are playing.
With Trevor donning the tools and working behind the plate this season, it’s no surprise that he took a liking to the Whitecaps catcher Pat Leyland. Throw in the fact that Leyland’s dad manages the Detroit Tigers, and you have a winning combination. On Sundays at the Whitecaps games, fans are invited onto the field for autographs and to play catch. We really had to seek out Leyland, though, as he was preparing his pitcher for the game. He was nice enough to take the time for a quick picture, and this really made Trevor’s day. This is how we build baseball fans, from childhood moments like this.
#4-Star Wars Night
This is one of the highlights of our summer every year. This season we decided to check out Star Wars Night at the Traverse City Beach Bums instead of the Whitecaps. They didn’t have as many of the characters around the ballpark, but the kids really had a good time anyway. They really like the Beach Bums games, as the atmosphere is really laid back. They like the playground there, too, and it’s not as crowded as some of the other ballparks we go to. They got to meet some of their movie favorites, though, like Darth Vader and Princess Leia. Thank goodness they didn’t have any from the prequels crap. I’m sure this event will be on next years list, too.
#3-The Crash Dash
Our first ballgame of the season was a memorable one. Brian was able to participate in the ‘Crash Dash’, where he raced the ‘Caps mascot Crash around the bases. Brian won, of course, because of this blazing speed, and that Crash usually gets distracted by something on third base. It was cool to see us up on the video board, too. Brian was smiling away, as he loves to win races, and Crash is his favorite mascot. I would love to see him do this next season if he can.
#2-The road to Cooperstown
The National Baseball Hall of Fame was one of the top things on my baseball bucket list (don’t worry, that prime 9 will be posted next month…). Although I admit it was a little disappointing, we still were able to see some breathtaking memorabilia from baseball’s past. Seeing some of the greats enshrined in the Hall is an experience that every baseball fan should take in. This was also something my dad really needed to see and I’m glad I was able to see this with him. We also had a chance to check out Doubleday Field, although there were no games going on that day.
#1-Rookie of the Year
This season Brian made his organized baseball debut…and took one more step toward destiny. He seems to like baseball more than any other sport so far and is really showing flashes of talent. I’m glad they lowered the starting age to four, as he was really ready to play. The problem is that he loves to hit live pitching, so hitting off a tee isn’t the biggest thrill for him, but he still does it well. The biggest thing he has to learn is team work and being a good team-mate. Being the youngest child, he’s spoiled rotten, and he has to get over himself on the field. Lily helped me coach his team and she did a great job with all of the kids, and I think it was positive for Brian, too. Trevor helped out when he could, but was busy with his own team (I was an assistant for Trevor’s team). Seeing your child take the field for the first time is so special, and if I was doing this list a few years ago, then Lily and Trevor would be #1 also.
Photos property of Minoring In Baseball
The Lake Superior State Lakers came away from their West Coast swing with a 5-4 record. Not bad at all, for a team travelling so far from home for some softball. The trip started and ended on a positive note, both sweeps. Their journey started in Lancaster, with a sweep of Antelope Valley in a double-header. The won the first game 11-2 and the second game 5-4. The next leg of the Lakers trip was to Fullerton to take on Hope International. LSSU earned a split in this series, getting shut out in the opener 7-0, but bouncing back to take game two 10-1. The Lakers then travelled to Azusa, California, to take on LSSU Head Coach Lori Shimasaki’s alma mater. Azusa Pacific spoiled Shimasaki’s return, though, sweeping the Lakers 4-0 and 6-1 respectively.
As a player at Azusa, Shimasaki set APU’s record for stolen bases and was a honorable mention NAIA All-American in 2006. She amassed a career batting average of .371 before graduating in 2007. She was also an assistant coach at APU for three seasons, and at Chadron State before coming to LSSU.
Back in the road, Lake State stopped in at LaVerne, California to and dropped a decision to LaVerne University 5-4. The trip ended on a good note, though, as they swept University of La Sierra in Riverside, CA. They won the double-header 5-3 and 6-4.
Leading the team offensively is red shirt freshman Amanda Maxon. She batted .364 with two home runs and six RBI’s. Also pitching in was sophomore Felicia Gingrich. She has a .350 average, and has hit two double. Gingrich also help out on the mound, going 1-2 on the trip, with a 5.73 ERA. Lake State was led on the hill by senior Jillian Willette. She made four starts, going 1-1 with a 2.93 ERA. The Lakers start league play on March 23, taking on Ohio Dominican.
The Lake Superior State Lakers softball team is ready to this the road this spring, as the first leg of their season takes them to California. Trips like this are expensive for small programs, especially since LSSU is the smallest state funded college in Michigan. One of the ways the girls earn money for the trip is the annual Take Me Out To The Ballgame dinner. This has also been a tradition for the kids and I, who’ve been going since Lily and Trevor were probably Brian’s age. We had fun again this year, and the kids Papa was able to join us, too. One of Lily’s favorite things to do is to put a pie in the face of her favorite player. They started doing this last season, and it’s been a big hit. A lot of the players already know Lily from the local softball camps and clinics, so it’s fun for them, too. The girls were also raffling off a flat screen TV and went out on the ice during the hockey game that night to announce the winner and promote the team. Pictured above is the team sporting their very cool new uniforms. The photos below are from the banquet, and feature Lily sporting her new softball hoodie and us enjoying our spaghetti dinner. Good luck to the Lady Lakers this season, and we hope the weather is decent this April for their home games here in the Sault. Here’s the link to the girls 2012 schedule:
Bottom photos property of M.I.B.
It seems like Lily’s softball season, and the summer, just began. Last week, though, it all came to an end in an exciting conclusion to the season. Her team made it to the semi-finals of the Sault Girls Softball League playoffs, but lost 11-15 to the eventual championship team. So close, but she had three hits in the game and had a lot of fun. This is her first year in this softball league, as she been playing baseball with the boys the last few seasons. She adapted very well and really liked playing in an all girl league. With two brothers bugging her at home, she likes playing with the girls a bit. She played a lot of catcher and some outfield, and her hitting improved a lot over the course of the season. All of the coaches are softball players with the local high school, so they have a great rapport with the kids and relate to them well. The league really stresses fun and fundamentals, with constant instruction and encouragement during practices and games. She already stated she wanted to play next year in this league, so I know she had a lot of fun. Trevor stated he might pick up the bat and glove and play baseball next season after a year in soccer, and Brian will be starting T-Ball. Looks like I’ll be spending a lot of time at the ball fields!!!!
Lily started her games last week, and she is really doing well. She’s hitting the ball hard up the middle, and usually it’s the first or second pitch. The umpire uses a pitching machine and the girls all bat around. The league really stresses fun and skill development over competition. Lily has played all over the field, including catcher, first, outfield, and even a little second base like her daddy. She wasn’t sure if she was going to play this season, so she missed out on the travel team try-outs, but maybe next season. The try-outs are in October, so a long way to go until then. The league is run by the high school softball coach, and the teams are coached by the high school girls. They’re really great with the kids and give them solid instruction. No game this week due to the holiday, but I can’t wait until her next game. Nothing makes me happier than watching my kids play ball. Trevor is playing soccer this season, but said he’s going back to baseball next year, and Brian will be old enough to play t-ball next year, too. I don’t get a lot of sleep with all the things we have going on, but they are definitely worth it. There’s a new website where you can track you kids baseball career, so I can track her here:
The Lake Superior State women’s softball team has been busy in the community teaching young players about the game. They hosted weekly hitting and pitching clinics in the weeks before Thanksgiving, and just completed a weekend camp which incorporated all aspects of the game. I was lucky enough to get my daughter to most of the clinics and the camp, in fact, I recieved a call from first year head coach Lori Shimasaki inviting her to join the clinics. She’s become a favorite among the college girls, even hanging out with them for awhile at the local hockey games. She’s having a lot of fun and this will hopefully inspire her to keep playing. She’s been playing baseball since she was 5, but next summer will be her first shot at softball if she decides to play. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, because she’s a good player and this could open up some doors for her in the future. Sorry about the low quality of the pics, but they were taken with my phone. The (ex)wife got the camera in the settlement.
Property of M.I.B.
Yesterday my daughter took part in the LSSU Winter Softball Clinic. Girls from all over the Eastern Upper Penninsula came to learn from the Lady Lakers. The clinic took girls from 8-18 and went over the basics of throwing, fielding, hitting, and base-running. I got there in time to watch my girl in the batting cage. And, unlike Willie Mays Hayes, she did put on a hitting display. I couln’t help beam with pride as she was stroking line drives over the pitchers head. Why shouldn’t I be proud? I’m the one who taught her to hit like that, right? We all live vicariously through out kids, just not everyone admits it. She did have a lot of fun at the clinic, which is what is really important anyway.
The Lakers are a Division II team that plays in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conferance. Unfortunately due to the weather up here, we only get to see them play one or two home games a season.
And, yes, I know my daughter is beautiful, and yes I know it’s because she looks just like her mother.
Photos property of MIB