Even with the COVID pandemic raging on, in the midst of the Fall surge experts expected, the softball tournament in Fort Lauderdale over the Thanksgiving weekend was never in doubt. In some ways, I suppose that’s a good thing, because I had been looking forward to playing in this tourney since I wrote my Memory List.
Of course, there were safety precautions in place to hopefully stop any spread of the illness. I frequently cleaned my hands with the provided sanitizer in the dugout. The umpire, catcher, and batter all had to wear masks while at the plate. I wore my mask more than was required. Overall, I felt safe. So, Mom, when you read this, you don’t need to worry.
The tournament had its schedule impacted, though, with all teams from all divisions playing at the same 5-diamond complex for the whole weekend. Games started Friday afternoon and went late into the wee hours of the morning. Then Saturday’s games started shortly after sunrise, and again, went until 2:00am. Wash, rinse, and repeat for Sunday’s schedule.
My team, the Tampa Heat, was lucky with our two round-robin games slated for Friday evening, at the respectable times of 6:00 and 7:00. We played great both games, winning the first handily 20-4, but losing the second after our opponent rallied late.
We seeded 13th out of 29 teams after everyone played their round-robing games. That meant we got to sleep in on Saturday, with our first tournament game scheduled for 3:00pm. I actually had time to go for a walk and publish a blog post about Thanksgiving before heading to the diamonds!
Unfortunately, I’m sad to report, we lost that first game. In a double-elimination tournament, we couldn’t afford to lose any more, or else we’d be done. A couple hours later, we went up against the lowest seeded team, and well, we lost. We tried hard in the waning minutes to make an incredible comeback (we were down by 11, and ended with the tying run at the plate!), but it was not to be.
2020 struck again.
My team is strong. We could have gone all the way and won the championship. After all, it was only a couple years ago we finished in 2nd place. We had such high hopes. Oh well, I suppose, winning the tournament will have to be a memory on my 2021 list!