Archive for the ‘Softball’ Category

The End of an Era…

Posted: June 4, 2017 in Softball

Today is bittersweet.

For the past twenty-one years, Middle Country Sports Association’s girls’ and women’s softball leagues have been an important part of my life; I started playing when I was seven and haven’t ever stopped. There is nothing I’ve been doing as consistently or for as long as MCSA softball and it’s a huge part of my heart, maybe more so even than percussion (I’d have to think very carefully about that). Through this league I learned to be a pitcher, a team player, an all-star, and an elementary coach. I learned to face danger head-on, especially when a line drive is flying straight at my face, or when I’m sliding into home plate and knocking over the catcher to break up a play. I bonded with my dad, who always practiced with me in the backyard when I was learning, and I bonded with friends on the field, at the batting cage, etc. Through this league I won a college scholarship, joined a women’s team that has become my summer family over the past decade, made friends, and developed a lifelong passion for this game.

One year, I broke my pinky playing intramural softball at college (on a team I organized, because of course I had to bring softball into my college life!). I couldn’t play MCSA that summer and was extremely frustrated; I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to do anything as badly as I wanted to be on the softball diamond that year. After moving to Brooklyn, I thought about joining a city team so I wouldn’t have to commute to Suffolk County every weekend. I tried out and was drafted for a team, but I couldn’t bare the idea of not playing with the team I’d been on for so many years, so I turned down the Brooklyn league. I don’t regret that decision.

MCSA softball is what I look forward to more than almost anything else each year. Being on the pitcher’s mound is where I feel most comfortable in life, even more so than behind a vibraphone, on a bicycle, sitting at a drum set, etc. In some areas of life my self-confidence isn’t very high, but I’ve always felt secure in my identity as an MCSA pitcher, and at my lowest points I’ve reminded myself how badass I can be on the softball field, and that fuels me.

Sadly, over the last couple of years, interest in slow-pitch softball (and maybe softball in general?) has been dying out on Long Island. I saw this happening when I was co-coaching an elementary team; some of the girls we played against seemed to be prepping for fast-pitch rather than enjoying the slow-pitch experience (I’ve played and enjoyed both fast-pitch and modified softball, but slow-pitch has my heart). I watched as the MCSA girls’ league died away due to lack of interest and, at the same time, noticed less and less women signing up for the adult league. It seemed only a matter of time before MCSA softball ceased to exist completely…

I know so many women who are passionate about softball, but unfortunately this summer what we’d been fearing finally happened: Not enough players signed up to justify having an MCSA league. Today is Sunday, June 4th. Any other year, I would be prepping for a double header right now. I would be skipping around the house singing about “Softball Sunday” as I collected by bat, glove, and uniform, and I’d be looking forward to my trip out to LI to play on my favorite league.

I’ve played on other softball leagues. I organized an intramural team in college, I subbed for two co-ed beer leagues and played on another, I played on a modified pitch travel team, I played fall and spring ball for three years with an amazing women’s team on the Long Island Pride Sports Association’s league, and I played fast-pitch for my high school. I’ve enjoyed all my softball experiences, but MCSA has always been my favorite, and I truly don’t know what I’ll do without my Softball Sundays this summer.

I was talking to a teammate about the possibility of the league not running this year, and she said it feels like she’d need a period of mourning if that happened. As crazy as that might sound, that’s how I feel too. I loved this league so much, and I’m really going to miss it.

I’ll end this post with two photos I really like, both of which I’ve used in this post. One shows the sense of team spirit and camaraderie I’ve found in MCSA, and the other shows my whole team, “The Larry’s,” after we won the 2014 championship (I wish I had photos of my elementary MCSA days to post, when I first fell in love with softball, but those are all at my parents’ house). Thanks to all the coaches, teammates, competitors, umpires, and spectators who have been a part of my softball experience; I appreciate you.

Thank you MCSA.

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Champions of the World!!!

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Team bonding ūüôā

City Life Rocks!

Posted: September 4, 2014 in Adventures, Graduate School, Music, Softball

I can’t believe I’ve only been in Brooklyn for two and a half weeks; I’ve already done SO much! There is a never-ending pool of activities to do, places to visit, events to attend…I think it’s impossible to be bored here. Literally every day since my last blog entry has been awesome, so I’m just going to chronicle all of it in this entry:

Friday, Aug. 22nd:

I went contra dancing the night of my last entry and¬†had a blast! Unlike in Albany or on Long Island, most dancers here are around my age. Hooray! I loved it even though I went alone, and I’ll definitely be going back. Contra and swing dancing are both really prevalent here, so I can actually go more than a couple times a year! ūüôā

Sat, Aug. 23rd:

Went to Long Island for softball practice and to visit my grandparents, and then…

Aug. 24th-28th:

 

Adventures with Marlyse. Click to read!

Adventures with Marlyse. Click to read!

Fri, Aug. 29th:

First day of graduate school! Started the semester with a wonderful class about music and culture of NY in the 1920s. We learned about Prohibition, player pianos, modernism, and got a sense of how awesome this semester is going to be.

Friday night, I drove to Long Island to play a gig with Glen Baldwin’s “Friends of Jazz” in Northport Park. So great! I felt like a star; I was featured as a “guest artist” and soooo many people came up to talk to me and shake my hand at the end. I got a couple more gigs out of the experience and was even invited to a jam session in Brooklyn. Moving right along!

Gigging in Northport Park. Photo credit to David Dong

Gigging in Northport Park. Photo credit: David Dong

Aug. 30th/31st:

The Gotham Softball Classic!!! I spent the entire weekend in Central Park with my wonderful teammates of Long Island SWAT. We played five games over two days and watched just as many. It has always been a dream of mine to pitch on a travel team, so to finally be doing it is unreal. Hopefully this is only the first of a great series of tournaments. Shoutout to Jenn McCaff for shooting awesome photos such as:

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Monday, Sept. 1st:

Happy Labor Day! For me, this day was exciting because…I FINALLY MOVED MY VIBRAPHONE INTO MY APARTMENT!!! At last I can practice again (and have done so every day since). Finally!!!

Tues, Sept. 2nd:

I don’t have class on Tuesdays, so I used this day to get my library card and utilize¬†the Brooklyn Public Library for studying. So happy that such a prominent library is so close. Afterwards, I explored Prospect Park. I discovered some nature trails which, although paved, give the impression of being somewhere much less urban than Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Go deep enough in and city noises disappear, leaving only chipmunks, birds, the rustle of trees, and the trickling¬†of a nearby waterfall. Frederick Law Olmstead sure knew what he was doing when he designed¬†this beautiful place.

Wed, Sept. 3rd:

My second grad class! This one is on world music research techniques, so we started with an overview of the course and various musics we’ll study. Nothing too substantial yet, but so far so good.

After class, I returned to Union Square’s Greenmarket to buy some fruits and veggies and then…

Brooklyn Public Library is not only a good place to read and study, but also a great place to practice speaking French! Every Wednesday night they host a French conversation group, so I spent an hour and a half speaking my favorite language with other francophones and enjoyed every minute. As a result, I was invited to play music at a Brazilian party this coming Saturday hosted by one of the francophones. New friends AND they speak French?! I love this life!

Thanks as always for reading. I’m really enjoying city life and the challenge of balancing my triple identity as a scholar, musician, and athlete. It’s about time I’m back in an environment where I’m stimulated every minute; I definitely missed this over the past year. More adventures ahead!

 

 

Champions of the World!

Posted: July 25, 2014 in Adventures, Softball
Champions of the World!!!

Introducing The Larrys, MCSA Champions of the World!!!

 

Hello.

I’d like to take two minutes today to introduce The Larrys, MCSA’s 2014¬†women’s league champs…aka…CHAMPIONS OF THE WORLD! Four titles in the 11 years of our team’s history…not¬†too bad, eh?

We won the title on Sunday, and now half of us are going on to seek further glory on SWAT- Softball With Attitude-, our travel team. We’ll be playing in Central Park on Labor Day weekend and I am psyched to be pitching for the team. For years I’ve wanted to play on a travel team, and now I have¬†my chance. Hooray!

Below are a couple photos of me from the season taken by my teammate Philana, who is a professional photographer. Check out her other work here.

Pitching!

Pitching

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Fielding

Batting

Batting

High five-ing!

High five-ing!