Soccer, Softball, Sky, & Relatives

Last weekend Diane and I participated in a sports extravaganza the likes of which we haven’t enjoyed in a while. Soccer has been ruling our lives for most of the winter months, but now softball has reared it’s head, demanding to be noticed. So, we noticed. To help us along that path, Niece Steffani and her significant other paid us a visit because their daughter, Maryssa, was playing a softball tournament in Happy Valley. Maryssa plays for Eastern Oregon University out of La Grande, Oregon.

Steff and Bob arrived around 10:30 pm Thursday night to kick the weekend off. Maryssa wasn’t scheduled to play until Saturday and Sunday so we had a fun day catching up on all the Idaho gossip. There’s always Idaho gossip. Oregon gossip, too. It’s a family thing and not limited to just our family, I’m sure.

On Saturday Diane and I already had plans to ferry Daniel and Lydia to Springfield, Oregon for Lydia’s participation in a game with her tournament team which plays out of Hillsboro, Oregon. They didn’t get a very good start to the season, losing their first three games, so we had hopes that her teams’ defense would perk up and make the long drive worth it.

They did, winning their match 1-0 against a very active team. It was the team’s first goal of the season, and their first win, so the trip was definitely worth it. Lydia, the goalie, did an exemplary job stopping numerous kicks on goal, helping to maintain the shutout.

That little bumblebee smudge in the middle of the field is our Lydia. It’s where she spent a lot of the game, watching all the activity around the opponent’s goal. It was a good game.

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While the soccer match was in progress, Maryssa’s team was getting beat up, losing a couple of games during the course of the day. It was a tough start to their season, too. We kept track of each other via texting during the games, and to announce our whereabouts with regard to home.

After leaving Springfield, since it was lunchtime, and Lydia hadn’t had anything to eat for a while, we stopped at Coburg Pizza Company for a bite. Daniel selected it from many choices offered by SIRI, and it was an excellent choice. When we arrived, it was pretty quiet, but by the time our food appeared on the table, the joint was jumping. Because we were early, Lydia was able to snag the table closest to the fire-place which was good because we had all been standing around in a frigid breeze all morning.

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It’s a bad selfie, but gives you an idea of the ambience to which we were subjected. We highly recommend the Coburg Pizza Company if you’re ever in the area. Good food.

Sunday, the tables turned a bit as Jennifer was able to ferry Lydia and Cedric to their next game in Wilsonville, Oregon, allowing Diane and I to attend Maryssa’s game in Happy Valley. As before, we kept each other up to date via texting as the games progress. Lydia’s team won 2-0 which means they are on a streak, and doing far better now that they have some games under their belts.

At Maryssa’s game things turned a corner in a dramatic way when EOU was down 6-0 to a college team out of Canada. It was the bottom of the 7th and Maryssa was going to bat first in the inning so wanted to make sure I was sitting down to watch when it started. She hadn’t been able to produce a hit yet, so we had high hopes. Then, as the girls were warming up, I thought it would be a good idea to go to the truck for something I didn’t really need. About the time I got there it hit me that Maryssa is batting! So, I quickly turned around and hoofed it back to the field as quickly as I could, in cowboy boots. When I arrived the count on Maryssa was 1-2, leaving one strike away from a trip back to the dugout. As I walked up she took a pitch and drove it down the 3rd base line but it was foul by about 2 inches. Then I was seated for the next pitch which she sent over the fence in right center field. What a hit. She really nailed it, and scored the first run for her team. That got things started, because during that inning her team had more base hits, and a total of 3 HRs, the last of which tied the score at 6-6. Wow! That was Maryssa’s first collegiate home run, and we were there to see it. What a thrill. I’m sure that she was saving that hit for us.

The 8th inning found them tied again, so it was on to the 9th with the use of International tie breaker rules. That’s where the team at bat gets to send their last out to 2nd base to start. The other team scored a couple of runs making it 8-6, putting EOU in a do or die position. At their last up they were able to get one run in, with 2 outs, for a 8-7 deficit with the tying run on 2nd. Then Cheyenne came to bat. She took a few pitches then smoked one over the fence for the 4th HR of the game, ending it with a 10-8 win for EOU. It was pretty awesome.

During the break between games, Jennifer, Lydia, and Cedric arrived and were able to visit a bit, and have lunch with Bob, Steff, and Maryssa. The snack shack at the Hood View Park sports complex had surprisingly good food prompting us to just remain in place for lunch instead of venturing out into town.

Here’s Maryssa (left), and Lydia enjoying lunch in the sun which was nice, because almost the entire first game was played in cold rain.

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Maryssa was put into the lineup for the afternoon game so we stuck around to watch. The EOU coach, to this point, had been alternating Maryssa with another contender for 2nd base, but finally saw the light and played her two in a row. Unfortunately, they faced an exemplary freshman pitcher from a British Columbia team and couldn’t dig out a win. It wasn’t for lack of effort on Maryssa’s part, however because she went 1 for 3, driving in 2 RBIs on a double.

During the first part of the game, Jennie, Cedric, and Lydia said their goodbyes because they had to make it back to the MODA Center in downtown Portland where they had tickets to a concert.

After the game we said our goodbyes to Bob, Steff, and Maryssa as they were all headed east, and we were going west. It was a good visit and we had a lot of fun watching the games.

During one leg of our trip, we saw this interesting cloud formation and I felt compelled to capture it for posterity, and to share it with you. Make of it what you wish, as we did. If we were in Kansas, we would have been concerned. Here in Oregon it was just interesting.

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