Sunday, October 18, 2009


It is that time of year, again! It is time for NUTS! Are we crazy playing all this softball in 100 degree heat? In Indiana, they would probably just cancel the tourny, but not us crazy people. We began the day last Friday with a pep session at school just before our social team took the field. The whole school was on the lawn cheering all three teams Sahel entered. We had a record 16 teams in the tournament this year. It was a challenge to get all the games in before darkness hit. Saturday night was a close call as darkness descended on us quite rapidly. I think we played the last inning in virtual darkness. 

Of course, you must remember that our competitive team were the defending champs from 2008. Of course our team has changed dramatically due to graduation and home assignments. We had, I think 3 guys on last years' team play this year, besides myself. But, we had a great group of guys and girls who played some great defense throughout the tourny. We, however, started the tourny with the poorest permormance of all time committing many errors and lost 13-10. We were all a bit disappointed about that, but realized that if we could win the next 2, we would be first in our pool. So, that is what we did. Although our defense returned, our offense took a rest in a very hard fought 5-4 victory over a team from Burkina. The hero in that game was Betsie Childs who came up with a clutch hit to drive in the winning run! It was rather exciting as we turned a couple of double plays which is hard to do against those athleic, fast Africans. 

The final game started out just how we wanted it to, taking a 7-0 lead just to see that evaporate by the last inning. We didn't score at all the 3-5 inning, but came up with a bit run in the bottom of the 6th to take the one run lead. Then defense took over. With the tying run on base, two outs, a ground ball was hit right to Betsie who couldn't come up with a clean scoop and throw out. Rather, she deflected the ball right to second base where Tim Smith, our shortstop picked it up and literally rolled to the base to force the runner out. Tim was seen more than once crawling towards the base to make a big play. That was the game, not quite as dramatic tourney overall like last year, but nonetheless very sweet. The thing I love most about this team was the fact that everyone contributed something at different times to make it a success. I love this team!
Our other 2 social teams did quite well as well. They both bowed out of the tourney during the semi's, but played very well. I was especially proud of the younger team who just played with heart. If you could have practiced with them about 3 weeks ago, you would have thought how in the world this team would even win one game. But, they played so together, it was an inspiration to us all. Well done, Sahel Academy! Go Suns! Now, anyone outside of Sahel community and can tell me the what NUTS stands for, I will blog your smartness on the next blog!

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