Saturday, April 26, 2014

Kami and Ashley Pitch a Solid Game

It rained and poured all day Friday and well into the evening. The softball fields were surely going to be soggy and unplayable today. This would benefit the PGSL Storm because their team would be short-handed, missing four starting infielders -- pitcher, first baseman, third baseman, and catcher.

The alarm went off at 6 AM and I shut it off, secretly praying for the game to be canceled. I lay in bed, periodically checking the PGSL website and weather line. At 6:45 AM, the website was updated -- the softball fields were open and playable. I quickly consumed my warm cup of coffee, packed up my glove and camera, and headed to the Pleasanton Sports Park with Kami.

An 8:30 AM game time is early for the average high school girl, but the Storm came ready to play. Several players had to play in new positions to cover for the missing players and although there were a few errors, the team performed well. The pitchers stepped up and pitched a great game. Kami started the game on the mound, with the plan to pitch two innings and then play third base for the balance of the game. She walked a few batters early on, but settled into a rhythm as the game progressed. The coaches decided to keep her on the mound for four innings. Ashley came in on relief and pitched a wonderful three innings. Both pitchers took care of business, yielding no earned runs in seven innings. Offensively, the team generated runs on several clutch hits and aggressive base running, and they took advantage of a few timely defensive errors.

The Storm had a few young players cheering them on today. Members from the PGSL Mini Rec Mighty Minions softball team arrived at the Sports Park early to watch the Storm game. The Storm practiced with the Mighty Minions last week, with the older players mentoring the younger players. It was nice to see the Mighty Minions showing their support for the Storm today. After the Storm victory, a few Storm players went to watch the Mighty Minions play their game. The Storm were honorary coaches, acting as the base coaches while the Mighty Minions were on offense. It was fun watching the little Minions play today -- and I think the Storm girls had a good time, as well.

Here are a few photos from today's action:

Kami getting encouragement from Coach Q before heading back to the mound.

Marisa behind the plate: Marisa normally plays shortstop and center field, but played a few innings at catcher today. She's a great softball player and I'm sure she can play any of the nine positions in a pinch.

Veronica S. talking to Coach Rick, just before laying down a beautiful bunt for a base hit.

Another coaching moment, starring Coach Rick and Zoe.

Zoe coaching first base during the Mighty Minion game

A Mighty Minion player quickly exiting the batters box, on her way to a nice base hit.

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Mighty Minions

The Storm, playing in the Pleasanton Girls Softball League (PGSL) Senior Division, conducted a joint team practice today with the Mighty Minions, a team from the PGSL Mini Rec Division. It was a great opportunity for the younger Minion players to interact and learn from the older Storm players. I think young players listen well to their coaches, but it's something special to watch and learn from older, high school aged players.

After practice today, I took a short drive down Memory Lane. I remember when Kami was that age, playing in the Mini Rec Division. Observing the two teams together really highlighted how quickly the girls develop as softball players and mature into young ladies. It happens so quickly!

Here are a few photos from today's practice.

Jamie getting thrown out at first base by the Mighty Minion defense.

Marisa paired with the Minion shortstop, during infield practice.

Coach Rick hitting infield practice.

Lexi behind the plate during batting practice.

Jamie mentoring the Minion third basemen.

Here's a throwback photo:

Kami at Third Base, April 2010

Sunday, April 13, 2014

April Storm

Another Storm blasted through Pleasanton yesterday, the PGSL softball Storm. Although the team was missing four players at game time, the remaining ten put on a dominant performance. The bats were on fire, generating an incredible amount of offense. Defensively, the pitchers threw strikes, enabling the opposition to put the ball into play, and allowing the stout Storm defense to make plays. There were many ESPN Sports Center quality plays, including Kami snagging a line drive at second base, robbing the batter of a sure base hit.

Here are a few photos from the game:

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Happy Birthday Kami

Fifteen years ago today, Kami squirted out into this world and at that moment, Kevin had a sister.

Happy Birthday Kami!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Back on the Trails

My running has been a tough going for the last few months due to injury. I had a decent 2013, but various soft tissue issues impacted my training at end of 2013 and entering into 2014. The injury duration was likely prolonged due to recurring misdiagnosis by Dr. Kodama and a poor treatment plan by Physical Therapist Kodama. I now believe I had Piriformis Syndrome. In layman's terms, a major "pain in the rear." It took months of trial and error, but in retrospect, I seemed to exhibit the classic symptoms -- sharp pain down the leg and significant discomfort while sitting. Thanks to Google, I finally uncovered an advanced piriformis stretch, which reduced the pain dramatically and effectively unlocked my tight hips.

I traveled to Hawaii for business and took a few extra days to spend with family. Running wise, I intended to take advantage of the nice weather and kick start my running program. Before my first run, I was doing my "advanced piriformis stretch" and my brother said, "oh, the pigeon pose." Perhaps I should have started yoga months ago!  We ran four times during my stay, which exceeded my expectations.  I did the pigeon pose every morning and evening, and before and after each run.  After a pain free week of light running, I decided to resume my trail running this week in California.  The weather today was pleasant, perfect for my seven mile route on the Pleasanton Ridge.  My breathing was a bit more labored and my legs a little low on power, but overall it wasn't as bad as I expected.  As I passed a couple hiking up the ridge, the gal said, "you're a stud," and the guy followed with, "we wish we were you."  I love the encouragement I get from hikers, runners, and mountain bikers on the trails!  Any thoughts of walking quickly disappeared and I pushed my way to the top and across the ridgeline to my turnaround point.  After a short pigeon pose stretch at the top, I descended the ridge pain free.  It was a good (re)start to my training program.

While in Hawaii, I went to the parents' house and spent a few moments sorting through a box of my childhood memories.  After accumulating a house full of clutter in California over the last twenty years, the sentimental value associated with the boxes in Hawaii decreased dramatically.  I do, however, cherish the old photos -- particularly my baseball and marathon pictures.  The photo above was from my final marathon, the 1983 Honolulu Marathon.  My first marathon was the 1980 Honolulu Marathon, but I won't share that photo....I'll just say I was a pretty skinny 14 year old...with an era-appropriate hairstyle...and era-appropriate, goofy glasses.  :-)

Below are a few photos from my trip.


Fresh Akule for $4.95 per pound at a market in Chinatown.  Whenever I'm in the islands, I always try to have local seafood.  I travel on business to Hawaii, Guam, and American Samoa, and the fresh, tropical seafood is always incredible.

This is a view of Aloha Tower from an office building on Bishop Street.  I loved the view from the office window.  I had a Mahi Mahi sandwich for lunch that day, blackened with Cajun spices.  The only thing it was missing was a cold beer...