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Abandoning a team mid season

Sep 3, 2020
3
1
I know this looks like my first post, but it's not.

DD is playing 16U B. She's the #1 pitcher, but the difference between her and the #2 is negligible. Neither is great -- they don't walk a lot, but don't strike out many. A lot of grounders get hit. They both take lessons and both are dedicated, but like I said, neither is very good. I think they'd both be serviceable #2s for most teams at their level.

But the defense is terrible. Not sort of awful, but awful. Hits to the shortstop are 50-50 at best of it being stopped, and when it is, the throw is weak much of the time so the runner ends up safe. Long flies are about the same -- few fall out of gloves, but they usually aren't tracked well, and girls rarely run to make a play. They don't crash on grounders. They don't hit cutoffs. 20 games into the season, we've not had an infielder catch a ball in foul territory. 63 errors in 20 games; 13 at short, 11 at third and 10 at second.

Add into that we can't hit. DD and two other girls hit okay. Not great, but okay. But as a team, the average is .270. We've only scored. 38 runs in 20 games and given up 186 -- so the average score of the games is about 9-1. I'm a pretty kind scorer about errors, but of those 186 runs, 98 have been earned, so even had there been perfect defense, we'd still be losing 5-1 or so. But we've been run ruled more often than not. We've been run-ruled in every Sunday game so far. It's been miserable.

You figure into that some stupid (some not) teenage drama, where DD -- a pitcher -- found out that the catchers have been trashing her pretty badly. Not her skills, but just trashing her. Before we left yesterday, she said she didn't want to go to the tourney, but I made her, saying that she couldn't abandon her team (this was before I knew about the text messages). The first game of the day was against one of the few teams worse than us, and we squeaked out a win, behind the other pitcher. DD was pitching game 2, and her assigned catcher wouldn't warm up with her (despite being asked) until the ump gave the 5-minute warning. The catchers seem to hate her -- they don't talk to her, they don't calm her down, no one in the infield says anything beyond "shake it off" if she gives up a hit. But she pitched all right, but there were four errors in the first and she got rocked. Again.

I'm close with our coach, but the catcher I just mentioned his her step daughter. Coach wasn't at the games yesterday, so i don't know whether that would have mattered. But regardless, apparently the other pitcher (or her father) has had enough. He texted coach today and said he had to find a better team for his daughter. I don't say that I blame him, and we're thinking of the same. Not as much for the softball -- though it sucks to get rocked game after game -- but for the fact her catchers seem to hate her and trash her to her teammates. However, obviously if the other pitcher leaves and we leave, that's it for the team. Even if the other pitcher leaves, it should be it for the team though i imagine they'll try to manage through with DD and guest pitchers (some of which will make DD look bad).

I've talked to Dd about sticking it out for the sake of sticking it out, that she made a commitment, and killing the team wouldn't be fair to the other girls who she really likes. But at the same time, she's up there game after game and they're not doing their part to help out. DD and the other pitcher were the only ones to take lessons over the off season. DD works with her pitching a hitting coaches every week, and spends some time outside every day working on both. So is she obligated to keep working to help a team where people a) don't like her b) aren't making efforts to get better and c) don't give the game the same energy DD (or the other pitcher) does? Or are we just whining?

We've got a couple of weeks off. I've told DD i'll back whatever she wants to do. But I also know I can push her one way or the other. I just don't know which way that should be. There's still half a season left.
 

NBECoach

Learning everyday
Aug 9, 2018
366
63
Drama aside why does the coach not recognize the defensive shortcommings and hold practices emphasizing fundamentals? Sounds like your DD could keep the team in games if they could only turn routine plays into outs.
 

Strike2

Allergic to BS
Nov 14, 2014
1,315
113
I see teams like this often. Heck, my DD recently picked up with a team not that bad, but in the area code. It was clear from the warm-ups onward that she was the most proficient ball handler there. It would be one thing if everyone got along, they were working hard, showing improvement, but just weren't there yet. I don't know how a team stays intact when they're getting their butts kicked AND there is bad chemistry. With one pitcher remaining, it probably dies off regardless of what you do, but I'd be looking for options sooner rather than later.
 
Nov 20, 2020
414
63
SW Missouri
I see teams like this often. Heck, my DD recently picked up with a team not that bad, but in the area code. It was clear from the warm-ups onward that she was the most proficient ball handler there. It would be one thing if everyone got along, they were working hard, showing improvement, but just weren't there yet. I don't know how a team stays intact when they're getting their butts kicked AND there is bad chemistry. With one pitcher remaining, it probably dies off regardless of what you do, but I'd be looking for options sooner rather than later.
I tend to agree with this. It sounds like implosion is imminent at this point. The girls are unhappy and if it’s resorting to talking behind each other’s backs then it’s time to leave. It’s unhealthy and can lead to worse things potentially.
 
Apr 20, 2015
663
93
I generally don't agree with leaving a team mid season but if the other pitcher goes then you don't want to be in a one pitcher situation. It also appears you are playing above your fielders level. More like a C team

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Jul 30, 2014
3
1
I generally don't agree with leaving a team mid season but if the other pitcher goes then you don't want to be in a one pitcher situation. It also appears you are playing above your fielders level. More like a C team

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Agree
 
Feb 10, 2018
278
63
NoVA
My DD has never been in a situation as difficult as you’re describing, but when your pitcher is working her ass off to the best of her ability and the rest of the team is not holding up their end defensively or offensively, then it is time to think about going. Unless the situation is just toxic (in which case I would leave immediately), then there may be a way to “honor your commitment” while essentially doing research to join a new team. A solid pitcher will always find a home, even if she is not P1 or P2. Does she play another position? How is her hitting?

I would start guest playing for teams when you don’t have your own team activities, to see if you can identify one that might be a better fit. You need to find girls of comparable or better skill who have similar goals to those of your daughter. Would she be ok being the #3 pitcher on a local “A” team or a #2 on a better B team? If the team you are currently on soon implodes because of the departure of the other pitcher, so be it. You’ll perhaps have already have some options identified. Another thing, if you left the team immediately, you would be to guest play until tryout season starts in late July/early August. There are always guest playing opportunities for pitchers.

One thing I wondered when reading your post: Does your DD really want to pitch? Does she enjoy doing it?
 
Sep 3, 2020
3
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She does. Softball was her favorite thing until this stuff happened with her teammates/catchers. They had been her best freinds for a couple of years. And then they turned on her pretty severely this week. I mean, imagine an inning that goes all the way through the lineup, the team commits four errors, gives up six runs and the catcher doesn't say a word to the pitcher.

We'd certainly be looking for another team, but she's a junior, going into her senior year. Playing next year is iffy to begin with, but we'd certainly be somewhere else.

She can be a good hitter -- she makes good contact but isn't getting too much power right now. She has in the past, but right now it's not really there. I think she'd be a find guest player for someone, and would be happy being a #2 on another B team. But I don't think it's going to be too much of an option. I do think it's an real question if the other pitcher in fact leaves, because I don't think it's unresonable to say she's not willing to be the only pitcher on a staff.
 
Jun 26, 2019
140
28
I have seen several girls walk away from softball and other sports completely because of girl drama. One 14u player that had made some big steps as a player, and one high school senior that walked away from school ball over teammate drama, then decided she didn’t want to play at all and turned down multiple scholarship offers. I would suggest finding another team if at all possible.
 
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