Never a truer saying is that love can blossom in the strangest places and in my opinion the softball pitch is a pretty strange place!
Well, it looks like love is well and truly in the air at the Belfast Softball Club (BSC) as there have been 5 weddings and 4 babies in the last number of years, making me think do they ever actually play any matches?!
Apparently so, and in fact they are doing quite well, 2nd in the Softball Ulster League last season (yes, there is such a thing!).
To explain softball, I would say that it’s a bit like baseball if you are American, or rounders if you are Irish and to don’t be fooled in thinking the ball is soft – it’s not! It’s made of leather-covered cork and would give you a nasty injury if it hits you in the face. Good job you have a big mitt to allow you to catch it as well as 9 other team members to help you get the other team out.
Always wanting to get the insider scoop for GSpotters! I went along to one of the training sessions to see what all the fuss was about. There are two teams in the Belfast Softball Club, The Brawlers and the Smokin’ Aces and made up of boys and girls. Training in Henry Jones playing fields (near the Castlereagh Hills) on Monday and Wednesday evenings (6.30-8.30pm) from April to August, the goal is to score as many runs as possible without getting out. Sounds easy, but it’s hard enough especially if you don’t have hand-to-eye co-ordination, but this is when you teammates come in to help.
Made up of a friendly bunch of young professionals of all ages that are fun and competitive without being maniacs about it all. It’s a great way to exercise in the outdoors, meet new people at the regular quiz nights or sessions in the pub and as there are 32 softball teams in Ireland so its definitely worth a go – just make sure to invite me the to wedding if you meet your own softball sweetheart!
In the meantime, here are a few softball terms to give you the lingo GSpots! styleeee
G: Grand slam – A home run hit while runners are on each of the three bases.
S: Slapper – The term for a left-handed batter who runs through the batter’s box towards the pitch while attempting to make contact. This batter “slap hits.”
P: Pickle – Another term for a rundown, a play in which a runner is caught between two bases and two or more fielders attempt to chase her down and tag her out.
O: Offense – The team that is batting and has its players takes turns hitting in order to score runs before its opponent records three outs.
T: Take – Term for when a batter does not swing at a pitched ball.
S: Snow cone catch – Often considered a lucky catch, this slang term is used to describe a catch made in the tip of the fielder’s glove, making it look like a snow cone.
Find out more on Facebook and @BelfastSoftball on Twitter
Spotting local hidden gems from the world of beauty, health, fashion, tourism and hospitality. I have my ear to the ground (quite literally) to keep you up to date about the new or interesting products and services from our neck of the woods. If you know one – get in touch on twitter @grainnemcgarvey or at www.pulseprni.com