As I sit here on the couch this morning writing todays blog I can’t ignore the fuzziness lingering in my head; who would’ve thought that at this level we would take a seven hour bus trip, play two games, and then take another seven hours home all in the same day. Very rarely have I been up enough to see the sunrise for two days in a row without any sleep in between, but in the past two weeks it seems to be an unknown hobby of mine. Not fun.
I know most people reading this are going to be more interested in cultural interactions while traveling across the country, but softball is what brought me here so softball is going to be blogged about as well, sorry!!
I’m still learning how the whole league is set up but from my understanding there are six teams in the northern division and five teams in the southern division. In the north there are teams in Torino, Milano, Verona, Nuoro, Olodi, and Parma. The southern division consists of Bologna, Roma, Forli, Ascoli Piceno, and us (Caserta). For the first part of the season each division plays each other in two separate double headers. One of them will be away and one will be at home so that each team gets a fair home field advantage. To sum it all up we will play each team in the south a grand total of four times. Once that is complete, we move on to playing each team in the northern division in a double header. The top two teams with the best record in both divisions will move on to a tournament in which we play each other. The winner of this will be the Italian league champion. I could be wrong about some of this because the way the league is set up changed this year, so all of us players are a little unsure. We just kind of show to play when we’re told… typical life of softball. After the league concludes, the European cup will start August 18- 25th in Prague.
Last night we had a double header against one of the stronger teams in our conference, Bologna. They are the northernmost team in our division so the bus trip was pretty long. Thankfully I’m from Texas and am very used to making 7-hour drives. However, trying to interpret Italian movies was not an easy task. Luckily the countryside was breathtaking so after a couple of minutes of failed interpretation I was able to lose myself in the scenery. It’s just a little bit better than the West TX background I’ve grown accustom to over the years!
The first game we were able to shut them down pretty easily as we ended up run ruling them in fourth inning, 12-0. The second game went into an extra inning and we ended up losing 1-0 in ITB play. It was a heartbreaker, but the team is really starting to come together and learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses. I was really happy with the way everyone played and am looking forward to our next couple of games.
We play pretty much every Saturday so for those interested in watching a play by play online go to: http://www.fibs.it