It was Saturday night and I was up in the press box at Robertson Park, watching the Livermore Stampede’s third place game between Monte Vista and Deer Valley. It was a methodical game as both teams struggled to gain any momentum with their bats. Monte Vista eventually broke through and held on to a 1-0 win. Good game. Not thrilling, just a good game between two teams that may see each other again in the NCS playoffs.
The championship game on the adjacent, though, showed just how exciting softball can be. While spectators watching Monte Vista-Deer Valley were nearly as quiet as church mouses, those watching the title game between Valley Christian and Archbishop Mitty seemed to explode with cheers every half inning. Spectacular plays on both offense and defense, and the pitching was as good as you’ll find anywhere outside of Oakley. The lead changed hands three times before Valley Christian went ahead late and held on for a 6-4 victory.
The point is this. Good softball games can be more than just a battle between two great pitchers who collect a combined 30 strikeouts. It can also be about hitting balls in the gap, turning two into three, plays at the plate, backhand stabs and throws across the diamond. Everyone who saw Monte Vista beat Deer Valley said they saw a good game. Everyone who saw Valley Christian beat Archbishop Mitty walked away saying they saw one of the best games of the year.