On Saturday, August 5, 2017, the BM Smith Ballers were back at it again for the 12th annual Bridges To Independence "Safe At Home Kickball Tournament"! Only this time, we came back with a vengence. Don't worry, it was all in good fun!
Those of us who joined the Safe at Home Kickball Tournament with Bridges to Independence had a very fun and exciting Saturday! The tournament is a massive effort towards annual fundraising for Bridges to Independence, a non-profit in Arlington whose mission is to “build bridges” to independence for homeless families and families at risk of becoming homeless.
If you followed our short-lived kickball tournament participation from last year, you'd know that we lost all 3 games and didn't make it past lunch. Though it hurt to lose so early on, we were determined to practice and get better for the next year. Luckily, we did just that! Instead of being one of the first of 30 teams to go home, we made it all the way to quarter finals this year!
The opening ceremony began at 8:30am with the Star Spangled Banner and the ceremonial kick-off. Vendors from all over Arlington were prepared to offer delicious and nutritious snacks to players throughout the day. We even recognized some our Columbia Pike friends like Sugar Shack and Cycle Bar! A couple of game-day favorites were Krave Jerky, Lulu's Homemade Granola, Bark Thins, and of course we can't forget that Essentia provided free water all day.
We walked onto the field for our first game at Long Bridge Park at 9:50am. With 5 innings and approximately 45-50 minutes of playing time ahead of us, we were ready for kick-off. The first game was a close one, with the BM Smith Ballers pulling into the lead by a score of 6-5. Excited to win the first game of the day (and first game ever), we celebrated with a cheesy team picture! We figured we wouldn't push our luck and we'd snap a photo while were we all still hyped up about our game day success. Our next game started at 11:20am, and we kicked it out of the park with a final score of 19-5!
Ecstatic for our 2nd win of the day, we skipped off to lunch to fuel up befor the next game at 12:30pm. And by "we skipped", I really mean just me.
After a quick bite of BBQ lunch, we were feeling pretty good going into our 3rd game. As we stepped onto the field, we noticed that everyone on their team was taller and more well-practiced than us by a long shot. As their pitcher pitched the first ball, we immediately knew this would be a harder game. Picture a professional bowler, and we were the pins. After a close and intense game, we lost with a final score of 6-4. An announcement was made and we waited patiently to hear whether we advanced into semi-finals or if we would go home defeated. Once all of the teams scores and stats were calculated, we found out that we were advancing into semi-finals. The best part? We were scheduled for a re-match with the team who beat us. We were prepared for redemption.
For this game, we were prepared for their pitcher and we brought out our secret weapon. Richard, Maintenance Engineer at Penrose Square and soccer-playing extraordinare, could pitch fast balls too! This was an even closer game. Everyone was catching balls and tagging people out, no one could get to home base. All it took was one powerful kick from Chris, and we came out on top with a final score of 1-0! Next up, quarter finals.
At this point, it was 3:30pm. All teams were exhausted and sunburned. At this point, our faces matched our hot pink team shirts. Our final game was not nearly as exciting, and we faced defeat with a final score of 9-3. Though we didn't make it all the way to finals, we were proud of our team and our progress compared to last year. In addition, we were so excited to be able to return this year to play for a cause and help Bridges to Independence's mission to build better futures for homeless women and families. Want to learn more about B2i and how you can help? Click here!
Congratulations to Paradigm Management, who won this year's kickball tournament against DCGreeks, the winning team for the past 2 years! Check out some photos from the event below, and join us next year as we take it all the way to finals!
PS – If you haven’t already, follow BM Smith on Instagram @BMSmithApts and Penrose Square on Instagram @PenroseSquare so you will receive real-time updates anytime we attend an event. We had a fun InstaStory going all day on Saturday to give followers a glimpse of the positive atmosphere we enjoyed at the kickball tournament. If you visit the feed today, you can see our photos and a little video of our warmups on Saturday.