I really love watching Danielle play. She still struggles with hitting as well as she'd like, but that's all part of learning to be a slapper. A slapper's job is to place the ball, and sometimes that's easier said than done. But, when she does get it right where she intended and then beats the throw to first, that is fun to watch.
I love watching her field. She is always thinking ahead and knows where the plays are before the ball is hit. She was talking about a play she made in the field yesterday and listed about 6 things that went through her mind in determining exactly how to play the ball. She made it sound so easy, but she had to think through all of that in only a second or two and then put herself in the right place to make the play. Her fielding is usually flawless, and she makes plays that many of her teammates cannot. Yesterday, from centerfield, she threw a girl out at 1st and another out at 3rd. That was fun to watch.
I love watching her run the bases, too. Not only is she fast, she's smart. She has 13 stolen bases for this fall season. The next closest person on the team has 4. Twice yesterday she slid right past the tag at 2nd and grabbed the base as she flew by. That was fun to watch.
But, as much as I love all those things, what makes me the most proud is watching her cheer on and encourage her teammates. 3 different parents told me at three different times yesterday how much they appreciated Danielle's positivity, her smile, and the encouragement she offers her teammates. I didn't go to the camp last Sunday, but they told me how even during game 6 when everyone was exhausted she was up cheering, high fiving and complimenting every girl as they came in the dugout after their at bat, yelling encouragement from the field to her pitcher, and cheering for the girls when they made a play. As I watched her yesterday, I saw her do those same things. Her voice was the only voice you could hear cheering from the field, encouraging on her pitcher by game 3. Her smiling face and outstretched hand was the first thing her teammates saw when they returned to the dugout. And at the end of the very long day, as we were walking out the door of the facility to head to our car and the 2.5 hour drive in the rain, she had to go back so she could thank the college students who were still there working the camp. That was fun to watch.
I really love watching Danielle play.