This couple knows the importance of working as a team

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October 19, 2007|By JANENE HOLZBERG

Soon after Beth and Tate Galloway met, they decided to stop playing the field - and to keep playing on the field.

The Marriottsville couple were introduced on a softball diamond. They had their first date in October 1994, were married in October 1995 and had their first son in October 1996. They named him Storm David Galloway, after former Orioles pitcher Storm Davis.

Is it just a coincidence that all of their early relationship milestones took place in the month of the World Series?

Since that introduction 13 years ago, they have played slo-pitch softball together every year in spring and fall leagues, sometimes logging two doubleheaders a week. The Galloways are on the same team: He pitches and she catches.

As if that much togetherness weren't enough, Beth worked for Tate for 10 years in a swimming pool business. And they were head coach and assistant coach for their sons' T-ball teams.

Now, for the ninth consecutive year, the Galloways are playing this weekend in a national tournament with the other 12 members of their co-ed team, the Uncoachables. They will be among 60 to 100 teams in the United States Slo-Pitch Softball Association World Tournament at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Fla.

"I think you could say that we really like spending time with each other," Tate Galloway, 44, said. "We have a lot in common and have always enjoyed being together."

While one of the team's weekly doubleheaders was going on in the background, first baseman Tracy Hoff said, "There really is no dirt on these two; they actually do communicate well on and off the field. It doesn't hurt that Tate is a very accurate, very consistent pitcher and a really mellow guy."

"It's all about being tolerant," said Kate Streett, an outfielder. "Tate's all about the game when he's out there, and he can get excited. Beth just listens and then asks him, `Are you done?' and that's it. There's never any hard feelings."

"My friends observe our relationship and say, `I want that,'" said Beth Galloway, 40. "Tate and I are a lot alike, and yet we balance each other out, especially when it comes to our kids. I think things go more smoothly when we're working together, not apart."

The couple have three sons, whom Beth calls "the ball field kids" because they attend most of their parents' games. They are Storm, now 11, a sixth-grader at Mount View Middle School; Reed, 8, a third-grader at West Friendship Elementary; and Luke, 2.

The boys play several sports, said Beth, making Wednesday the only night when someone doesn't have to be at a practice or game. She and her husband also coach youth league sports.

"We definitely like being active," said Tate, "and we like setting a good example for our sons."

The couple's co-ed team has been playing in a county recreation and parks men's league this fall because "it's been more competitive, and we got a better workout before the nationals," Beth said.

"This doesn't mean that all of the men on other teams approved of women players, though," she added. "Some of them think we ladies can't hit hard enough. But that's OK. We could deal with it."

"Everybody on the team gets along really well," said Megan Nies, who joined the Uncoachables this year. Nies' sons attend school with the two older Galloway boys and are in the same grades. "I knew coming in that they could really play ball."

As the seventh inning began, the Uncoachables saw the most action of the evening, knocking out nine hits.

"At least we're providing a little excitement now," Tate said, obviously pleased with the turn of events. Then Beth wandered over and said the same thing, almost word for word.

"I'm told that we're even starting to think alike," she said. "Now that would be a scary thought." After thinking that over for a second, she added, "You know what, though? That would be OK. I'll take it." She then gave her husband a high five.

Tate wasn't sure what he and his male teammates might do before the tournament this year to get "pumped up," but he said they have indulged in their share of pre-game antics in the past.

"One year, we all grew goatees in time for the nationals, and once we all shaved off our hair down to a quarter-inch and then bleached it blond," he said.

"Playing sports is all about stress relief, especially as you get older. Doing all this stuff makes you feel young, and whether you hit, kick or shoot a ball, it's the best therapy in the world."

It was the bottom of the seventh, and the Uncoachables were hoping to hold on to a one-run lead. But soon their opponents sent two runners home, beating them, 10-9.

"That's OK, that's OK," Tate called to his teammates within earshot. "Shake it off."

The pitcher and the catcher headed off to round up "the ball field kids" for a 10-minute break before heading back out on the field, together, for the second game of the doubleheader.

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