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I’m struggling to stay calm on third base. I feel a warm bead of sweat trickle down my forehead. After being last up at bat and battling with foul balls, I am a little wary. I can feel the sweat passing my eyebrows now; just barely coming around my eyelids. Our pitcher, Jennifer, has pitched two strikes and one ball. The entire inner field is cheering her on to strike the opposing player out, but to me, it’s oblivious. I watch her movement and as soon as she releases the ball from her hip, I put my glove in the dirt and get ready incase the batter hits the ball right to me, but usually the way Jennifer pitches, no one even gets a hit.
“Heyyyy Batter, Batter, Batttttteeeeerrrrr,” the in field chants. In a weird way, I sort of feel bad for the poor girl. We are REALLY loud chatterers, so when it comes to going up against us while batting, you have to keep focus or else you’ll swing early or too late.
Then I hear the familiar swishing sound of the aluminum bat and the faint remembrance of the medium sounding ding when the softball hits the bat.
Did I miss a play? I thought to myself as I look up from the dirt. Luckily, no. I hadn’t missed anything important. The batter fouled the pitch and threw me off. Hopefully, Kelly, our coach, didn’t see me fumble.
Unfortunately, she did. She glared at me and pointed at the batter which signaled for me to get my head in the game. I didn’t want to though. I was just too tired from the previous run… I had to focus though. I had to finish the game even if my body didn’t want to.
The batter hit the ball hard to our short stop, Lucy. I thought it would go straight through her feet, but she stopped it! First, First, First I thought to myself, but I didn’t know that I was actually screaming it aloud.
It was a little bit too late because the batter was safely placed on first base, chatting with her coach on how she was going to advance to second, then to third. That made me mad. We were already down by three runs and couldn’t afford to forfeit another. It wasn’t entirely our fault, but it wasn’t his fault either.
The blue, or referee, played a major role in the game as well. He called all of the strikes, called all of the outs, and made all of the judgment calls. It was seriously unfair and this blue was notorious for being an awful judgment maker. He followed some rules correctly and then some were WAY out of line. If a girl doesn’t slide at home and there’s a play there then it’s an out. There was a scenario just like that and he said she was safe when she just walked across the plate like it was no big deal.
This made me angry. I didn’t want her stepping on our home plate. I could see the smirk across her face as her first base coach was whispering something into her ear. Jennifer pitched the ball and the batter took of running. Nikki, our catcher, fumbled and I heard Jennifer say,” She’s already there, don’t throw.” I looked over to my left and saw that she was standing on second base huffing and puffing.
Great… This means that she’s coming to me. I could see her out of the corner of my eye getting set up. Her foot on the base and her hands set by her waist clenched in fists. The batter at the plate had a count of two balls and one strike. The only thing that was going through my mind was we have two outs and that we desperately needed Jennifer to pitch two more strikes.
Next pitch… She swung and connected with the ball, but fortunately for us it didn’t go very far. She started swinging a little bit too late which made it go in between first and second base. Kristy, our second baseman, got under the ball and threw it to Alicia as soon as the runner stepped onto first. I must’ve been to busy watching first because I heard the familiar breathing of the runner on second. She was now on third… Great… We now had a runner on third and first with two outs. I could see that Jennifer was getting discouraged and even Nikki was angry.
“Okay, so now that you’re here and we have two outs, I want you to get a really big lead,” the head coach said to the girl on third. Nikki must’ve heard because she was looking at me and nodding. I nodded back at her and I knew what I must do. Sweat was really beating on my forehead now as I watched Jennifer pitch probably the most important pitch of the game.
The next pitch was low, but Nikki stopped it with her legs. The runner on first ran to second, but the runner on third didn’t take a long enough stride down to third base. She was too late to slide into home so she had no choice, but to go back to third. Then I saw Nikki starting to line up for the throw to second. She started to throw and the runner on third started to move, but then Nikki held onto the ball. The runner froze in mid stance.
I had my glove up in the air screaming,” NIKKI!! HERE!!”
Nikki threw the ball and the runner dove into the dirt. I saw her crawling back to the base, but even she knew it was too late because I was already there with my glove on her back.
“OUT,” screamed the umpire.
A wave of relief came over me and I tossed the ball over to Jennifer. Exhausted, I jogged back into our dug-out ready to earn back those three runs.