Holland Memorial Day Bash

May 28, 2011
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I stood by field two at Liberty Park, waiting for our semifinal game to start. The air was warm and humid around me, and my blonde hair stuck up randomly from my games earlier in the day. Olivia was sitting by my side talking to me, but I wasn't listening. The only thing I could focus on was our next game.

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We had always beaten this team, but never like this. It was the second inning, and the score was 5-1. I stepped into the left-hand batter's box and squared around to bunt, outsmarting the defense, who thought I was about to pull it back and slap. That reaction always gave me flashbacks of the day that I had pulled the bunt back and slapped it in the gap to win the game, and the tournament. But this time, I left my bat in front of the plate, dropping the ball five feet in front of the white pentagon. A perfect bunt. I beat the throw by two steps, as I should have, and Kelsey, our runner, sprinted in to score another run.

We were dominating, and were not about to stop. By the top of the fifth inning, the score was 9-3. “Oh my gosh, if we win this game, we're playing the older Klash team in the championship!” Olivia cried with sudden realization.

“So? we can hit Kayla, and if we hit her, we can win,” I replied. Kayla was the best ten-year-old pitcher in the state, throwing at a speed of about fifty miles an hour. We snapped our heads back to the field and watched our sixth hitter, Larissa, strike out. I grabbed my glove and game face and ran out to second base, kicking the dirt to smooth it out.

We got the first two outs easily. Then, the Elite's fifth hitter came up to bat. I noticed that she was left-handed, just like me. I also noticed a runner rocking back and forth on second base. If I catch the ball in the air, I'm going to pick her off, I thought. The idea of a double play made me excited, but maybe a little too excited. Our pitcher, Brooke, threw a beautiful pitch on the inside corner. Unfortunately, that was right in the batter's wheelhouse, and she hit a screaming line drive right at me. I had my glove right where the ball would be in a fraction of a second, the pink web lined up with the ball's red seams. Feeling confident that I would catch the ball, I moved my eyes to look at the runner, who was halfway to third base. Then it was black.

When I opened my eyes, the ball was in our shortstop's hand, and my dad was already on the field. “Call time!” the umpire yelled at my father.

“Call time. . .” I had blacked out again. This time when I woke up, I saw five people staring down at me. My dad, my head coach, the two coaches of the other team, and the coach of another team who liked my dad and I and had been standing close by. My dad picked me up and carried me across the field to the wooded area outside the dugout. I sat down on the soft grass as the game continued, wishing I could go home and suffer in the comfort of my warm, cozy house where I had become the person I was. After a moment, my mother helped me to my feet and out to the car so we could go to the hospital.

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I lay on the white bed in the hospital with a large bag of ice resting on my forehead. I urged the little clock on one of the white tables to slow down, hoping against hope that I would be able to play in the championship game, even with my instability. One thing I noticed was that everything was white. Soon, I was taken to another room for a CAT scan.

Meanwhile, back at the fields, my team was sad. They were in the championship, yes, but they didn't have me, the spark that really got them excited to play. They filed back into the dugout to play against an older Klash team that always beat us.

“Let's do this for Genny!” Morgan, the smallest player on our team, yelled suddenly. The team agreed. It was decided, they were trying to win it all for me.

I learned that CAT scans are as boring as watching paint dry. The monotonous revolving of a little white bar around my head almost lulled me to sleep, my long blonde ponytail over my eyes.

When the doctor came back with the results of my CAT scan, I was informed that I did not have a concussion or any other serious injury, and could return to the field. He also told me that I couldn't play. That was what broke my heart. I felt just fine, but I guess the giant lump on my head portrayed a different feeling. I looked at the clock, and realized that the game was almost over anyway. We thanked the doctor and checked out of the hospital to go back to the fields.

When I arrived, time slowed down. The only thing I could see was Olivia's face as she and the rest of the team ran toward me, and I became dizzy just being around all of their ecstatic spirits. They all came and hugged me, smiling and talking about the game I'd missed. Although they didn't mean to, they pulled my messy blonde hair to the point of pain. I smiled back halfheartedly, struggling to support their weight with my skinny arms and legs as they rested on top of me. Just now I realized how exhausted I was from the long day.

I stood by field two at Liberty Park, waiting for our medals to arrive. The air was warm and humid around me, and my blonde hair stuck up randomly from my games earlier in the day. Olivia was sitting by my side explaining the championship game to me. They had lost 5-2, but it had been a very good game. But I wasn't listening to her. I was thinking about the lump on my head and how much I didn't want to go to school the next day.





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