Summer Diamond Girl This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   How many people can spend their summers getting down and dirty with some of theirbest friends? I do, and I love every minute of it! For years, my summers havebeen spent on softball diamonds around the United States.

When I was tenyears old and just four feet tall, my mother put a glove in my hand and sent meoff to play with the big girls. My life hasn't been the same since. I've spenthours at catching clinics, pitching clinics and hitting clinics. I've broken twofingers on the same hand in two summers. I've been hit by pitches, line drivesand bats. I've had the sun glaring in my eyes, dust swirling in my mouth, rainpelting my head, and water pooling around my feet. And I wouldn't trade it foranything.

I am a summer diamond girl. I play the game because I love it. Igive up the beach, the mall, the movies or just hanging out. I play against girlswho are in college to help me improve. I sleep in dilapidated motels withfunky-smelling rooms in the middle of nowhere because that's where the tournamentis. I travel 200 miles to play a Saturday game at eight in the morning becausethat's the schedule. I have a 9 p.m. curfew because that's my coach's rule. I doeverything I can to improve because I don't want to ride the bench. I live forsoftball.

Summer diamond girls are a breed apart. You know us when you seeus - we're stronger than most girls and have more fight in us. We never give upand we never give in. We hold our heads high, as well as our bats. We keep ourgloves down, and our butts, too. We cheer each other on because there is no"I" in "team." We excel at what we do because we work harderthan other people. We are summer diamond girls.

Most of us don't have asteady boyfriend; we don't have time. How does a boy understand that I wouldrather play softball than hang out with him? Or that the most important man in mylife is my coach? Or just as I would never ask him to miss a game to spend timewith me, neither should he ask me to do the same? Because I am a summer diamondgirl.

We don't sing "Take me out to the ball game." But sing wedo: "Hit it for me, baby, hit it, hit, hit, hit it." In our repertoireare 20 cheers. One of the joys of traveling around the country is hearing a newcheer, bringing it home and adapting it to our team. Also high on the list ismeeting new friends and visiting interesting places.

When I was 12, myteam traveled to Orlando, Florida where we won the Walt Disney World Wide Worldof Sports Thanksgivingfest Tournament. We competed against teams that practicedyear round, while our glorious New England weather limits us to six months ofoutside ball, at best.

Last year, my team went to Virginia in the middleof July to compete in the PONY Nationals. Although we suffered some injuries andhad a very disappointing tournament, we grew as a team. We also had theexperience of pin-trading for the first time. The kids liked it, but for some ofthe parents (including my mother), it became an obsession. The pins I collectedare attached to a souvenir towel and have a prominent place in my room. A specialsmile crosses

my face when I see them. They remind me that I am a summerdiamond girl.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 50 comments. Post your own now!

Poopy said...
Nov. 6, 2016 at 8:25 pm
It's ok...
lolaaaaaa78 said...
Jun. 11, 2014 at 12:03 pm
hello im new to this my name is lolaa <33 ;)  
HarryP. replied...
Feb. 18, 2015 at 10:55 am
Hi lolaa i'm Harryp.
ummmmm said...
May 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm
My first thought was that the title is just great!! It attracted me to read. I am in softball team so I understood the feelings of loving the softball. I liked the sentence, “I am a summer diamond girl” It repeats many times so I feel that being a summer diamond girl is very special for the author.  My coach always tells us not to beat ourselves, and the author also said that they never give up or give in, so they could win. I agree to the statement so that when one of the pla... (more »)
derp said...
Apr. 23, 2014 at 8:04 am
i likedit  
harry potter said...
Apr. 29, 2013 at 4:41 pm
It was all right.  I know it's educational (somehow) because it is in my communication arts textbook.
Bloojay 47 said...
Oct. 30, 2012 at 11:11 am
It was great.
Dominik C. said...
Oct. 11, 2012 at 10:04 am
cool i like it
Bloojay 47 replied...
Oct. 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm
I like it to
kroopy said...
Sept. 6, 2012 at 6:57 pm
thats a really great story!!!!!!!!!!!
1qwerasdewqasdeeeq said...
Aug. 25, 2012 at 6:20 am
bubba said...
May 10, 2012 at 10:59 am
well it was alright but it had a lot of words that were atached to each outher.
sallysunshine said...
Apr. 30, 2012 at 7:55 am
cool story
latoyainmon21 said...
Mar. 13, 2012 at 9:34 am
i liked this story it was very interesting and enjoying to read not like most short stories!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
lane863shinny replied...
Apr. 24, 2012 at 1:00 pm
its a goood story i agree
123dontmesswithme said...
Dec. 2, 2011 at 8:31 am
hey people whats up new friends
Un1qu3 said...
Oct. 12, 2011 at 10:30 am
i love the story it reminds me of myself when i used to play softball when i was 12. it used to be so fun until they fired my coach thats when i quite. i quite because the new coach wass o rude that she yelled at us for no reason. but im planning to get back in it.
bambie212 said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 9:37 am
there was alot of run on words and very confusing but good story
AshKat98 said...
Sept. 28, 2011 at 3:01 pm
I play softball to, and i understand completely where you are coming from... I feel the same way about the game! This was a very inspiring piece! <3 softball 4ever!
mrs.washington said...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 8:33 am
it was okay
Site Feedback