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Batter Up This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   It was the bottomof the seventh; three more outs and we would be the all-county champions.Although it hadn't been easy, we'd been playing a great game.

All thepressure was on me. We were up by one and I was on the mound. I took a deepbreath and inhaled the cool night air. My coach came out for a little pep talk,then placed the softball in my glove and gave me a pat on the back, saying,"Go get 'em!"

The first ball was outside, ball one. My secondpitch, ball two. I had fallen behind in the count. What was I going to do? Thetying run was on second base. I focused on nothing but the batter and thecatcher. The pressure was unbelievable. The game was in my hands. I took my time,got settled and signaled to the catcher that I was ready. Strike one. It occurredto me that the other team had the take signal on - they were not going to swing.I got the feeling this would be a good time to throw my change-up. I was right;the batter was behind on her swing and it was strike two. One strike to go andthe game would be ours.

As I released the ball and watched it make its waytoward the plate; I was positive it would be strike three. I waswrong.

The batter swung and hit a line drive into left field. The leftfielder ran and fielded the ball as fast as she could. I saw the runner roundingthe bases trying to get home. I caught my teammate's unbelievable throw and setup for a tag out at home plate. The bleachers went silent. The game seemed tostop. Everyone anticipated the delayed call from the umpire, who finally shouted,"She's out!" It was five to four.

We'd won. My teammates ran outto the field to hug me. I crashed to the ground and everyone fell on top of me.The other team was slowly making their way off the field. As we lined up to shakehands, a blast of cold air hit my face. I looked to the bleachers and thefamilies standing half-frozen - the hot chocolate and tea must have been a bighit at the snack bar.

Although the game was not an easy one, we came outwinners. I was proud of every player, and that feeling was very evident in theexpressions on our coaches' faces, too. We could now say we were champions. Itwas truly a game to remember.




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





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