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By a Landslide
In the fall, students gather in the cold to watch the exciting football games. And in January, basketball season makes people fill with excitement. While in the spring, lacrosse occupies everyone’s mind. But for me, I only pay attention to one sport: softball. Softball is exciting, adrenaline-pumping and just plain fun.
The way I feel when I’m in my catcher’s gear, walking up to the plate, is indescribable. Even in April, I’m sweating under the sun, wearing thick, black gear. The helmet messes up my French braid and gives me frizzy hair, but it’s worth it. I push the glove farther onto my hand until each finger is stuck in the glove. I center myself behind the plate and squat, looking straight into Ari’s eyes as she throws her first warm-up pitch. And one more pitch after that.
“Balls in, coming down!” I yell to no one in particular. This time I’m only half squatting with my butt in the air. I’m already taking a step to throw before the ball hits my glove. Once I feel it hit my hand, I straighten my back and launch it into the air. Within 1 second, it’s in Brin’s hand down at 2nd base. “Nice throw!” someone yells as the umpire yells “batter up!”
The first batter is blonde and skinny. She probably runs really fast, faster than me. And she’s probably a 2nd baseman, since she’s so short. She takes two practice swings and looks to her coach on 3rd base. He gives her a signal. There’s a 90% chance it was the bunt signal. Just to freak her out, I yell to my team, “watch for the bunt”. Just as she steps up to the plate, she gives me a glare through her helmet.
Her bat is straight in the air and her toes are the only things touching the ground. I get into my squat and look to my coach. He gives me a 3, code for a drop. And I give it to Ari just as I punch the inside of my glove and get into my half-squat, ready to retrieve the bunt she puts down.
The drop comes right to me, but not before she, as I thought, bunts it. The ball goes straight to Brittany. She bear-hands it, and practically side-arms it to Kate at 1st base. Out by a land slide. And yes, this girl was fast.
The next girl gets up, and she strikes out, 1-2-3, without even swinging. Batter number 3 gets a hit out to Sofia in center field, but Sofia, also known as spider-legs, gets under the ball within 3 seconds and catches it, like she’s been catching balls since she was born.
I get back to the dugout and take a glance at the other team. The coach is pissed and the girls are let down. One of the best teams in the state is already being beat by an underdog team. And it’s time for me to kick their asses even more because I’m first up.
I put on the too-small eggplant-colored helmet. Once again, my hair probably looks disgusting under the helmet. My bat is waiting on the fence for me as I slip on my lime green batting gloves. I stand on the side, practicing my swings as the pitches go to the catcher. I look to second base, and it’s the 1st batter. She kept looking at me, with a nasty expression.
I walk up to the box and take two practice swings while looking at my coach. He gives a fake bunt signal, but the catcher takes that as a real bunt, so she yells, “watch for the bunt!” Little does she know.
I immediately put the bat out to bunt, and the 1st and 3rd basemen run in just as I pull the bat back to hit the ball. It’s a perfect pitch, but probably a screw. I keep my eye on it and send it sailing into the outfield. The left fielder isn’t able to get to it in time and I get a double. My girls in the dugout are cheering, and I’m already winning this game.
Brin is next up, and hits one right to 3rd base. The girl hardly glances at me as she throws it to 1st base, and I take off, even though my coach is screaming at me to get back. Too late now. I slide in just as the 3rd baseman is receiving the ball from the 1st baseman.
Safe, by a landslide.
Then Sofia is up next, but she strikes out. Along with spider-legs, she is also known as Babe Ruth. She may strike out more than the amount of homeruns she has, which is quite a few. And then Ari is up. She hits one to the right fielder, perfect enough for me to make my escape to home.
Once again, safe by a landslide.
Unfortunately, Ari is out, but we have a run, and I know the other team will never catch up to us. Kate gets up and hits a line drive straight to the pitcher. Out, by a landslide.
The score is 1-0. After 6 more long innings, the score is exactly the same. And the best team in the state is defeated. The 1st batter/2nd baseman is crying, but trying to hide it as we line up to give high-fives.
Softball my senior year was probably the best experience I’ve ever had, by a landslide.