Earning Varsity This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
The rain started to fall ever so lightly, a few drops here and there. The seventh inning had just started, and we were up at bat. The score was 6-9. We needed four runs to win. The only problem: there were two outs, bases loaded. Of all people, I was up next.

Tonight’s game was only my third on varsity – I started the season on JV. I’d worked hard at practice to show my coach how much I wanted to be on varsity, but I wasn’t ready for a game like this. The opponents’ pitcher didn’t always throw well, but even so, my confidence was slipping. Chills raced through my body.

“Batter’s up,” yelled the ump. I’ll give it my best, I thought, stepping up to the plate. The field was already filling with mud. My cleats stuck with every step. My concentration wavered. I couldn’t even hear myself think. People cheered in the stands, and my teammates were yelling in the dugout.

I gave my coach a quick look. She nodded and gave a thumbs up. I took a deep breath and positioned myself in the hitting stance. The pitcher threw the ball. Without telling my body what to do, I swung. The vibration from the bat hitting the ball went through my entire body, and the ball flew toward the left fielder. Please don’t catch it. Please don’t. We need this hit.

On first base, I waited to see if the left fielder would catch the ball. I wanted to scream, “Don’t catch it! Please, just this once!” Well, my wish came true. It soared over her head and hit the fence. I ran to second, and while rounding the base, I glanced at the outfielder to make sure she was still running for the ball. I looked at my coach, who indicated I should run to third. Once there, she told me to stay.

I felt exhausted and happy. Coach gave me a high-five and said how proud she was. Everyone was cheering. I could hear my teammates screaming. My hit sent everyone home, and we were tied. My teammate stepped up to the plate. All I had to do was touch home to take the lead.

The pitcher released the ball and I led off. The hitter slugged the ball to right field. I ran with all my might and made it home safely. The dugout went absolutely wild. Everyone congratulated me and told me “Nice hit!”

Another girl hit, but it was caught. We had to play ­defense now. Heading out to right field, I reminded myself, All we need is to get three outs. It’s not that hard. We can hold them. Our pitcher was throwing well. She struck out the first two batters. Then it really started raining. It wasn’t the little drizzle that felt like sweat falling from your forehead. The drops stung your skin, but the game would continue since there was no lightning.

I placed myself in the athletic stance, ready for the girl to hit. Two pitches went by, both strikes. All our pitcher had to do was deliver one more strike and the game would be over. But the batter hit the next ball, and it came directly toward me! I started to run up, but the ball was too far for me to catch it easily. The second baseman couldn’t get to it either and started yelling my name. That’s when I realized I had to catch the ball. The game would be lost if I didn’t. There was no other hope but for me to dive and hopefully catch it.

I slammed into the now-muddy field, my body covered from head to toe. I sat up and with hesitation looked into my glove. There sat the ball. I raised my glove to show that I had caught it. I stood as the ump called the girl out. It was astonishing. The game had ended and we had won.

Back in the dugout, Coach slapped me on the back and told me I had done an excellent job. The bus ride home was filled with excitement and craziness. It felt like being the State Champions.

On the bus, Coach wanted to talk to me. “Sammy, I just wanted to let you know that you played great softball today. I’m really glad that I pulled you up to varsity. I wanted to let you know that you will be the starting right fielder for the rest of the season. Play like you did tonight and you’ll be fine. Now, get back there and have fun.”

That made my entire night. Not only did I have two tremendous plays, but I showed myself that I could do anything I put my mind to. It felt great knowing that I would be starting right field for the rest of the season. That game was the best softball I’ve ever played. It felt awesome to lead my team to victory. The best part was I proved to my coach that I deserved to be on varsity. The rest of the season turned out well, and I will never forget that game for as long as I live.

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 3 comments. Post your own now!

Alexbabee said...
Oct. 29, 2009 at 9:57 am
Nice job!!
you did a really great job of creating visual images!
I felt like I was there, and I know what it feels like.
 
AuntJessi said...
Oct. 17, 2008 at 9:32 pm
Great job Sammi! I loved it. You have a great talent for writing. It makes me sad I missed seeing it, but you wrote so well it feels like I was there. Keep writing, and keep remembering that you can do anything you put your mind to.
 
Toast said...
Oct. 15, 2008 at 3:46 pm
Very good article! Nice Work Sammy!!
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback