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When the Ball Went Over the Fence
Invocation of Muse
Oh great Demarini, guide us on the remembrance of that day,
A bright, humid Saturday in May,
When the team stood on a field of grass and dirt,
With sweat gently dripping down their shirt.
Playing a team that stood as their top rival,
With aluminum bats, and a bright yellow ball.
Oh muse help us recall these past events,
When a player hit the ball over the fence.
Denise Steps Up
Number 27 was up to bat,
With her dark green shirt and dark green hat.
The pitcher stood on the mound, tall and fierce,
With a glare that could easily penetrate and pierce.
Ball in her glove she started her windup,
And in the catcher’s mitt the ball did stop.
The umpire dressed in gray and blue,
Called behind the plate,
“That’s strike two!”
Number 27’s team was called the Storm,
Versing a team that went by the name of the Pride.
The girl in the dark green shirt had come to decide,
She had to hit this ball,
They had to score 3 to have tied.
With only 2 outs left in the bottom of the last inning,
The ball came in and she took a mighty swing.
As the ball connected with the bat, there was a crack as loud as thunder.
And the ball flew as quickly as a plane, continuing to soar.
The ball leapt higher and higher in the bright blue sky,
All the way up to the point where the birds fly.
The fence was a mere 6-foot-high chain-linked fence,
And in stopping the ball, didn’t stand a chance.
The ball cleared the top of it by an extra 20 feet,
Causing all the players on the bench to get up off their seat.
The Storm now only needed 2 more runs to tie,
But when coach reached for another ball in his bucket,
There was none left, who could have thunk it?
All 24 of the players from both teams watched in dismay,
As the ball that cleared the fence continued to roll away.
Without it they wouldn’t be able to continue to play.
The coach of the Storm then spoke to number 27, whose name was Denise.
He spoke quickly in a stressed, worried tone, but with peace.
What could be done to solve this catastrophe?
Without the ball, the end of the game they would not see.
So she stood before the players,
Her blonde hair under the sunlight shone like gold,
And the slight rip in the knee of her pants made her look fierce and bold.
She spoke with calm, steady words,
As she volunteered to go off on the journey to retrieve the ball.
She promised to run with all her might,
But she had to hurry now before the ball was out of sight.
There was nothing left to say,
So with a quick wave she was on her way.
The bright yellow ball was now just a mere speck,
It kept rolling farther than one would expect.
Denise was a fantastic runner with high agility and speed,
As she continued sprinting to accomplish this deed.
She was now within 10 feet of the ball it approached the downward slope of a hill.
Then started an immense laughter, alternating low and shrill.
The villainous goddess, Hilda, came to possess this hill which taunted her,
Of Denise’s failure Hilda was sure.
For when the ball reached the top of the upward peak,
It began its downhill roll, slow then quick.
It was gaining miraculous speed,
Refusing to heed.
Sure to overcome the goddess’s challenge, a look of determination now came over Denise’s face,
She knew she had to win this race.
Her strides lengthened and her steps were rapid.
She had soon caught up with the ball, but she was wise,
And had a plan already devised.
Upon reaching the bottom of the slope,
The ball would be hers, she hoped.
She waited there crouched as if preparing for a groundball.
She scooped it up just like in practice with no difficulty at all.
The Stray Dog
Filled with relief she took a moment to catch her breath,
As she stood there with her hands on her knees,
She heard a loud barking and decided to freeze.
A mammoth gray bloodhound was crouched in front of her with teeth barred.
Shivers ran up her spine and out of her mind she was scared.
Remembering the red-stitched ball in her hand,
An idea she already planned.
With the softball in her palm she gripped it with her fingers and raised it above her head.
The dog’s obvious interest she had read,
As it started to intensely wag its tail.
She couldn’t afford for this idea to fail.
Denise released her grip of the ball letting it sail to a nearby tree.
The dog took off after it eagerly.
It rolled to a stop at the bottom of the trunk,
And the hound gripped it in its sharp teeth, crrrunk!
However, instead of returning to Denise with the ball,
It took off the other direction with no hesitation at all.
Panicked, Denise ran after it continuing to whistle,
But it kept running the opposite way quick as a missile.
She wanted to just give up and was filled with dread,
But kept pursuing the dog instead.
Eventually the gray bloodhound stopped at a bush and dropped the ball.
It had its front paws lined up on both sides, hovering protectively over it, daring all.
Remembering the sunflower seeds in her pant pocket, she commanded “Sit!”
To her surprise the dog crouched down on its hind legs and sat.
Next she commanded, “Roll over!”
And the dog lay on its side and rolled over.
With it tongue hanging out of its mouth, panting,
It looked up expectantly at Denise.
She reached into her pocket and pulled out the seeds.
The gray bloodhound continued to heed.
Denise dropped the seeds before the dog, picked up the ball, and cautiously backed away.
She didn’t have any time left to watch and stay.
Which Way to Go
Now that she had gained repossession of the ball,
Denise had no idea where she was at all.
So she stood there brave and tall,
And called upon the god Gillian the guide,
Since which way she couldn’t decide.
She looked up toward the sky whispering words of praise,
Asking him to give her direction to her desired place of cheering craze.
Hearing her plea, Gillian took the dandelions scattered around her,
And directed them into a path, intended for her to follow.
Grateful, Denise took off following the path at a miraculous sprint with her breath shallow,
But she persisted running, excited to be so close to getting back to the game.
And upon a wide road she came.
Squinting into the distance,
She could see the faint outline of the field, and fought the resistance,
To stop and rest,
Knowing she was being put to the test.
Beware of Loose Gravel and Gutters
Loose chunks of gravel coated the road,
And upon taking an unsteady stride on an unsteady piece,
Denise stumbled to her knees,
The softball came loose from her grasp.
As it began rolling away, she let out a gasp.
Before she could get back on her feet,
The bright yellow ball faded into the shadows as it slipped into a gutter on the side of the street.
Pangs of guilt inside her began to explode.
The stress of it all made her want to implode.
The god of the earth, Earl, felt her salty tears drop on the pavement,
And deciding to assist her,
The ground around the gutter began to rumble and stir.
Cracks spread and chunks of cement fell through,
Creating an opening by the gutter, big enough for Denise to go through.
Feeling the vibrations of the earth,
She pondered how she would show her worth.
She looked up and knew what she had to do,
There it was, the clue.
Looking at the darkness from below as in shades of black and gray it swirled,
She knew she had to travel to the so-called underworld.
The World under the Ground
When her feet finally reached steady ground on her climb down,
The musty smell that filled Denise’s nostrils caused her to frown.
Aware it was too dark to see anything,
With only the opening in the ground above letting the light in,
She knew she’d have to feel around to find the ball hidden within.
Down on her hands and knees, number 27 began to feel around,
It was so quiet the only thing she could hear was her heart pound.
Eventually her fingers clasped around a solid round object,
This she would not allow her fingers to reject.
So she raised it to the faint ray of light above,
Still holding it tightly in her batting glove,
To find that yes, it was the softball she had found,
Deep, deep in the underground!
She began her steady climb back up the steep opening,
Using her incredible arm strength to help her swing,
One leg on to the top,
She assured herself the ball would not drop.
Then hoisted the rest of herself up.
The light from the slightly setting sun,
Caused her to realize how long she’d been gone and started to run.
Reaching the Finish Line
With the dandelions still there creating a path for her,
There was no time to linger.
She continued following the path until she reached the very fence the ball was hit over hours ago.
One of the players from her team spotted her and shouted, “Go Denise, you go!”
Pretty soon a chorus of voices was joyfully chanting “Denise! Denise!”
Her coach as well as the other team’s coach she sure did please.
Players from both teams were patting her on the back,
But she said they should probably finish the game before the sky got too black.
So Denise handed the ball to the Pride’s pitcher,
She definitely was not a belly-itcher.
She was tall and fierce,
With looks that could pierce.
She took her place on the mound to resume the game.
The Storm still needed two more runs to tie all the same.
So the next batter in the lineup, number 38,
Took her stance at the plate.
With nobody on base, she hit a double,
Then the next batter a triple, with no trouble.
Followed by that, there was hit a solid single.
The crowd began to sense a tingle.
The runner on third scored and there was a runner left on first base.
The Storm had now tied, and to win needed to keep up the pace.
The pitcher appeared tired and a look of frustration came over her face.
Her next pitch was a nasty curve, which the batter did chase.
The batter reached for the pitch, and when the bat connected with the ball,
A fielder caught it, never having a chance to fall.
That was the second out of the bottom of the last inning,
And the Storm still had a chance left of winning.
So little itty bitty number 7 was next to bat,
With her oversized dark green shirt and dark green hat.
The pitcher with a smirk,
Wiped the sweat off her face with her shirt.
The batter’s small stature had fooled her,
And of going into extra innings she was sure.
So, as she let go of a nice fat pitch straight down the middle,
Number 7 took a mighty swing despite being so little,
There wasn’t much of a sound when the ball connected with the bat,
The crowd in awe yelled, “Imagine that!”
The ball sailed up high toward the fence, but didn’t quite clear the top.
It bounced a few feet in front of it and came to a stop.
The left fielder took off running to make the play,
As the runners continued to run around the bases, for there was no time to stay.
The runner who was originally on first was now turning the corner of third.
“She must score!” The crowd was heard.
The fielder picked up the ball and was throwing it into home.
Her fielding skills were very honed.
It was now a race between the runner and the bright yellow ball,
The game depended on this all.
The runner dove into home just before the ball reached the catcher’s mitt,
The umpire called “Safe!” And for the game, that was it.
The players of the Storm shouted and cheered,
The celebrations of the players and fans were mirrored.
But every player and fan there that night knew,
To Denise, they owed it all to,
Who had undertook all these challenging events,
Just to retrieve the ball that was hit over the fence.