For it’s one, two, three strikes – you’re out! …

18 Jul

The sun was glaring down mercilessly onto the incandescent perfectly groomed green field below.  Surrounded on three sides by an old metal chain link fence and bordered on the other by a tidy dirt baseball diamond, this field alone holds potential for hours of joy each summer day.  Fanned out in the grassy outfield are four young women half-crouched in a pose with one foot in front of the other, prepared to move if needed.  Their perception of the action is somewhat muted due to distance.  They only hear the faint shouts of the other players calling out how many outs there are and which base the play is at.

There is significantly more commotion to be heard within the infield from the coaches in each dugout nervously shouting commands to the umpire dusting off home plate to the energetic spectators laughing and joyously cheering in between plays.  The five women spaced out among the bases hunch forward, elbows on their knees and gloves positioned in front of them as they gaze at their pitcher and wait for her to begin the action by delivering the ball to the next batter.  She methodically kicks the loose dirt around the mound and lightly flips the softball up and down with her right hand as she waits for the player slated to bat leaves the visitor’s dugout to head to the plate.

Meanwhile, the appointed woman from the rival team rises off the worn wooden bench and walks forward to the equipment leaning up against opposite side of the dugout.  She takes a deep breath while leaning down to select a scratched up red helmet and places it snugly atop her head.  Then, she snatches up her favorite aluminum Louisville Slugger with its familiar rubber grip and begins the short stride to the batter’s box.  Digging her cleated toes into the packed ground and lowering her body to a perfect stance with her legs shoulder width apart and knees bent to almost a ninety degree angle, she lifts the bat to her right shoulder and poises herself for the first pitch.  Watching the pitcher wind up her arm and release the ball at her hip, the batter sees it coming and instinctively steps with her left foot and begins the motion of swinging the bat around.  She holds herself back, though, when she realizes that the placement of the pitch is a bit high and outside.  “Ball one,” the umpire calls.  Relieved, the woman resets herself and takes two practice swings while the catcher rises from her spot behind the plate to return the ball to the pitcher.

The next pitch comes in high as well, the batter finds out as she swings and misses.  The third pitch zooms in closer to the strike zone as the batter makes contact and sends the ball whizzing down the third base line just into foul territory and barely missing the third base coach as he jumps out of the way.  More commotion occurs now as the ball is once again returned to the pitcher – cheering from the fielding team and encouragement from the team at bat.  Now, the woman at the plate is more than determined to crush the ball and furrowing her brow and crouching in her stance once more she knows that this is it.  This time, the pitcher sends the ball directly over the plate in what is the perfect pitch and at the exact right time, the batter powerfully swings the bat around and makes total contact with the ball, causing a resounding “ping” sound from the aluminum echo as the ball soars through the infield between short stop and third base.  The woman batting now takes off in an exhiliarating sprint to first base knowing that she again has jump started the action of the game and has set the pace for her successor to come up to bat.

Task:  Outline a sports story.  Tap into the tension and concentration of a critical moment through detailed description.

What I learned:  I already knew going into this exercise that writing about softball would be easy for me since it is my favorite sport (softball/baseball).  While I believe I captured some of the excitement of the ballpark, I feel that there are some aspects I left out.  And, at some point, I feel that it would probably benefit me to try to write from the perspective of another sport that I like as well to try to challenge myself more.

2 Responses to “For it’s one, two, three strikes – you’re out! …”

  1. hubby July 18, 2011 at 11:34 pm #

    I think that was great babe! If you want a suggestion for a diffrent sport to write about, I’ll be happy to take you to a Ravens game for research……:-)


  1. Ultimate Blog Party 2012! « stickynotequeen - April 16, 2012

    […] For It’s One, Two, Three Strikes; You’re Out! […]

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