E.L. Williams-official site
 
Any sports fans or former players will GREATLY appreciate this blog.  First let me set the stage.  It was a conference double header between cross town rivals that would decide the conference title.  Home needs to sweep to win the title.  Visitors with a split would win the title.  Last time they played, they split.  Visitors are ranked first in the state--mostly due to politics.  Home is ranked 12th in the state--mostly because no one respects their coach.  Home's starting lineup, the entire lineup, used to play for the parent of two of the Visitors players.  They no longer play together because that dad was a maniac that liked to talk about kids (11-12 year olds at this time) and call them vulgar names.  Home also has a player, one of the 9, that recently moved to Home's area from Visitor's area because of this same dad.  This player had tried to repeatedly give him the benefit of the doubt but eventually got fed up and missed her true friends.  So the tension couldn't have been any thicker.

Game one.  Bottom of 3rd inning.  Home's new player hits a solo homerun!  Home is up 1-0.  Bottom of the 4th inning, the Home's player that Visitor's coach said had a weak little hit during the last meeting, hits a solo homerun.  Home is up 2-0.  Top of the 5th, Visitor's go on a rally.  They score one and then their pitcher, a kid that is competing with Home's pitcher for a spot on a college team, hits a three run homer.  Visitors are up 4-2.  Bottom of the 7th, one out, Home's player that was told by the Visitor's dad that she couldn't hit well enough to play with him, hits a solo homerun.  Visitors still up 4-3.  Bottom of the 7th still with two outs and no one on.  First girl, walks.  Next girl, hits a shot to deep SS and beats the throw out at fist.  Next girl, walks.  Next girl, hits a shot to the 2nd base gap and scores the tying run.  Next girl, the newest player for Home's who hit a homerun early and has been swining like Mighty Casey, steps up to bat.  Everyone murmurs, I've never seen a walk off grand slam but we cheer for just a base hit.  First pitch--ball.  Well they cannot pitch around her or its game so they have to try to get her.  Next pitch, low and on the outside corner, the batter fouls it off.  Next pitch, high and inside, close to the zone but called a ball.  Next pitch, low and outside again for another foul ball.  2-2 count.  2 outs.  Bases loaded.  Next pitch, low and outside...SENT SAILING OVER THE RIGHT FIELD FENCE FOR A WALK OFF GRAND SLAM!  The crowd goes nuts, the moms are crying and the Visitor's team looks completely stunned!

Game two:  Visitors jump out to an early lead and are up 3-0 in the bottom of the 3rd.  The Home's girl that was told she couldn't hit well enough to play with the visitor's dad that hit a homerun in the first game gets up and hits another solo homerun.  Visitors still up 3-1.  4th inning Home strings together a few hits and scores another run.  Visitors still up 3-2.  Top of 5th, another rally by Visitors that scores 3 more runs.  Visitors up 6-2.  Top of 6th, visitors score one and are trying to rally when Home's centerfielder, a kid that was told by the Visitor's dad that she did not have a head for the game, guns the daughter of visitor's dad at the plate from deep center with a rocket to the Home's catcher who was told by visitor's dad that she wasn't good enough to catch.  The tag is easily placed, the girl is out and the inning ends.  Visitors up 7-2.  Top of 7th, visitors get a runner on who advances to 3rd on a completely bogus call by the umpire.  When the throw was made to 1st to get her out, it is high and goes into the dugout, they award her 3rd even though the rule states you get one base.  Next batter,  deep hit to center but the coach doesn't dare let another player get toasted at the plate so he holds her up.  Good thing because Visitor's centerfielder was ready to fire!  Home team gets out of it and goes to bat. 

First girl, the centerfielder, hits and beats the throw that goes into the dugout.  Does she get 3rd?  No.  They let her stay on 2nd even though it was identical to what just happened.  What could you do?  Next kid hits a shot to 3rd that bounces off her shoe and makes it too hard for SS to field and make a play.  Next girl (the one with two homeruns in game one) gets pitched inside and she sends it to the left field fence.  It hit the corner of the fence.  Home's centerfielder easily scores.  With runners on third and second the umpire comes in and calls the girl on second out.  Everyone was confused, there was no play made on the girl at second.  The umpires confer and say the batter passed the girl on first and is therefore out.  She did NOT pass the lead runner but what can you do?  One out.  Score is 7-3, runner on 3rd and a very angry crowd.  Next batter, the catcher, hits a shot to left field.  They LF throws home but that runner scores so they throw to 2nd to stop the other batter from advancing.  That runner, rounded first and went back to first as the SS throws to the 1st baseman.  The girl lowers her shoulder and tackles the runner to push her down and off the base with the ball.  They call the runner out.  The crowd goes ballistic because she was tackled!  But again, what can you do? The score is now 7-4 with two outs.  Next girl, the kid that hit a homerun in the first and second game, hits a shot to left field and gets to 2nd.  Next batter, a kid that was told by visitor's coach that she was too little to play, gets walked.  Runner on 1st & 2nd with two outs.  Next batter, the pitcher, gets up and hits a high pop fly to center field.  Drop it, drop it, drop it, we all whisper as our runners run and somehow SHE DROPPED IT!  This kid is practically a golden glove in the OF but she dropped it.  Runners on third and first.  Two outs.  7-5.  Next batter, the girl that was told she had a weak little hit, gets up.  Rips one to right field.  Both runners score and she advances to third on a play at home.  TIED GAME! 

Two outs. Winning run on first and Home's lead off batter, my daughter, is up to bat.  She walks up to her coach as the visiting team confers about what to do.  As she approaches the coach she is ear-to-ear smile.  "I feel really good coach."  She says.  Coach said then do your thing.  My kid is a natural lefty that hits well, bunts well and slaps.  Her first three at bats she went deep so the OF is back deep but they know she can drop a bunt or slap with the best of them so the infield is in a little tight.  LOTS of green between the OF and infield.  First pitch, low and outside for a ball.  Next pitch, fouled off straight back.  Next pitch, low and outside for another ball.  Next pitch, fouled off out of play.  Next pitch, fouled off again out of play and nearly hits the visitor's dad!  Mom is a nervous wreck, our entire bleacher and fan section is on their feet clapping in unison and yelling her name...well her nickname.  "C'mon V!  Let's go V!  You got this V!"  Can probably be heard for miles...well at least for blocks.  Next pitch--hard fast shot to no man's land in left field and the winning run easily scores!  The place goes nuts!!!!!!!

Home managed to get two come from behind with two out victories over their rivals Visitor!  You could NOT ask for a better night of ball and everyone, including some neutral fans that just came to watch what would undoubtedly be a good game, said it was the best night of softball they have ever seen!  I somehow managed to bruise my legs during the hoopla. I think when I was jumping up and down on the bleachers, I was hitting my legs on my bleacher seat but in the heat of the moment, that did not matter.

Bruised, hoarse and tired but still buzzing with excitement from watching my kid and kids I have known most of their life perform is AMAZING!  It is hard for me to even express how I feel.  All I can say is OUTSTANDING!  It was a magical night, a night that will live on in Home infamy as the night they came back TWICE with two outs to sweep their cross town rivals and take the conference title!  Known forever in Home history simply as THE NIGHT.  Where were you?

Thought of the day:
Sure winning isn't everything but it certainly is more fun than losing!

Strivng forward,
~E
 


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