Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It Wasn't Her First

Yet it was just as satisfying.

The Batavia Heat went to Winfield to take on the mighty Winfield Cubs. We're talking David versus Goliath; we are talking first place versus last place; the tortoise and the hare.

You get the point.

No one expected it to be a great battle, and it surely didn't start out as one, as the Heat came up to bat first, and promptly went to the field. There were no runs scored by the Heat in that first inning, by the way why they are named the 'Heat' is beyond me, especially since that is a professional BASKETBALL team, but I digress.

The Cubs came up to bat, and they promptly struck out the side - way to go Kaylee!

Heat came to bat in the second with an air of enthusiasm, and walked the first four batters, which means that last batter doesn't get her walk, but rather has the pressure of being pitch to by the coach. Okay, who am I kidding, the coach is more worried about "striking out" the girls, so much so, that they tend to under-pitch. A lot. That doesn't stop our girls though, as they score three runs.

The Cubs come up, and it's not the best of innings for the Heat, as the Cubs score seven, thanks to their coaches pitching better pitches to their girls, and maybe a few errors in the field by ours. Maybe.

The next two innings are relatively scoreless, as the Heat score three more and the Cubs score three, as well. So now we are sitting at a score of 10-6 Cubs. There are only two innings left and the pressure is mounting. Coaches are sweating out defensive assignments and the fact that they may have to pitch again, while the girls are, surprisingly, quiet. I say surprisingly, because normally they are all singing songs about "beating the ball" and "S-T-R... I-K-E, strike her out, 1, 2, 3."

So you just knew that the pressure was getting to them. Or maybe the cold, or maybe it was the fact that there was no cheerleader to get them going.

The Heat come up in the top of the fifth, and score five runs to take the lead 11-10. The Cubs have their second best pitcher, Cheyenne, on the mound. The Cubs hit a grounder back to the pitcher, and she throws it to first base, where the first baseman drops the ball. No fear, she reaches down and picks it up, and even tags the girl before she gets to the base. One out. Two walks later and they have girls on second and third. Cheyenne then strikes out the next two batters to end the fifth inning.

Top of the sixth and final inning proves to be exciting, yet non-productive, as we load the bases but can't get anyone home.

Final at-bats for the mighty, first place, Cubs. We have our best pitcher on the mound, and you can just feel the energy charging through the park. I think even the birds stopped singing and O'Hare airport changed flight plans, just so the girls could have this moment. What a moment it was too. Two outs, game-tying run on third, and a full count. After fouling off five balls, yes five, Kaylee wound up an extra special pitch. This pitch had more zip on the ball than any pitch I have ever seen of hers. Swish went the bat, and the game was over.

Batavia Heat - 11, Winfield Cubs - 10.

The best part though, was listening to those girls talking in the back of my car on the ride home, they were so happy and giddy. It was great.

Funny thing though, they would have been the same way if they lost as well. I'm sure of it.

God Bless!
Roger