Home Plate
Alyssa, Age 13, Warminster, PA

I awoke to weak, swore, swelling muscles, not because I had to play three games, but because I had to lose three games. In my bed I sat wondering why we wake up at six a.m. every Saturday morning just to play and lose. Most people would say it’s just a game; it’s just for fun. Who cares if you lose? I have never been happy about losing, and I have never seen someone who is happy about losing either.

It didn’t shock me when we came home with a record of 0-3. We let three other teams score a total of twenty runs, whereas the other teams only gave us one run. The teams found beating us as easy as writing their names. There’s a part of me that wants to have confidence in my team—I believe in them and that they will always work their hardest—but I want to be able to feel that breathtaking moment when you win.
It was when I got a group message with my team that all hopes and dreams were lost. On Sunday we would be playing Sting, one of the toughest softball teams. My mouth dropped to the floor. I had received innumerable texts saying that we were going to lose and we should just forfeit, but I realized that with that type of attitude then we were definitely going to lose. No matter how hard I tried, words were just like parents: nobody listened to them.

My heart stopped for the first time when the umpire said, “Play!” We started off the first three innings with a tie, 1-1. Could we actually have a shot? No. The Sting’s next batter hit a two run triple leaving the score 3-1, and that’s how it stayed for the next two innings. Now it was our turn to shine like a star, it was our last chance, we were up to bat. Batter 1 hit a line drive right to left field, safe. Batter 2 grounded it out to 3rd, out. Batter 3, a tall and powerful hitter, ripped it up the middle, safe. Runners on first and third, Batter 4, me. The count was 3-2. I had been fouling ball after ball. Then the perfect inside pitch came right in. I twisted my hips with all force, my bat came around to the center of the plate, the ball screaming my name, and it connected with my bat and hit it out over left. I stood staring—oh, wait! Run. I flew from my stance. Taking every step with caution, I rounded first, I rounded second, I rounded third. My coach, a short, intelligent, muscular man, kept telling me to go! Did I hit it that far? Exhausted and running, my face drenched in sweat, my feet tiptoed onto home plate, feeling nothing but satisfaction. I was greeted by hugs and cheers while being tackled to the ground. We won!

This was my breathtaking moment. When we won, I felt as if I were on top of the world, and I was so proud of my team. With our heads in the game, we could accomplish any goal, and win any game we wanted to. With eleven letters, eleven girls, and one team, nobody could take Blue Thunder down.

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