Tuesday, February 16, 2010


There is a shimmering glaze of dew on the freshly cut outfield grass. The chalk lines are drawn perfectly straight from home plate.

Ten ponytailed girls in hot pink and green uniforms form two straight lines. Skylar is in that line, third girl from the left. She is throwing and warming up with her friend and teammate, Kayleigh. Coach Jack and Bob are standing to the right of the line, deep in discussion.

Thwap! Thwap! Neon yellow balls sail through the air, landing in the pocket of our gloves. The girls are throwing and catching in unison; knowing that a missed ball will mean a lap around the field for everyone.

Parents, family, friends and fans begin to fill the bleachers and surrounding areas. The mingling scents of pungent coffee, sausage biscuits and tropical sunscreen waft across the fields. Little brothers and sisters spread blankets and empty toy filled bags underneath the bleachers, out of harm’s way.

Two burly umpires dressed in blue call the coaches to home plate. A shiny silver coin is tossed into the air and lands in the sandy dirt beside home plate. Home field advantage is awarded. After a minute or two, the home plate umpires calls out, “Play ball!” And the battle begins.

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