A Hit to the 'Infield'
I was in the batter’s warm-up circle as Xavier stood next to home plate, readying himself for any kind of delivery. I watched the speed that the pitcher pitched the ball to 52, it was an average speed. Slower than Xavier, unless of course they were going to try and shit me off. Xavier hit a massive, well placed, fly-ball to the outfield which was in an overly large gap between centre and right field.
“Go Xav! Go for second!” I shouted, watching as he ran as fast as he could. The first base coach was sending him to the next base, he was going to make it to second. Now, it was my job to sneak him to third. I walked up to the plate and settled my feet into place. I twisted my feet around and held the bat out in front of me, like I was going to bunt. This is what the second batter does. Impairs the catcher’s vision by putting the bat in the way, and tries to give their runner the chance to advance another base.
I moved the bat around, and as the pitcher pitched the ball wide I pulled it backwards, but made sure that it stayed in 52’s eye line. He did drop the ball, and I watched as Xavier ran to third. I smiled as I brought my bat back, ready to hit it as far as I could. The count was going my way so far, but only one pitch had been thrown. He pitched the next ball, and it went past my eyes. Too high for a pitch. That’s 2 balls, no strikes. The next one was an inside low, that I thought as too low. Apparently not. 2 balls, 1 strike. The following pitch was coming straight in the middle of my strike-zone, I swung but missed as I realised that their game plan was to save the fast pitches for me.
Those little shits. 2 balls, 2 strikes. I am so ready to kill this guy, and I was taking an educated guess that his next pitch would be a change-up that would be sent straight down the middle. I shortened my grip on the bat and got ready to punch at it. Bunting isn’t an option and I don't want to swing and miss again. 2 balls and 2 strikes. I couldn’t let them strike me out, not with 52 being the catcher. I have to prove a point here.
The ball was let go, and I realised that my guess was right. It as a change-up coming straight to the middle of my strike-zone. I took a step towards the pitcher and swung the bat, making sure to never lose eye contact with the ball and felt the bat make contact with it. It jarred my hands, and I knew I had hit the end of the bat.
“Foul ball!” the umpire called, and I silently thanked god. They at least know that I'm not afraid to hit off of them. I had another chance to smack the shit out of the ball, and I wasn’t going to let it go to waste. The count was still 2 balls and 2 strikes. I looked around the field and decided where I wanted the ball to go when I hit it, even though it will probably go the other direction.
I got ready to swing, and the pitcher got ready to go. The pitch was borderline outside, but I wasn’t going to let it go in case the umpire thought it was a strike. I swung at it and met it out front, and I loved the sound of the ball hitting the sweet spot on the bat. Dropped the bat behind me as I started running as fast as I damn well could towards first. The coach was sending me to second, and I bit my lip as I did what I was told.
I'm the batter that’s supposed to help get the runner around, not get myself around. I saw the ball being overthrown out the corner of my eye and turned to look at the third base coach. He was flinging his hands at me, telling me to go towards him. I again did as was told and touched second base before I rounded to third. He was pointing to home, and I don't think I liked that idea.
This was not supposed to be a home run. I did as was signalled but as I got halfway down the line the ball was caught in 52’s glove, and he gave me a menacing look as I stopped dead in my tracks and turned back around to get back to third. Coach then started shouting at me. “Turn!” I did as was told, he was my eyes for the moment. “Turn!” he shouted again, and I turned to run towards third again. “Turn!” I did it again, meaning I was facing home again. “Turn and dive!” he shouted, and as I turned I launched myself towards third. I landed with my hands touching the white base on my stomach, and at this moment in time I wasn’t worried if I was safe or not.
“Oh my god my boobs!” I shouted after I heard that it was called safe, and I curled into foetal position.
“Are you alright?” Xavier asked, and I felt a hand on my shoulder.
“My tits.” I stated. “I landed on the poor things.” I added.
“Okay…” he didn’t know what to say to that. “Will you be okay?”
“Yeah…” I trailed off, sitting up slowly.
“Why does it hurt so much?” he asked me, and I only narrowed my eyes at him.
“Why does it hurt when you get kicked in the balls?” I responded, standing up.
“If they hurt that much I can kiss them better.” The third baseman for the other team stated.
“Fuck off you pervert.” I said bluntly, putting my foot on the base as Xavier went into the dugout after a slightly awkward hi-five. Okay, a very awkward hi-five. The thought of him touching me was scary, but the thought that I let him do it was scarier. I should not be letting people touch my shoulder, hold me around my waist or hi-five me. Why would I be letting Xavier do that? To be honest, things have changed since I came to Emeraldville. I was more social, actually had friends, kind of have a boyfriend in some kind of way and I let people touch me for short amounts of time.
I even have a bloody job.
I turned my attention away from my stray thoughts and back to the game at hand. The pitcher didn’t even look my way, so I knew he wouldn’t throw it towards third. I crept down the line, trying to keep an eye on the catcher’s signals which was difficult since this was the complete wrong angle and Jasper was right handed meaning that he’s in the way. I became frustrated as he was struck out, our first out for the innings. I felt like hitting my head against something as Calen got two strikes, and then when he also got struck out I nearly screamed.
Ashton was up next, and since he was a lefty he gave me a clear view to the catcher. I stood off the base again, ready to do anything that needs to be done. I kept an eye on the pitcher, but he never threw the ball my way. He didn’t like playing the bases, only pitching. That’s a good thing to remember.
“Time!” Coach shouted, and he gestured for me and Ashton to go to him. “Alright, Ashton I want you to slap-hit. Make them come down the line and hit it over their heads. Soraya, you just run as fast as you damn well can. As soon as you hear the ball making contact with that bat, you’re gone. Got it?” he stated.
“Got it.” Ashton and I said at the same time.
“Alright, go.” He stated, I turned and jogged back to third.
“Let’s go now Ashton! Smack it out…” Xavier trailed off his cheering as Ashton brought his bat around, looking ready to bunt. I took a few steps off the base, like I normally would if I would be attempting to sneak. Close enough to dive back if they threw it back to my base, which I had gathered he wouldn’t since he hadn’t done it yet, but far enough to make sure I had a good jump in case the catcher missed it and I could sneak. The third and first baser's made their way half way down the line. Shortstop and second made their positions a little closer to third and first, so the plan was working so far.
I didn’t want to give the plan away, so I did everything exactly the same. Three steps, turn and look at the pitcher. I watched the ball being thrown towards home plate, and saw out the corner of my eye as Ashton brought his bat halfway back before he hit the ball out over shortstop’s head. My feet were rushing themselves towards home plate as soon as I heard the familiar ‘crack’ of the ball hitting the bat. I easily got my feet onto home plate, and I turned to watch what Ashton was doing. He made it to first easily, but the first base coach was pushing him to go to second.
“Don’t run!” I shouted, and I saw the conflicted look on his face. “Don’t do it!” I shouted again.
“Don’t do it Ashton!” Xavier shouted, but I could see the first base coach telling him to keep going.
“Hold up!” I screamed, hoping he would listen to what I had to say. He looked so confused, but decided to go back to first base. I wasn’t sure if it was because Xavier told him, or if he had actually listened to me. I got the bat and went back into the dugout.
“Good call Kingston.” Coach said, clapping me on the back.
“Thanks, Coach.” I responded, sitting down on the bench with the shitty glove from school. If only this game was tomorrow… I was getting myself a new baseball glove for this exact reason tonight. But tomorrow was the party, my first proper party. I got a drink of water from my bottle after I put my mouthguard in it’s case.
I then stood up against the fence, ready to start cheering on the next person. Of which was Finn.
Bloody hell, what was the first base coach thinking?
We had two out and he had wanted me to run, the ball was almost back in the infield, if I’d gone I would have been out before I was even three feet from the base. It was definitely Ray and Xav that saved me there, I mean Jesus I was almost gone.
With a slight shake of my head I focused back into the game, my eyes locked on the pitchers movements and Coach’s signals to Finn. He was going to bunt. Meaning I had to get my shit together and make it to second. At that I lead off from my base by a couple feet, watching as the infield players switched their position and moved closer to Finn. I didn’t even hesitate when the ball left the pitchers hand, I was off and running, not even paying attention to whether Finn had made contact or not.
However, seconds after I made my base Coach was shouting at me to keep moving and I was off again. I chanced a glance to see where Finn was and saw that he was running to second, the first basemen had missed the catch and second base player was scrabbling to pick up the ball.
“Home!” Coach screamed and probably half of my sides bench, as my foot made contact with third base. I turned the corner and sprinted down the line to home base, the adrenaline flowing through my bloodstream and the rush was fantastic. However out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of the ball being thrown towards the catcher, number 52, who just happened to be standing directly in my way and blocking the base.
“Down!” Xavier screamed and I didn’t even hesitate as I shifted my right foot back, following with the momentum of running as my body went down and I slid across the dirt, straight between 52’s legs and onto the base. There was a massive cloud of dust and 52 went down, landing on top of me with a crash, briefly knocking the air out of me.
“Holy fuck!” 52 shouted in pain and I blinked in confusion, as he rolled off of me clutching at his crutch, before I bust out laughing, loud enough to almost miss the umpire as he shouted
There was a second of silence before the bench was up and cheering.
“Time!” Someone from the other team called as I began picking myself up from the dirt with a grin and snagged the bat Finn had dropped off the ground.
“Rodgers, are you alright?” was the last thing I heard before I was engulfed in a bro hug from Xavier and the cheering from the others,
“That was an awesome slide man” Xavier grinned, “But man I can almost feel his pain,that has got to hurt”
“He’ll be fine” I shrugged carelessly, “Dude was an ass anyway”
I chanced a glance around at the guys, only to see Soraya hunched over laughing her ass off,
“I think someone’s a little too gleeful” I smirked and she flipped the bird at me,
“Shut up that was fantastic”
“Careful” I mocked, slumping down in the seat beside her and turning to face the game, smirk still firmly in place “Don’t want the umpire to kick you out on your first game, newbie”
She promptly slapped my arm, harshly I might point out.
“Hey, hey calm down don’t want to hurt the boobs again” I pointed out with a grin, eyes still trained on the field as Finn stole to third and Calen made it to 2nd base off a hit to outfield.
“My god, how loud did I say that?” Soraya asked and I turned to see her cheeks turn red,
“Loud enough for me to hear it all the way in the batters circle” I winked and she narrowed her eyes,
“Well how about I kick you in the balls and you can see how much it hurts”
“No thanks, I’m getting enough sympathy pain from poor Rodgers” I faked a pained look before my smirk reappeared,
“Who?” Ray asked confused
“The catcher, number 52”
“Ohhh...Him, right yeah, that one, poor guy…” She trailed off unconvincingly before busting into another round of laughter.