Girly Pitches and Wide Catches
“You pitch like a girl!” Soraya’s voice could be heard across the other side of the oval
“Like you could do any better!” Xavier called back but it was obvious he was flirting with her, this would probably be a good time for me to leave them alone but you know…coaches orders and I want to see this train wreck.
“Well aren’t you guys just a couple of love birds” I called over to them, they both turned to look, Soraya pulling the catcher’s mask off her face to reveal her hair in a multi-coloured ponytail.
“What the fuck are you on?” Soraya stared sceptically at me,
“Yo Ash! What you doin here man?” Xavier shouted with a grin on his face as they moved to the centre of the pitch where I joined them,
“Coach asked me to give our new catcher here, some pointers” I shrugged, gesturing to Soraya with my thumb, “and I’d be damned if I suspected that a girl would try out for the guys baseball team, wouldn’t think you’d have the balls Ray” I smirked at her as she glared at me,
“Ass, let’s face it, I can probably beat your ass at this game” Soraya scoffed
“Pfft, yeah, and I shit butterflies” I snorted
“She’s actually not that bad, might even give you a run for your money” Xavier cut in with a smirk
“I think I’d like to see that for myself before I believe it” I stated stepping back off the pitch,
“Suit yourself” Soraya stated with an eyeroll but started making her way back to the catcher’s position behind home plate, Xavier chuckled, shot me a wink and a thumbs up before returning to the pitcher’s mound.
“Just five normal ones for now Xav” I called to him as I made my way closer to Soraya to watch her more closely, her stance seemed pretty good, a little wide maybe, but that’s easily correctable.
When the first pitch came down she shifted her position and adjusted her glove to receive the ball as it passed over the middle of the plate. It wasn’t perfect and there was much to be improved upon, but I remained silent as she stood from her crouch and threw the ball back to the Xavier. She had a good throw and judging by the way Xav flinched I could tell she was trying to prove a point.
The next four pitches went through and I continued to observe her technique and one thing became apparent as she continued to react in a robotic manner.
"Take off the helmet" I called, making my way over to her, she did as was told, most likely glad for the opportunity to remove it, considering how old and sweat soaked it probably was. Catching was by far not an easy task, dictating how a game goes and making the right calls is never easy, but that’s not even half of the physical strength and stamina necessary.
The sweat was visible on her forehead but she didn’t seem to care and I had been in her position too long to even notice it, instead I smirked at her,
"Getting tired yet?"
"Not even a little" she stated bluntly,
"Good" my smirk grew "because we have a lot of work to do if you’re going to be a catcher"
"What do you even know about baseball?" she raised an eyebrow, her annoyance clear "you weren’t even at the tryouts"
"I know a lot more than you do, that’s for sure" I stated with a cocky grin, I noticed Xavier making his way towards us,
"Pfft, and how would you know more than me Ass?" she questioned, a glare settling on her features and she placed her hand on her hip.
“I've been playing baseball since I was nine, competed for the state and travelled overseas to play” I stated proudly, my grin turning back into a smirk, “Now learn to take some advice Princess, because you are going to need it”
“Overseas?” She scoffed, “And what position did you play? Right field?” she mocked, her eyebrow raised in challenge “I’m not even convinced you actually know anything about being a catcher, so why should I take advice from you?” she narrowed her eyes suspiciously.
He was being way too picky about what I was doing, and I call bullshit that he knows what he’s actually on about with this baseball thing and that he went overseas to play. “You think I don't know anything about being a catcher?” Ass asked me.
“That’s exactly what I think.” I responded.
“Strip then.” He told me, his hand out.
“I'm not stripping for you, you dirty bast-”
“The gear Ray. Strip the gear off and give it to me.” he explained further, and I did as he told. I threw the catcher’s mask at him, earning a dirty look after I heard an ‘oof’ from him. I then took off the chest plate and squatted so I could get the legs off. It was crazy the amount of damn gear that we had to wear but I would rather wear that than get broken bones.
I swear both him and Xavier were staring at my ass as the shorts were riding up and barely covered my butt cheeks in the first place. I threw the legs at him, before I gave him a death glare. The wind was cold and I was definitely feeling it now that I didn’t have the extra gear to stop it from hitting my mostly uncovered legs.
“Okay, Xavier go to the right distance and chuck me a few. I’ll show the newbie how it’s done.” Ashton stated, after he had put the gear on and had grabbed a glove. Xavier went to the right distance, but I wasn’t happy with this arrangement. Ashton had surely caught to Xavier before… I hadn’t caught in a while and it was a new pitcher to me, it wasn’t fair to do this.
“Actually guys, this isn’t fair.” I said after Xavier had thrown down a pitch. I knew I could do better, and I smiled a mischievous grin at my plan.
“What isn’t fair?” Ashton asked with some unneeded sass, standing up, taking the mask off and tucking it under his arm. It was kind of attractive, but that might just be because I like baseballers… especially catchers.
“I had to catch to a new pitcher that I had never caught to and you just stroll in with your old pitching buddy and act like it’s the same thing.” I stated.
“And how can we fix that? It’s not like we have a different pitcher here-”
“I’ll pitch to you.” I cut him off, wiping his smug smile off of his face.
“Why should I catch to you, you aren’t even a pitcher.” He stated, obviously unimpressed.
“Uh actually, she said that she could pitch or catch so I think she’ll give you a run for your money.” Xavier defended me, and I smiled. This was going better than I had planned.
“So, any more objections oh ‘holy one’?” I mocked his arrogance, fake bowing before I got the glove that I had and walked to the pitcher’s mound. I put my glove up and he threw the ball to me, with a decent speed behind it. Okay, so maybe he could throw well… that could give him some kind of proof that he was a ‘great’ player.
“You might want to stand a bit closer so the throw makes the distance!” I heard Ashton shouting at me. Jeez, I thought catchers were supposed to support their pitchers not put them down. I only smiled a knowing smile as I placed my right foot on the pitcher’s plate and placed my left foot forward. I put a grip on the ball as I brought it up behind my head. He was so going to regret that insult.
My throw went straight down to his right foot, and I watched as he twisted his body easily to stop the ball. But I realised that as he twisted his body his face scrunched in pain, like the extra strain was on his left ankle would be resulting in pain for him. I was slightly worried, but as soon as he stood up and threw the ball back to me. “Nice outside-low!” He shouted at me, and I only grinned like an idiot knowing that I had won that argument there.
“I know it was…” I trailed off, saying it loud enough for him to hear when I noticed something. His glove was on his right hand… which meant only one thing. “Are you left-handed?!” I asked him, but I had a feeling I already knew the answer to the question.
“What gives you that idea?! The weird look of me having my glove on the wrong hand?!” he shouted.
“A little bit yeah!” I shouted back.
“Well, I'm full of surprises!” he shouted back, and I could see his arrogant smirk on his face again. But I knew his weakness now, his left ankle. Something was wrong with it and somehow at some point I would find out what that something was.
“That you are.” I said under my breath as I readied myself again, this time going for an inside low that went straight on target. Straight to his left foot, hopefully relieving the ankle of some unneeded stress. Sure, I could be blunt and seem like I don't like people but I would never put someone in intentional pain.
I continued doing different throws to him, making sure that I had thought them through and was letting his ankle be without pain. It was only when Coach came over that I was aware of how much time had passed. I had just been focused on getting the perfect throw with the perfect spin to get to Ashton’s glove with the most amount of ease. It had to have been somewhere over 30 minutes, maybe even an hour but neither of us was showing signs of being tired.
“You two make a good team.” The coach stated, before he added something horrible on the end. “I'm putting you together for the next game.”
“You’re what now?” I asked.
“I would love to take the option Coach, but strictly outfield for me remember?” Ashton stated and asked. I gave him a look of ‘why wouldn’t you want to catch to me? I'm fabulous’.
“Okay, you two should probably stay here and try to come up with some signals or something…” Coach trailed off, and I just stood staring at him. How did I go from being a catcher to being a pitcher in such a short time? Especially if my catcher was an unappreciative piece of shit that didn’t realise how much I wanted to practice my outside-lows so I could get them down pat, but didn’t because it hurt him. God damn it that bastard didn’t know how much he should love me right now.
“Uh, since when did I agree to th-”
“Don't stand there like idiots, get signalling.” He stated strongly before he walked away. Okay, Ashton and I walked back to where the home plate was located. Wait a minute.
“God damn it we fell for his plan!” I shouted, frustrated that I had gone along so easily with it.
“I don't know what you’re complaining about, I just got completely ignored. However I'm glad I'm not the only pitcher now. If your pitching for the first game though, you may want to get some signals ready.” Xavier stated, going on the coaches side.
“Why can’t I just throw it where I want?” I asked seriously, but both of them laughed at me.
“And risk you throwing straight where the batter would want it? Not gonna happen.” Ashton told me.
“Fine, I will go with your signal plan but I hope you know, Xavier, that I still have to catch to you and I will be telling you where to pitch the god damn ball.” I reminded Xavier, pointing a finger at him.
“You don't know the other players weak points like we do. We were a combo for all of last season and the season before, so I think we should be choosing-”
“When I am catching that means it’s my game. It means that I'm in control and you will listen to what I tell you, okay?” I stated, adding a glare to both of them. Soon after we had signals and we were practicing them to make sure I wouldn’t forget. We decided that all of the signals would be the same for me and for Xavier so I didn’t get confused.
There were three numbers that Ashton would show me, the first one meant nothing, the second was placement and the third was what kind of spin he wanted. It was hard getting all of the spins since I hadn’t done them in a long time and I hadn’t even learnt how to do a change-up before. It was harder than expected to do the circle change-up, but the results were that the ball was at a considerably slower speed which is what the aim is.
Later when school had finished I was changing back into my ripped skinny jeans and my black, Superman cropped top. I put the slut shorts and the P.E. shirt back into the boxes and walked over to the two of them. Ashton was already walking away before I reached them, which was shit because he was the one I wanted to talk to about how I could improve my catching even though he only watched me catch five pitches.
“So, Soraya…” Xavier trailed off as we started walking together. I was going to the carpark since I was getting Ezekiel to pick me up, but I don't know if that’s where he was going or if he was just walking with me for the fun of it.
“Yeah, what?” I asked, wondering what he was going to ask me.
“I was wondering if you might want to come to a party I'm organising on Friday. It’s for the baseball team but other people will probably turn up since it’s my party and everything.” He stated, and it was kind of cute how he seemed so nervous about all of this. Now I was as well.
“Uh, sure…” I trailed off, unsure if there was another point behind this.
“Cool, and maybe on Saturday you might want to go to the movies with me?” he asked another question and I smiled.
“I would love to.” I stated, before I saw Ezekiel’s car in the carpark. That meant that he was waiting for me and god knows how long he’s been there for.
“Okay, so on Friday the party will be starting at eight and god knows how long it will go for… but on Saturday I’ll pick you up around seven unless you never actually leave my house.” He winked at me, “So I’ll see you at training tomorrow then?” he asked.
“Yeah, you will.” I responded, he leant towards me like he was going for a kiss. “Bye.” I said quickly before I started to walk away from the awkward situation. I got into the maroon coloured car with Ezekiel and he laughed before he spoke.
“Well that looked awkward.”