In honor of my girlfriend, Kelcee Thompson, having an article about her in The Morning News today, I thought it might be fun to bring out an article from the Andrew Hutchinson Vault. This article appeared in the May 2011 issue of The Bulldog Herald (Springdale High School's student newspaper)
(NOTE: I wrote this as a junior in high school, so I apologize if everything isn't AP style or things sound weird. I'd like to think that I have become a better writer since then. Hopefully that won't take away from the humor and point of this story. Enjoy!)
Girls’ sports are never taken seriously. Usually, they’re joked about and made fun of. I’m guilty of this as anyone, but I learned my lesson earlier this month.
I’ve been really good friends with junior Kaitlin Davis, the starting pitcher on the softball team, since we played t-ball together when we were six.
Over the years, I’ve played many sports, like baseball, basketball, track, cross country, and now football, but I never excelled at any of them. Kaitlin has played many sports as well, but she has mainly focused on softball and has become an excellent pitcher. Last season she was even named Honorable Mention All-State.
One day earlier this year, I made the utterly stupid decision to challenge her. I was joking that I could “go yard” on her, so we made a deal to face each other at some point this year.
That “some point” finally came on May 11, 2011, a date which will live in infamy.
I drove her to J.B. Hunt Park that evening, which didn’t really seem right for me. It seemed kind of like a death row inmate driving his executioner to his own execution.
Freshman Misty Hickman met us there a few minutes after we arrived. Misty, the starting catcher, immediately sensed my nerves and asked if I was scared. I looked at her like she had three heads. I wasn’t scared; I was terrified!
I had full confidence in Kaitlin, but I just couldn’t shake the thought of one of her pitches being just a hair too far inside and taking out my knee. Contrary to the name, softballs are NOT soft.
After watching a few warm up throws and saying a few prayers (which made Misty laugh, even though I didn’t find anything very funny), it was time to step into the box.
The first three pitches I saw I whiffed at worse than a first grader trying to hit a Randy Johnson fast ball would have. I stepped out of the batter’s box for a moment to take a deep breath and so Kaitlin’s mom could regain her composure from laughing so hard.
I took the next two pitches, a ball and a strike (according to everyone except me). Then, on the sixth pitch I saw, God performed another miracle on Earth. I made contact! Sure, it was a slow roller that would have been fielded by the first baseman for an out, but it was still contact!
Over the next several pitches, I swung and missed a couple, took some, and even fouled one high over the dugout. Even though I had made contact twice (TWICE!), Kaitlin was still owning me.
Finally, about thirteen or fourteen pitches in, I made semi-decent contact and the ball landed between where the shortstop and third baseman would have been. In some crazy, Laws-of-Physics-defying way, the ball I hit actually got all the way to the fence. I don’t care if it was on the roll; I took Kaitlin Davis to the fence!
Unfortunately for me, Kaitlin wouldn’t let that be the last pitch I saw. We ended the outing the way we started, with me whiffing badly.
As a trophy for my accomplishment, Misty gave me the ball that made it all the way to the fence and signed it, along me and Kaitlin. It immediately earned a place in my room for display. I was proud, to say the least.
At the end of the day, no matter how proud I was, I respected not only Kaitlin and other softball players, but also all other girl athletes that get made fun of and joked about.