The Sluggers completed their eighth game tonight with a win. Stepping up to the mound was Jasmine with her accurate strike zone and cool confidence. She stayed focused and was able to dominate the game with five strike outs. If you Sluggers fans think this sounds a bit unusual and out of place you are right. Jasmine is not our typical pitcher. We usually see Jasmine’s great glove and aim on the third base line and that’s where we like it. We found early on in the season that “Jazz” almost never lets a line drive get by her. When it comes to stopping that ball few others can match her skill with the glove. For this reason when she asked for a chance at the pitcher’s mound there was some reservation in the back of our minds. Our hesitation didn’t slow Jasmine down and she kept practicing with our other pitchers and asking to pitch every chance she got. Jazz’s persistence won us over and we gave in and let her pitch to the team at Wednesday’s practice. WOW, were we amazed or what. She isn’t the fastest arm we have but talk about accurate and consistent. It’s these two attributes that made the win tonight possible. Jazz’s amazing, and newly discovered, pitching ability didn’t just help the Sluggers beat the Hot Shots, it made the game very enjoyable to watch.
We have to thank Jasmine not only for her pitching but for her solid persistence. She kept saying, “I can do it coach, I can do it.” Well, there you go.
Not only did she do it – SHE KILLED IT!!!!
WAY TO GO JAZZ!!!
As for the Sluggers’ points, it was Mercedes and Jordan who came in with the two runs of the game to win it. Even though it was Mercedes in the third inning to run across home plate for the point she never would have gotten there if not for a fantastic double by Zeanna. “Z” is not one of our heavy hitters but she took that pitch and hit one of the best third base line drives I’ve ever seen. That hit ran right down the edge of the line, took a beautiful jump over the third base and just kept on going. It was that great hit that gave Mercedes more than enough time to round third and get home for our first point of the game.
Jordan’s point was also made with the assistance of a team member. Jordan’s hit was a super single near second base which planted her on first and Champagne came up behind her and followed it with her own great pound into the Hot Shots’ defense. The combination of Jordan and Champagne was just too much for the Hot Shots to stop and Jordan was able to get in for our second point of the game. Even though Champagne didn’t make it to home plate that doesn’t mean her teammates didn’t try. Our center fielder Hope came up to bat after Champagne and gave us a great single to get on first base and to move Chaampagne down to second. Unfortunately the hits sort of tapered off and we weren’t able to get those girls all the way around. But, that’s ok because two was enough to lock in control of the game.
The Sluggers went into the last inning of the game with two points over the Hot Shots, but as we all know a game can turn around quickly and instead of being up by two you can be down by two. There are no guarantees that says just because you’re on top means you’re going to stay there. That’s where our surprise super star pitcher Jasmine and our trusted catcher Terri come back into the picture. Jasmine and Terri spent the entire game chipping away the Hot Shots’ offences and were doing a great job but by the bottom of the last inning it was obvious that it was also taking its toll on Jazz. This third base rock star turned pitcher had never pitched for so long and it was clear she was getting tired, but we didn’t want her to come so far not to finish where she wanted to be. Jazz was exhausted but was still able to strike out the first Hot Shots batter with relative ease. It was the second batter who made a hit and got the Hot Shots on base for the second time in the game. Her double put her in good position to score and that wasn’t so good for the Sluggers. Jazz was able to step it up and send some great pitches past the third batter for a strikeout but the fourth Hot Shots batter wasn’t so easy. Jazz was wiped-out and sent three balls right in a row which meant the coach for the Hot Shots had a chance to do the last to pitch to his player. When the Hot Shots’ coach sent that pitch to his player she gave a major swing and the ball splashed into the dirt just outside of the first base line – foul ball. The foul earned her another pitch and another opportunity to hit the second base runner in. If she got lucky enough to really hit a grand slam, and it looked like she could, she would hit in the runner on second and possibly make it home herself. That would tie up the game and we would go into extra innings.
As the coach got ready to send the pitch the Sluggers got ready for the hit. Champagne on first, Julia with a runner on second, Alexis on third and the rest of the girls held their collective breath as the next pitch was thrown. The Hot Shots batter swung as hard as she could and made contact with the ball. It was at that moment in the game that the most amazing thing happened, at least it was pretty cool to me. The ball made a tiny little hop off the top of the bat, and from where I was standing, hit Terri in the facemask and planted itself right in her glove.
And that was it. Batter’s out. SLUGGERS WIN!!!
You gotta love the beautiful simplicity of it all. All the intensity, all the anticipation, all the dang stress and all Terri does is open her glove and there it is. Done!
Good job Slugger!!!
Final Score: 2-0
Catcher – Terri, First Base – Sonny
Dont’ forget to chech out all the photos of Game 8 on the Sluggers Live Galary