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The 50-foot Walk of Shame

I've probably pitched 20 balls in my lifetime.

During practice.

3 minutes before Tuesday's game, Gary says to me, "Can you pitch?"

Unsure whether this was a question of aptitude or willingness, I said I could, but it's been 15 years. Years.

I got about 10 practice pitches in before the ump declared, "Play ball!"

It's going amazingly well. The guys are hitting baby grounders - I'm probably pitching them a bit short. I'm walking a lot of the girls but they're getting forced out at 2nd. Two innings - no score. I was feeling good enough - still nervous but no longer shaking as if there was a pistol to my head warning against the potential walk. It was 14-0, us.

3rd inning spells disaster. I walked a guy. So he takes 2nd and the girl decides to take the walk instead of batting. The guys begin crowding the plate, swinging the bat, and other obnoxious tactics that I'm trying my very best not to let bother me. But it does. I walk 5 in a row which ends up scoring 5. Then they get a good hit. Scores 3. Walk, hit, scores 1. When all was said and done, they'd scored 11 runs in one inning. I was devastated.

Our team was encouraging still and irritated that a team would actually not swing at anything on a rec league, but I suppose, that is the name of the game.

We score a few more, but end up losing by a run in the bottom of the 4th. The only saving grace was that I didn't walk it in.

I swallowed the lump in my throat when I heard one of the guys celebrate, "Can you believe we came back from being down 14-0?!

The shame turned quickly to anger when I heard them snickering about the pitching. "We would have won by a lot more if we wouldn't have swung at all."

Ouch!

I need practice.

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