The latest “Leader’s List” was released for the week of Feb 17-23, 2009, and my mlblog, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”, dropped a few spots to #22.
But, that’s okay. It is always a great honor to be on the “Leader’s List”, and, also, it gives me an opportunity to dedicate my #22 ranking number in honor of my niece, Brittany, a right-handed pitcher, who wears #22, pitching and playing first base on her High School Varsity Girls Softball Team.
Miss Brittany is the “ace” of her team’s pitching staff; and, also, one of the best hitters on the team.
In 2008, as a junior playing on the Varsity team, Brittany had a 13-4 record with a 2.26 ERA, recording 125 strikeouts in 108 innings pitched, leading her team into the playoffs.
Brittany played 21 total games, hitting .330, with 23 hits in 70 at-bats. She also walked six times, hit three doubles, scored 19 runs, and had a .390 on-base percentage, while leading her team with three triples, four homeruns, 25 RBI’s, and a .630 slugging percentage.
Brittany’s season did not start off very well, as she lost her first two starting assignments. But, then, she went onto win her next seven starts, including pitching three straight shutouts, a one-hitter and two 2-hitters, at one point during the streak, moving her record to 7-2.
After a 7-5 loss, Brittany was the winning pitcher for her team in six more straight starts, including another two shutouts, a two-hitter, and four hitter, bringing her record to 13-3, as her team entered the semi-finals of their High School Division Playoffs.
Brittany, and her team, played brilliant softball in their first two games in the Playoffs, winning the first round game, 6-0; and, then, in the team’s most exciting game of the year, earned a very dramatic, extra-innings, 4-3, comeback victory, in the quarter-final playoff game.
In that quarter-final game, Brittany was engaged in a pitching duel with the other team’s ace starter until the top of the 6th inning when a three-run homerun by the opposing team put my niece’s team down 3-0.
But, Brittany’s team battled back, tying the score 3-3, in the bottom of the 7th to send the game into extra innings.
The opposing team had a number of opportunities to take the lead in the top of the 8th inning; but, a couple of great defensive plays resulted in two runners being thrown out at third base, setting up a second and third situation with two outs. The next batter reached first on a hit-by-pitch, to load the bases, which created one more threat for the opposing team to take the lead once again in this quarter-final playoff game.
This is when my niece redeemed herself for giving up the three-run homer in this game.
Brittany shined in this key moment by striking out the next batter on three straight pitches, leaving the bases-loaded, and the score tied 3-3.
The comeback was completed when my niece’s team scored the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning, for a very dramatic 4-3 victory, that still gives me chills of joy as I recall that very exciting day in upstate New York.
This dramatic 4-3 victory moved Brittany’s team into the semi-final game of the Playoffs, which ended with the opposing team winning the game 2-1, in another extra inning nail-bitter that lasted 11 innings.
Brittany’s team was down 1-0 going into the 8th inning, when Brittany hit a RBI double that tied the score, 1-1.
But, the opposing team’s pitcher was a little more dominant in this semi-final playoff game, striking out 15 batters to earn a well-pitched and played 2-1 victory.
It was a disappointing loss for my niece’s team. But, all players on both teams should be very proud for playing a very exciting and classic softball game. Also, both teams should be very proud of their successful seasons in 2008.
Brittany will once again pitch and play first base for her Varsity High School team in 2009; and, she looks forward to attending college on a softball scholarship, at a school in the New England area in the the Fall of 2009. She also is a straight “A” student; so, softball will only be part of the whole college experience that I am sure Brittany will excel and be very successful in.
I thank Brittany and all her teammates for providing many exciting moments during their successful 2008 season. We all look forward to many more exciting moments in 2009.
And, to Brittany, I love you very much.
Good Luck and Best Wishes in all that you do in 2009 and future years.
May God Always Bless All Your Efforts !!!
Also, “Congratulations” to all mlblogs on the latest Fan and Pro “Leader’s Lists” !!!
And, Thank You, to all who have visited my mlblog !!!
I appreciate all your great comments, thoughts, and kind words. Everyone is always welcome to visit !!!
— Jimmy Curran, “Baseball, The Yankees, and Life”