Robert Preston, Jr., Editor, www.thedouglasnews.com
We have been in a dogfight with one team in our softball league. The only games we've lost have been to each other, and each game has been a war. We beat them the first time we played them, then they beat us twice in a row.
Last night, we played them for a fourth time. If we won, it would force a fifth game to see who gets first (assuming we both win out). If we lost, they would be all alone in first.
They jumped out to a 2-0 lead. We came back and tied the score. In either the fifth or sixth inning, they loaded the bases with nobody out. We ended up getting out of the inning without giving up a run.
In the bottom of the seventh, our leadoff batter made an out. The second batter singled. That got us back to the top of the order. Our leadoff hitter reached base on an error, which allowed our runner on first to get to third.
With runners on first and third with one out, Pulpwood strode to the plate.
I grabbed him before he stepped in and got serious with him. I hyped it up like we were in Sanford Stadium with 80,000 people in the stands and a national television audience watching. (In reality, we were at the Huckaby Softball Complex in Douglas with about 15 spectators.) "Big players make big plays," I said. He replied: "One out, right?"
He stepped in and took a couple of pitches. If he walked, the woman behind him would automatically walk, which would score the winning run. When the umpire called a strike, he got ready to hit. He launched a fly ball to left field. Our runner on third got ready to tag, but it ended up being a non-factor. The left fielder dropped the ball, and we scored the winning run, putting us back in first place. Once again, as he has been so many times in his life, Pulpwood Smith was the hero.Thanks for the recap, Robert.