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I am a 45 yr old male who has played little league baseball and adult softball for many years. I too have never hit a homerun in my life. I had tears in my eyes while watching the story. I could totally relate to her goal.
BOBBY ASHWORTH, KING, N.C.
Game 2, top of the second, no score, Western Oregon runners on first and second. The catcher flashes two fingers and then two more, calling for a curveball outside.
The Wolves' Sara Tucholsky stands in the batter's box. Her teammates call her the Ocho, because she wears number 8. She is a backup rightfielder in a hitting slump, starting this game only because the first-string rightfielder misread a line drive by Mallory in the first game and the coach made Sara a defensive replacement.
The curveball comes in at about 50 mph, as yellow as a grapefruit and just as large. In a dramatization of this moment produced for Japanese television, the American actress playing Sara imagines herself in a ray of white light, hitting her first career home run. In reality she is just trying to make contact. The pitcher has missed her target. The ball is over the plate.
In the Japanese drama, Sara swings with her eyes closed. In reality she stares at the ball, picturing it as even larger than a grapefruit. She connects. There is a sound of vibrating aluminum as the ball sails toward the horizon, toward Lion Rock and Flag Mountain, over the leftfielder, over the fence.
Sara runs along the white stripe of powdered limestone that Frederick poured on the field that morning. Behind the backstop, Central Washington parent Sue Wallin captures the moment on her ancient Sony eight-millimeter video camera.
Mallory sees the ball disappear. Dang it, she thinks, walking from first base toward the pitcher's circle to huddle with her teammates. She sees the first runner score, then the second. She looks for Sara.
But Sara is behind her, out of sight, and Mallory hears an awful noise.
Wallin turns off her camcorder.