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Prep gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by RedHotChiliPrepper, Jun 5, 2006.

  1. Haven't posted anything here in a while, thought I'd try this. Hack it up folks.

    Central’s Brianne Young had a deathgrip on the collar of her jersey. She stared at the ground, but it was clear she was really looking at anything, just staring blankly.
    She tried to find the words to describe how the Blue Jays were once again denied a trip to the PIAA softball tournament. As she tried to speak, he mouth opened, no words came out and her grip on her jersey grew even tighter. Her neon-green painted fingernails dug into the tear-soaked material.
    South Williamsport’s 4-3 win had long been erased from the right-field scoreboard but Young was still reliving one sequence of plays through her mind. She tried to figure out why twice, just one pitch away from escaping the second inning with no damage, things went haywire.
    Her hands wrapped around the back of her neck, fingers interlocking, but blank stare never changing. Her four hitless innings pitched to close out the game didn’t matter.
    The four runs the Mounties put on the board in the second inning — one by a bases loaded hit batter and three on a two-out error — and the Blue Jays loss in the District 4 Class AA title game were the only things that did.
    “One bad inning can do it for you,” Young said, tears welling up in her eyes once again. “One bad inning can make you lose.”
    And it was the one bad inning, combined with the Blue Jays’ inability to string hits together, that ultimately prevented Central from winning its first district title and advancing to the PIAA playoffs since 1997.
    “It’s really a bummer,” Young said.
    “We definitely hurt ourselves,” Central coach Duane Ford said.
    Young had wiggled out of early trouble in the first and appeared ready to do so again in the second with two runners on. But with a 1-2 count, South’s Krystin Hubbard managed to work a walk to load the bases.
    And Young was ready to shut down the inning again when she got ahead of dangerous leadoff hitter Mindy Godfrey 0-2. But after Godfrey got out of the way of one inside pitch, Young came in even farther and hit Godfrey to force in a run.
    “I just didn’t mean to. I wasn’t supposed to come inside, I was just trying to throw a strike,” Young said. “That basically screwed us over.”
    Young then induced Manda Peck to hit a grounder to short for the apparent third out, but Bridgette Clarke’s throw, about six inches off the ground by the time it reached first base, was dropped by Central’s Amanda Pursel. Two runs scored on the initial play, and as Pursel corralled the ball, Peck had strayed too far off first and both dove back toward the base headfirst.
    Pursel applied the tag, but dropped the ball. The umpire called Peck out, because the ball being dropped was blocked form his view. But as the bright green ball, lay on the ground amidst the blue and white jerseys, Godfrey scrambled home from third for the third run of the play, and the fourth of the inning. And after a brief conference between the homeplate and first-base umpire, Peck was ruled safe and all three runs were allowed to score.
    “Then the girl’s called out, which ends the inning, and then the girl scores after that with the fourth run. Then the umpire said it’s continuation since they went back and changed the call. But at what point does an inning end? When an umpire yells ‘Out!’ for the third out?” Ford said. “If he doesn’t call her out, maybe (the first baseman) gets up and looks at home. But while they’re bickering over the call, the girl scores. I think they should kill the ball at that point if you’re going to discuss the call.”
    “(When the ball was hit) I really thought the inning was over,” Mounties pitcher Caroline Whipple said.
    “It’s uncharacteristic for that team,” South coach Mike Frey said. “They’re fundamentally sound and they just do everything so well. But it’s one of those things.”
    And in one half inning, the breath had been taken out of Central. The dugout cheers began were as much imploring teammates for hits as they were encouraging.
    But Whipple kept the Blue Jays off-balance with a solid change-up. And routinely she relied on a stellar defensive effort by the Mounties to keep Central off the basepaths.
    And when Central was able to conjure up a runner in scoring position, it was often with two outs. Whipple stranded a runner at second in the third, fourth and fifth innings. She also left the tying run at third in the seventh when Courtney Comstock grounded out to third to end the game. Four of Central’s five stranded runners were in scoring position.
    “Our offense just didn’t show up,” Ford said. “We just didn’t get the number of runners on we needed or the timely hits when we did get them on.”
    Young finally let up on the grip of her jersey collar. Hands at her side, she resigned to what the game really was for Central.
    “It’s all just really frustrating,” Young said. “It was just ... not good.”
  2. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

  3. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    RHCP -

    Check the edits above. I've italicized the stuff I thought was weak, and/or confusing.

    From a straight up writing standpoint, you're lede is hard to picture. I'm not seeing the girl tugging at her collar in the way you may mean for me to see it, so I'm struggling right from the start. That's compounded by the fact that the game itself then hinges on a really fluky, freaky play, which you've done your best to describe.

    My only architectural suggestion then is this. Take the sentence I've bolded, her quote, and consider leading with it. Then get to the big confusing game-making play much sooner. Save the description of her evident upset for the lower third of the piece, at which point readers are going to have more to sympathize with.

    Thanks for posting.
  4. roxraidersfan

    roxraidersfan Member

    I'm new here and I was hoping to have a piece of mine 'hacked up'.

    First there is some background to go with it. I'm fairly new to the biz and I work for a weekly with four sports pages on average, so the story had to serve as a playoff update/athlete of the week feature.

    Suggestions on what I could have done better would be greatly appreciated.

    COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Cardinal Ritter Coach Marvin Neals made a rather strong assertion after his team’s 51-48 win over Mountain Grove in the Class 3 semifinals Friday night.
    It’s not atypical for coaches to boast about their player’s prowess, but Neals went a step beyond that.
    “I’m not going to hold back, I really believe Marquis and DeAndre are two of the best guards in the state, if not the best,” Neals said. “There’s no question in my mind. Three years ago I said that (about state championship guards Ken Burke and Antoine Vinson). I’m saying it again.”
    It would be hard to argue with Neals assertion simply because he’s seen a lot of basketball and senior guard Marquis Jones and junior guard DeAndre Gilmore also did a lot to back up Neals’ claims at the state tournament.
    For their efforts, Jones and Gilmore are the North County Journals Athletes of the Week.
    First, Jones and Gilmore – nicknamed thunder and lightning --teamed up to sink Cameron (Mo.) in the semifinal round as they brought Ritter back from a 17-point deficit to the team’s 51-48 win at Mizzou Arena Friday.
    Jones scored 13 of his game-high 20 points in the second half and Gilmore scored 11 of his 15 during the comeback in the final 16 minutes.
    But it was Gilmore’s final three points that were most meaningful as he converted a deep three-pointer at the buzzer to sink Cameron.
    “I don’t know what to say,” Gilmore said. “We were looking for Marquis to shoot the ball. They double teamed him and left me wide open. I got the ball, took the shot and when it went off my hand I felt it going in. It felt so good. That’s the first time I have ever shot a winning shot in my life at the buzzer."
    Not to be outdone, the duo came up big again as Jones and Gilmore combined for 45 of Ritter’s 67 points in the Lions’ Class 3 title win Saturday over Charleston.
    Ritter (28-3) led for the entire game and the dynamic duo was a big part of that as Gilmore poured in 23 points while Jones pitched in 22 points.
    Once again, Gilmore hit a big buzzer beater to virtually bring down an opponent.
    Wit Ritter up 31-26 and three seconds to play in the first half, Gilmore converted room nearly the same distance as he had Friday to send Ritter into the locker room with the 34-26 edge and Charleston in with its back virtually broken.
    “We should never have given them a chance to get that three off,” Charleston Coach Danny Farmer said. “I had a freshman (Antonio Riggers) handling the ball and he’s going to make freshman mistakes (turning the ball over with three seconds left).
    “But we also wouldn’t be here if not for that freshman, so we live and die with him,” Farmer added. “It was a big blow, a big blow for us to take.”
    For good measure, Jones and Gilmore put the Lions up on their backs and kept the Bluejays at bay during the final quarter.
    First, Jones made four big free throws, a three-pointer and a fastbreak lay-in during the third quarter as the Lions extended its lead to 16 over Charleston.
    Then, Gilmore deftly handled the ball and sank the bulk of eight big free throws over the final quarter to preserve the lead after Jones fouled out with three minutes, 51 seconds left to play.
    “It’s been huge,” said Neals of the duo’s play Saturday. “They’ve been our offensive catalyst all year. We’ve had to play a few games this year when Marquis has gotten into foul trouble and even one or two when DeAndre has been in foul trouble. One has stepped in and just picked up the other.”
    While they’ve spent time picking each other up, Jones and Gilmore have combined to pick Ritter up and elevate it to the top status in Class 3.
    Something that’s not lost on Jones.
    “It’s just fate that we should be (celebrating) this moment,” Jones said. “DeAndre made that big shot last night and we knew we had to come out more aggressive tonight to not get behind. I felt we had to come out and go to work. We did that and won.”
  5. jgmacg

    jgmacg Guest

    rox -

    I'm taking the liberty of starting your own thread for this.

    Check for it.
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