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Mini-Witch Makes a Hit

"Why can't I play?" Mersina protested.

"Girls aren't allowed on the school team," said Billy.

"Well, I'll see about that!" Mersina stormed off to the principal's office.

Mr. Baroni, the principal, tried to explain to her that there had never been a girl on the school's baseball team. "But what about women's lib -- we have rights, too!" Mersina insisted.

"Well," said Mr. Baronl, "we'll let you try out. But you can play on the team only if you're good enough."

That afternoon Mersina skipped out to the baseball field. When she walked onto the field, everyone stopped and stared at her.

Mr. Falk, the coach, walked up to her. "What are you doing here, Mersina? Only players are allowed on the field during practice."

"Mr. Baroni said I could try out," Mersina grinned. "Could I have a pitcher's glove, please?"

"Have you ever pitched before?" the coach asked.

"No," said Mersina, "but I know how.

Mr. Falk scratched his head, then shrugged. He gave Mersina a ball and glove and waved her to the pitcher's mound.

Mersina threw her first pitch. The batter hit the ball so far that it got lost in the outfield grass.

"Let me try," shouted Billy. Whack! He hit the ball even farther.

Mr. Falk walked slowly to the mound. "Well, Mersina, I think that's enough."

Mersina started to cry. "Just give me one more chance!"

"All right," said the coach, "one more batter."

The next batter up was Slugger McGee, the best batter on the team. He waited eagerly at the place while Mersina wound up. Before the ball left Mersina's hand, she whispered to it softly.

The ball sped toward the plate. As it approached Slugger, the ball seemed to be getting smaller. It looked no bigger than a BB shot. He gave a mighty swing -- and missed. The ball, bigger again, plunked into the catcher's mitt.

The next pitch came right down the center of the place. But when Slugger swung, the ball hopped over his bat.

"What kind of curve was that?" he yelled.

Mersina was grinning now. She wound up for another pitch. This time Slugger did not swing. The ball stopped right in front of the plate and just stayed there, hanging in mid-air. Finally Slugger did swing at it -- several times. But each time the ball bobbed away from his bat. Slugger finally threw his bat away in disgust. The ball promptly plopped into the catcher's mitt.

Now the other members of the team took their turns at bat. Mersina struck them out, one after another.

The next week, Mersina's team was playing the best team in the league, the East Side Swingers. The other team laughed when they saw Mersina on the mound.

The first batter stepped up to the plate. Mersina's first pitch looked like an easy one to hit. But as he swung, his bat suddenly turned into a popsicle stick.

Mersina struck out the side with ease. Sometimes the ball seemed to disappear as it approached the plate. Sometimes it hopped or dodged or danced over the batter's bat.

When Mersina'a team was up, even stranger things happened. Billy, the first batter, hit a ground ball right at the shortstop. At the last minute, a rock suddenly appeared at the shortstop's feet and began moving toward the ball. The rock hit the ball and knocked it right over the shortstop's head.

The next batter hit an easy fly ball into left field. As the left fielder moved in to catch it, a bird suddenly swooped down, grabbed the ball in its beak, and flew away with it.

The East Side pitcher was so upset that he walked the next batter on four straight pitches.

The next batter hit a grounder to third. The third baseman grabbed the ball and threw it to the second baseman to start a double play. But while the ball was on its way through the air, a seal suddenly appeared. It caught the ball on its nose and began to bounce it up and down, while the runners ran home.

By the end of the game, the score was 132 to 0. Mersina's teammates joyfully carried her off the field.

'What a season we'll have!" Slugger shouted. "With you pitching, nobody can beat us."

"Oh, no," said Mersina, "this was my last game here. I'm heading for the Major Leagues now."



©1972, 2013 The Silversteins